Have you heard of the name Joey Greer yet? The first time I did this was during a listening session of Spotify’s Country Coffeehouse playlist with his song “Yesterday”. The soft, soulful vocals mixed with painful, relatable lyrics hit me: I knew I needed to catch a live performance of his.
Fast forward to this last summer when his full band rocked out Hank’s Texas Grill in McKinney for the first time and we were lucky enough to catch up with him.
In this interview with Texas Country Tour, Joey Greer shares his favorite live music venues, his thoughts on stage, and his other artistic passions. Answers have been edited for clarity and brevity.
TCT: Can you tell us about yourself?
JG: I grew up in Orange, Texas until I was 18. The first 14 years of my life were in church, leading worship with my parents.
I’m one of five kids in the family. I originally graduated pre-med from Stephen F. Austin University, but I did go to East Texas Baptist University for a little bit over in Marshall. Although I’ve been on the road for about six years, It has been my full-time job for a year. Now we’re at Hank’s Texas Grill in McKinney, after an extremely successful year of music streaming.
TCT: You have traveled just about all over the Lone Star State. What is one of your favorite venues to perform in so far?
JG: Most people would say Greune Hall, but I actually sweat so terribly there that it almost ruined the experience for me. We performed there in the middle of July last year. I’d most likely say Greune Hall, even though we sweat our butts off.
Man, that's a challenging question to answer. Banita Creek Hall, over in Nacogdoches, is essentially my hometown. I’m currently living in that area and Banita always has a great crowd turnout.
I'm very excited about this stage tonight here at Hank’s in McKinney. I didn't expect it to be that big, so we're excited about that aspect. If I had to give you a single answer: Gruene Hall.
TCT: Very diplomatic. Can you tell us more about the people back home in East Texas that have supported you both personally and professionally?
JG: There's really not any way to explain it because that's the only reason I get to do what I do. That base is my support structure. They were the only reason I had the courage to perform in the first place. They provided me with support in more ways than I'll ever be able to put into words. It's more like an artistic thing. They provided the guts for me to face the next steps in my career.
TCT: What's something unique or interesting you'd like your fans to know about you?
JG: I just started drawing, actually. I consider myself a terrible guitar player. I always surround myself with guys in my band right now. They are leagues above me in regards to music skills, so it just kind of makes me feel like a dunce in ways when it comes to playing a six-string guitar.
I'm an artist and a horrible guitar player.
TCT: That leads me to my next question. I've heard you started a side hustle where you're creating art through other mediums. Can you tell us more about that?
JG: I started drawing when I was young and I remember art class in school. I was really good at it. I had a few cool drawings that I had framed in my parents' house, but I was like, “man, I'm not good enough to sell any of this!”
When my music started doing good, I told myself “This is a good time to work on these skills.”
I continued to work on it and it essentially became therapy for me. When I got off the road after a long run or if I'm stressed out about something or if money's tight, I turn to my art.
It really gives me a second to have a mental break.
I started grabbing these regular canvases and I would use chalk pastels, and that was one of my favorite things to do in school. After completing two or three of them I thought to myself, “Man, these are really cool!”
Then I got to my last one and now I'm this one. My next one's going to auction for a lot more money than I could imagine myself selling artwork for. So it's going for $2,500 to start at this upcoming auction. Now if it gets bought, that's another story, but it's actually entering at that price. So we'll see what happens.
I'm pretty excited about it. It's a horse that actually turned out way better than I thought it was going to be. Horses have always been difficult for me. That’s what I’ve been doing recently, just chalk pastels.
TCT: What's coming up next for Joey Greer?
JG: Oh man, we got so much. We've just released five songs on side A of our EP, which it's actually a record. People have been saying “EP”, but it doesn't really matter. It’s going to be a 15-song record. We've got another song coming out here in the next couple of months that is leagues above anything.
We've already got out and we're already at 2 million streams on Spotify on that as of five months, six months. So we're motoring through this one. I think what's next is some bigger shows. I think we're gonna start seeing some more tickets being pushed. I think we're gonna start seeing a lot more people latch on to social media just because we're putting out better songs.
I'm not saying I have bad songs currently. I'm saying there's a difference. There are a lot of good songs out there but we’re improving.
TCT: You're about to perform at a fantastic and packed venue. What goes through your mind as you walk on stage to perform?
JG: Right now, I’ve been trying to guide the band into the next song. I've had a lot of different sicknesses and medical episodes that have kept people out of the band that normally plays with me.
I've had to kind of scrounge and come up with some great players here lately. I start freaking myself out. It might be two or three gigs in with a new guitar player or with a new drummer, with somebody new. It’s expecting something wrong before every song right now.
It's hard to explain. I’m not nervous they’re going to make a mistake. I feel like I'm going to mess up listening to other parts of my band at the moment.
When I'm going on stage, I’m always thinking that I want the audience to come back to another show. I want repeat customers. I want somebody that wants to walk back through the door again. I read my audience and that tells me kind of how I want to go about with my body language on stage.
It's weird, but I've learned to do that. I’ve been playing in front of people for almost a decade. It's really weird to think about like the fact that you can look out at a crowd of people and the way they're looking at you most of the time you can tell how you need to act on stage.
Yeah, that's kind of my first thought. Who is my audience? You don't want to go thrust your Elvis hips at an 80-year-old woman, you know? There are ways to read the room. That's pretty much what goes through my head right now.
TCT: What are you hoping to add to the country music genre?
JG: Man, it's weird. I've always kind of imagined myself as a hybrid of rock country, blues, and different sorts. I want to combine a lot of things. I want people to look at me as no genre. I want to be in a fluid genre. I want to be able to reach different audiences. I mean, of course, I'm country because of the way I sound, but I want to leave my mark on country music to be something that nobody can explain. You just kind of have to go to the show.
As an artist, Joey exhibits his ability to have fun and perform his best without setting expectations. He has been developing a unique style that blends country, blues, and rock into a sound that is all his own. His music is deeply rooted in the Texas tradition, and he draws inspiration from the rich musical heritage of the state.
Joey's music is known for its raw honesty and emotional intensity, and he has a gift for capturing the human experience in his lyrics. He is a talented songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist, and his live performances are a must-see for anyone who loves authentic Texas music. I strongly recommend checking out his songs below.
You can connect with Joey Greer on social media with the handle @JoeyGreerMusic on Instagram. Be sure to visit his website to see the next performance dates and purchase his merchandise on the online store.