Singer-songwriter Tony LaJoye brings things full circle with his music … and a pay-it-forward attitude toward his fellow Michigan musicians.
“There are so many amazing musicians right in our backyard,” LaJoye said.
“The Ragbirds, Lindsay Lou and the Flatbellys, and The Madcat Midnight Blues Journey are a few of my favorites.”
ROCKING IN THE ROUND
LaJoye is quickly becoming a favorite on the pub and club scene and works with several different musicians, rotating people in and out as schedules allow.
“It’s a bit of a juggling act sometimes,” he said, “but it’s also a fun way to keep things fresh and see my own music from new perspectives.”
Currently collaborating with Traverse City’s own John Driscoll on drums and Stu Ford on bass, LaJoye said that, versus playing solo, a band is necessary to put forth a fuller, more engaging sound.
THE WHEELS OF LIFE
“I listen to so many different music makers,” LaJoye said. “We’re talking everything from Stevie Wonder, to George Gershwin, to Dr. Dre. And I’m pretty picky about the tunes I cover, too.”
LaJoye likes to cover well-known songs, but not ones that are commonly covered by other bands, and he works to arrange them in a way that makes them different from the original version, while still retaining the melody.
“We might play ‘The Letter’ as a swing-jazz sort of feel, or ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ as upbeat groove-rock,” he said. “It’s another example of things that change from gig to gig depending on who’s playing and how we’re feeling.”
Further expanding his career are his own original songs, which have helped land him gigs opening for Matisyahu, The Crane Wives, and Levi Britton, among others.
His first solo album, “Monster,” was honored with two WYCE Jammie Nominations at the West Michigan radio station’s music awards event.
His songs, which he’ll be showcasing at his upcoming performance in Traverse City, are based on his own experiences and are intended to appeal to a wide range of listeners.
“I write about my love life, my personal struggles, and experiences that stick out to me,” he said. “I try not to be too heavy or political with my tunes. I’m more of a musician than a poet.”
Tony LaJoye will be performing at Union Street Station in Traverse City on April 17. For more, visit his Facebook page or unionstreetstationtc.net.