Tell us a bit about yourself, when did you start?
I grew up in the town of Lisse, which is in the heart of the ‘bollenstreek’ (bulb area) and home to the famous Keukenhof. My mom made me take piano lessons when I was a kid, but when I was tall enough I grabbed her old classical guitar off the wall and started messing with it. I got my first electric guitar at 15 and that same year I was asked to join my first band. I moved to Amsterdam to attend university and discovered the live music scene where I quickly became a familiar face. the last ten years I’ve worked as a guitar player/singer on the Amsterdam scene with many different (inter-)national artists. But increasingly over the last few years the focus has shifted to my own music which I perform by myself or with my band.
How would you describe your style?
I try not to.. It seems like everybody has their own idea of what I sound like. It depends a lot I guess on whether I’m playing solo and acoustic, or electric with my band. People have said I remind them of artists as diverse as Steve Miller, Dire Straits, John Mayer, Eric Clapton, Michael McDonald, John Legend, Raul Midon and Robert Cray.. I’m not going to argue with that because it’s a huge compliment to be compared to any of those people. And although I would never compare myself with people of that calibre, I know that when people like what you do, they want to pay you a compliment. The best way they know how is to compare you to someone famous who they love. You have to respect that.
If you could go open up for any artist on tour right now who would it be?
I would open up for just about anybody I think. Just to be asked to play is a big deal. I wouldn’t be too worried if our genres or styles didn’t quite match. I think that’s a great way to expose people to your music who otherwise would never have found you.
What are your dreams and goals?
Well it would be great to make a living playing my own music. I mean it’s the ultimate compliment when people want to pay you to play your original material. But it’s a lot of work and there are no guarantees, especially nowadays with the mess the industry is in. I’ve played guitar for a few big commercial acts and these guys are more businessman than musician most of the time.. And they have to be. I don’t know if I can or want to be like that. I just want to keep writing and playing gigs.
What are you working on at the moment? Any future plans?
Right now am working on the release of an EP which I recorded with some great players. We recorded five of my songs. We’re still mixing right now but the EP should be out before the end of the summer. I’m releasing it myself. I’m going to send copies to all of my contacts in the business to see if I can make some waves.
Where our readers can find your music online?
There’s my website: www.joepberkenbosch.com which has some songs and videos. There you’ll also be able to find all the info about how to get your hands on a copy of the upcoming EP when it’s out.
In July 2010 I was a guest on Adam Curry’s “Daily Source Code” podcast in Los Angeles. The whole show is available for free download on iTunes. Look for episode 838 of DSC here: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/adam-currys-daily-source-code/id73329727# I’m also on youtube, facebook, myspace, and twitter.