I became attracted to playing music at the age of 9 while emulating television advertising jingles on my father’s dusty guitar. At about 11 years old, and after listening to a lot of traditional country radio and tunes like “Misty” and “East Bound and Down”, I became highly interested in the 5 string banjo. I quickly realized that at least in our part of Oklahoma, a teacher was not to be found (no internet, no youtube in those days)! Doing the best we could, my parents finally helped me to settle on music theory classes taken from an elderly jazz piano player. He found and gifted me my very first set of steel banjo picks! As I progressed, I quickly had to change from those pointed Ernie Balls to a rightful set of Nationals. I probably still have those first picks…somewhere.

I spent the majority of my early teenage years listening to AM 650 WSM Nashville and WBAP 820 in Fort Worth, while at the same time playing in various local bluegrass bands. That was a time when my best music memories were made. I was very blessed to have performed with many of the greats. From local opry’s to the stages of Nashville, Tennessee, it was a golden time in my learning and experiences.

My music career has taken on many configurations over the years from bluegrass bands, southern rock, traditional country and gospel groups. In 2022, I completed my long awaited first album and EP titled “Joel Scarbrough Singer Songwriter.” This record features songs that all tell stories of life. From a young age and growing up on a farm, to breakups, and of course loneliness. The contemporary light rock piece “Who Made the Light” is a song about this blue marble that we all inhabit and a one sided discourse on where it all came from. I’ve always been a writer, and there’s something refreshing about putting that ability to file and letting other instrumentalists follow your lead.