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Joe Rian (pronounced Ryan) was adopted as an infant and raised in Rock Falls Illinois. He flunked out of college, moved out of the Midwest and scraped by like a 20 year old working multiple-minimum wage jobs.
The main gig was sweating away at gold and silver refinery on the west side of Phoenix AZ. Other jobs included telemarketing, working concrete, putting up and chasing hot air balloons, moving appliances and a very short stint collecting outstanding debts for characters you might find on a once popular TV series.
This was 1989 Arizona. That's when he won a American Stratocaster on a radio contest signed by Jeff Beck and Stevie Ray Vaughan. A Free ticket found him at the last ever SRV concert. Weirder yet is that he ended up working at Buddy Guy's while finishing school.. Summers would find him busking the streets of Chicago...where the real action was, on the city streets.
Mid 90’s blues revival indeed was certainly a thing Heavy Blues... Street Blues really. That was never the only thing. Certainly not a Bluesman, but a songwriter that likes to stir the sounds of Roots, Country and Folk Blues styles into a nice pot of soup. Someone said it best at a live show: "Really Good Music - Saturday Night Music".