The Story 2.0
The Story 2.0
Joe 2.0 is the musical brainchild of violinist Joseph Ketchum and is named after his son, Joe Jr. The group formed in Milwaukee in 2011 with the goal of answering one simple question: “Can a string quartet truly rock?”
In the past, many string groups have transcribed pop and rock songs and performed them as a kind of novelty to keep audiences awake or try to seem “hip”. These attempts are usually amusing for a while but have no lasting musical validity in that the performers invariably “miss the mark” musically. It is interesting to note that when string players perform works from various eras of the “Classical” genre, (i.e.- Baroque, Romantic, etc.) they vary their musical approach to suit the style of the music. However, when it comes to pop or rock music, virtually no thought is ever given to exactly what the music is about and what gives it its power. Rock music is often viewed by classical performers as a simple folk art form that presents little or no challenges intellectually or musically.
In regards to harmony and structure this sometimes might seem the case, but what many musicians miss is that rock music is powerful and challenging in different ways. There are a variety of colors of sound in rock music that come from the experimentation of countless performers with electrical effects, performance techniques and instrumentation that most string players simply ignore.
Joe 2.0 has decided to jump with both feet into this world, electrifying the instruments, adding the energetic drums of Tony Keller, and the world class vocals of original Cheap Trick frontman, Xeno. The attempt is to create a totally new pop sound. On cover songs, using the electrified strings to emulate the original sounds and capture the essence of what made these songs work in the first place. With their original music, Joe 2.0 aims to produce something totally unique, yet accessible, creating sounds not heard before from a string quartet blended seamlessly with the lush sounds the instruments naturally produce.
In July of 2012, Joe 2.0 released their debut CD of original music, entitled "Better Living Through Strings".
Can a string quartet truly rock? To answer that, we offer Joe 2.0.