Marion County Fair among upcoming concert venues

He’s worn a lot of hats, but the most comfortable one for Nashville recording artist Joe Shinkle is his cowboy hat. This country singer, guitar in hand, has made his mark nationally and locally. Currently, he can be heard with his band Joe Shinkle and 99West, but country music fans also will remember him from Band of Brothers.

Shinkle believes in following his dreams. Several years ago he went to the local Ford dealership, bought a car, loaded everything he owned into it, and set off for Nashville. He arrived without invitation or contacts, but he soon made his way into the music community. He left a year later with a recorded album.

Soon after returning home, he suffered a horseback riding accident that left him bedridden for three months.

“I had a lot of time to think — what do I want to do with my life? I knew it was music,” Shinkle said. “I could have been so seriously injured that I couldn’t play and sing any more. I’m thankful every day that I can walk, and I am grateful for every moment that I can stand on stage.”

He spent an entire summer recovering from his injuries, but as soon as he could, he started making phone calls to form a new band. His first call was to Roy Roland, who had played fiddle for Band of Brothers. Roland immediately said that he was in, and suggested that Shinkle call bass player Ron Lindahl. Lindahl listened to Shinkle’s Nashville album and he was on board too.

Next, he approached lead guitar players Kenny Hines and Nolan Crow, formerly of Desert Moon. They went though five drummers in three months until, according to Joe, “we found our man” — Stirlan Hulsey.

They play a variety of music, but Shinkle’s sound is classic country. His voice is easy to listen to and the instrumentals enhance rather than overwhelm his vocals. Shinkle is grateful that he can still play music, and he is grateful for the people who make it possible.

“I wouldn’t be anywhere if it wasn’t for the band and the people who come to see the shows.”