Bookmans Speedway enjoys introducing Tucson to musical talent in our community. Wake Up Joel is pure local, born in Sierra Vista and Tucson. Band creator Roderick Stevens began his music career young. As many toddlers, Roderick began playing the drums at 4 years-old, but quickly showed a greater aptitude than most. He quickly moved on to other instruments including guitar, bass, piano, mandolin, ukulele and finally vocals.

Wake Up Joel at Bookmans Speedway

Roderick explains that his musical influences include, “Muse and The National, to Minute Men and Russian metal groups with names I can’t pronounce, to Jon Brion, Talking Heads and elements of electronica.”

Roderick has had many bands including his first in 2001 Black and White, then Raw Documents, Peppermint, Telegraph Road, The Winner Was She, and Wake Up Joel. Wake Up Joel released their online album The Giant Squid (2010), which included their first single, Mother Aches. A year later they had the chance to fly to Indianapolis to work with Tyler Watkins (bassist/producer for Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s) at Queensize, Margot’s studio. The project was a labor of love that was 5 years in the making being completed and released on July of this year.

The band’s talented members include Jacob on bass, Tim and Alex are the string section, and Jacob and Jesse are on guitars. Wake Up Joel plays mostly around Tucson/Sierra Vista/Bisbee/Douglas and has also done several acoustic shows in Flagstaff including an in-studio performance/interview for NAU television and radio stations.

The band is well into the writing process for their second LP and trying to build a fan base at home before they go on tour next year. This talented combo played their first Bookmans performance this month at Bookmans Speedway to great reviews. Don’t miss your next chance to see Wake Up Joel in person. They will perform a onetime show from 1 to 3 p.m. on February 7, 2015 at Bookmans Speedway. You will be hearing more from these musicians, so mark your calendars for this exciting event.