Q: Where the HELL have you been?
A: The cat's kinda out of the bag, now. I serve in the military, in the Reserves. It wasn't germane to my music career until my luck ran out in the Horn of Africa in 2012. When the smoke cleared, I was in a wheelchair and I'd lost the use of one side of my face due to palsy and severe nerve damage. I kinda went underground after that. Walked with a cane for a while. I've been working at the horn lately, though. It's slowly coming back. I hope to be out and playing again next year.

Q: What happened?
A: Zigged when I should've zagged. Funny thing, though; some friends of mine came through on a USO tour just a few months after I was injured. Polly O'Keary and Tommy Cook, backing up Too Slim. They played our base right as I got out of the hospital and came home. I'd heard they were coming right before I got injured, and I hadn't said anything -- I had this great plan to just walk up onstage with them, shake hands, pull down the mic, and start blowing like it was a Wednesday at the Oxford. They hadn't seen me in years. I was playing in a band with some other guys from around the camp on Friday nights; I'd had my horn shipped out there and everything. My old bandmates played the same bar, same stage, that I played every Friday. It would've blown their minds. Anyway, it didn't happen. But it would've been great.

Q: What were you doing in Africa?
A: Nope. Next question.

Q: So, let's talk music. Who are your influences?
A: As a horn player: Big Jay McNeely, Plas Johnson, Joe Houston, Houston Person, Scott Page, Michael "Tunes" Antunes, and Clarence Clemons. As a songwriter: Chick Willis, Randy Newman, Adam Duritz, Ray Charles, Bo Carter, Mark Dufresne, and Victor Borge. As a keyboardist: Jonathan Cain, Nicky Hopkins, and Josh Wilson.

Q: What kind of horn / mouthpiece / reeds do you play?
A: What you're hearing on Old Whiskey in New Bottles is a custom, gold-plated Dukoff S-series mouthpiece opened to .145 or .150 with a baritone sax reed, but ever since the accident I just don't have the muscle for it. At the moment I'm playing a Berg 120/0, which feels like a pea shooter by comparison.

Q: A 120/0 Berg is still a pretty large piece, though, isn't it?
A: It is. It gives a very King Curtis type of sound; a little brighter than I like and not nearly as much subtone. I really miss that thick, Plas Johnson/Houston Person sound of the massive pieces with baritone reeds.

Q: What kind of horn is that?
A: My tenor is a 1956 Martin Committee III, often referred-to as "The Martin." My baritone is a Low-Bb Conn 12M with a refaced vintage hard rubber Brilhart. I play Rico Plasticover reeds on both. My sound reinforcement is about as low-tech as you can get; I use a Sennheiser E604 on a mount that I fabricated myself and run an XLR straight into the board.

Q: So if I get this horn / mouthpiece / reed, I can sound like you?
A: Sure.

Q: Really, though. Any advice for sax players?
A: I wrote an article a few years ago that's still up at the Sax On The Web instructional pages. I'll be putting some more stuff together as I figure out how I do it to begin with. I'm doing a lot of deconstructing right now as I learn how to play all over again. Right now I'm still working on basic things like tone production, and working with a tuner. There was some trauma to my hand, as well; it doesn't have the mobility or fine motor control that it used to, which I didn't notice until I started trying to play the horn again. So I'm back to simple finger exercises to regain some of that agility.

Q: Is that picture real? Do you really play on your back?
A: On my back, behind my back, jumping on tables, duck-walking down the bar, yes. I once lit my horn on fire with a shot of 151 in the bell but I won't be doing that again anytime soon.

Q: Is it true you refuse to play Mustang Sally?
A: No. Joey the Saint and The A-Men will play Mustang Sally, but it requires $100, cash, in my hand, in advance. The price is not negotiable and you have no mediation options. If the song is as great as you think it is, then taking up a collection from the club patrons shouldn't be all that hard.

Q: Who's your tailor?
A: Thank you. Brooks Brothers in Seattle.

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"Batting it out of the park with nasty juke joint saxophone."

-- Blue Suede News

Honkin', growlin', screamin', and wailin', Joey the Saint�s hallmark tenor style has become a fixture around the Pacific Northwest from roadside bars and juke joints to the Gorge Amphitheatre. His aggressive sound, electric stage presence, and showmanship hail back to the 40's and 50's honkers and shouters.

Joey cut his teeth in the Seattle Blues and R&B scene as a saxophonist and vocalist with the internationally acclaimed jump blues combo Tim Casey & the Bluescats. He has performed with such legends as Frankie Lee, Charlie Musselwhite, Rusty Zinn, John Nemeth, Mitch Woods, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, and the JB�s, and has been nominated for Best Horn by the Washington Blues Society for his work with local heroes including Polly O'Keary, Nick Vigarino, and The Fabulous Wailers.


Oh, Yeah

Over You

Boom Boom Boom


The Lady Came In With Me

All material c. 2010 Joey St. John-Ryan(BMI)