Joey McKenzie is universally recognized as one of the finest rhythm guitarists of our time, a peerless practitioner of the most essential element to all music. His lifelong immersion in Western swing and Texas fiddle styles has made him the preeminent authority as a player and teacher over a wide range of traditional American genres. Whether backing up a fiddle tune or a complex jazz arrangement, Joey’s absolute command of the instrument leaves listeners and musicians alike in wonder. Joey’s first musical experience began at age of 11, tuning the instruments his father had around their house in McMinnville, Oregon – a guitar, mandolin, tenor guitar, and a tenor banjo. Around the age of 12, he started learning a few chords and licks on each of the instruments and has been playing them ever since. At the age of 17, Joey became interested in playing the fiddle after becoming friends with Texas fiddle legend Benny Thomasson. “I went to fiddle contests mainly playing rhythm guitar, but I wasn’t really inspired to play the fiddle. When I got the opportunity to back Benny up in a few contests and hear the way he played, all I could think about was trying to learn to play the fiddle!” It wasn’t long before Joey began competing and has since won well over 100 fiddle contests and many wins on other stringed instruments as well.
Since moving with his wife Sherry to the Fort Worth suburb of Burleson, Texas, Joey has worked with many of the Lone Star state’s finest bands and musicians. During his years as a studio musician, Joey has played on numerous studio albums, television and film scores, and his musical arrangements have been orchestrated for symphony and performed by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and the Reno Philharmonic. As a touring musician, Joey thus far has performed in 45 U.S. states and toured Canada, Europe, Russia and South America. From 2000 to 2013, Joey often performed with three of his fiddle and vocal students in “The Quebe Sisters Band” where he created the band’s musical arrangements, played archtop rhythm guitar, and produced the QSB’s three studio albums. Currently performing with The Western Flyers, the award winning Fort Worth-based trio is the perfect platform for Joey’s rhythm guitar chops and seasoned singing and they are quickly gaining notoriety as the country’s hottest acoustic swing outfit. www.thewesternflyers.com