“Thanks Joe for keeping me rollin’ so many miles, and for all them damn speeding tickets. (It was worth it though brother). I believe yours is the best trucker rock album ever made. I'll never stop loving that "Demon Wind". - Doug Metzger
It is with a heavy heart that I write that Joe Lee Smith passed away New Year’s Day, 2013 at the age of 60. He had been in the VA hospital in Loma Linda, California for several weeks due to complications from COPD and diabetes.
First off, Joe Lee Smith is not a musician who decided to make an album about big truckin'. There's plenty of those guys out there already; some good, some not so good, and some in need of a good butt kickin'. No, Joe Lee is just a good ol' boy from Celina, Texas who grew up playing guitar but wound up making a living driving long-haul, over the last thirty years almost 3 million miles worth, and counting. But the music was always in him and eventually it had to come out. And boy did it ever. And that's the second thing you need to know. If you're looking for music with fiddles, banjos and twangy guitars you'd best just back out of here right now. Cause Joe Lee came of age listening to Skynyrd, ZZ Top, Hendrix and the like. Talk about rockin' down the highway! So be warned, this is not your daddy's road music. Matter of fact, your daddy just might give you a good butt kickin' if he catches you listening to it. Unless he grew up listening to Elvis and Chuck Berry...
Joe Lee Smith
Smokin' Joe In Overdrive
One listen and you'll agree, there's never been an album of road music like this. First its off to outlaw school, and Joe Lee's remembrance of the man who broke him out, "Tommy"... Next up, "Steel Ridin' Cowboys" is a soon-to-be-classic about what it means to be a trucker. You can't listen to this song without feeling a surge of justifiable pride... "Hammer Lane" pretty much sums up the feeling of having 400 kitties purring under the hood... Sometimes, driving day after night for months at a time can become an addiction, and that's what "Demon Wind" is all about... "A Song For Mama" is a beautiful tribute to the most important woman in Joe Lee's life... See those train tracks running right there next to the highway? "Piggyback Ride (Take This Train To Hell)" is JL's not-so-tender ode to the railroad... Pushing it too far and too often is the demise of "Reefer Madness", a story about cheap freight and high lease payments... And of course, in the end love always finds a way, even if it's only "In My Dreams". Included with the CD is a 12 page, full-color booklet that contains all the words to the songs. You'll be singing along in no time!
"Smokin' Joe In Overdrive" is hard-drivin' music for a hard-drivin' lifestyle, so slide it in, turn it up and wind her out. Head on over to the Travel Store and pick up a copy. This one's for you.