New York musician embraces Gladstone
JOEY Collins grew up in Chaumont, a tiny farming town on the Canadian border in upstate New York.
So it's a bit of a surprise the young musician chose to start his performing career in Gladstone.
After four years in the military, with long hours and two nine-month deployments, Collins decided he was due a change.
He set out for Europe in April last year and flew to Australia in October before travelling up the East Coast to Gladstone where his sister lives.
Collins has played guitar since he was 16 but it was in Gladstone that he started writing his own music and doing gigs.
Because of its industrial reputation, he was surprised by the diverse music scene the city offered.
"I'm really happy. I've met some awesome musicians here. Crow St is my favourite place to play," Collins said.
There was no music around where I grew up. I just played (guitar) at home by myself.
"Nobody really made bands and went to shows."
Collins's musical style ranges from blues to rock and he cited British guitarist and singer/ songwriter Eric Clapton as his biggest influence.
He's also drawn inspiration from John Mayer and Jimi Hendrix and appreciates the emo, punk, rock and indie genres.
Collins has started creating his first album, with nine original songs under his belt.
He said he likes to write about social issues: "Inequality, gender and nationality and those things."
But some of his songs are more personal too.
He's written about emotional states like anxiety and has penned one "random song" about a girl - "a ridiculous song".
"I was passing through Spain in the navy, she was a singer at a hotel we stayed at," Collins said.
"After a few drinks my friends convinced me to talk to her."
The chance encounter didn't lead to "happily ever after" Collins said but he did catch up with her later in Europe.
As well as performing at Crow St Creative, Collins has been working on a bluesy performance with local musician Kaycee Morgan.
Morgan is known for her RnB style pop music and also really enjoys blues as well, Collins said.
Collins will be in town until September or October.
He then plans to return to the States and do a complete 180 from being in the military - studying music at university.
Find him at ...
Collins performs as The Joey Collins Experience. Catch him tonight at The Dock, Open Mic and at Crow St Creative nights. He'll also play Rockhampton River Festival on July 14.