So You Want to Be a Cowboy

Doylestown has been home to famous musicians for over a century. Legends like Oscar Hammerstein, Pink, Broadway stars like Jenny Lee Stern and Justin Guarini, Blues hall of fame band Little Red Rooster, and White House, Kennedy Center and late night television regular Eric Mintel. One Direction’s Zane Malik recorded cuts from his debut album here. The Weeknd has been sighted around town. And Doylestown’s favorite son, Tim Stack, crooned a Hammerstein ditty from “Oklahoma!” in an Emmy-worthy episode of “Son of the Beach.”

It’s a small town in Pennsylvania dotted with small stages. Places like Puck, Maxwell’s on Main, Chamber’s, and Villa Capri. And Siren Records, a vinyl respite in a digital world.

Joe Montone is a long time employee at the record store. He calls himself a community advocate who transforms audiences through live music, but those of us in town and the surrounding area know him as the person who makes the music happen.

Pre-vinyl, he reached deep into a decade of working with artists, labels and agents across a jukebox of genres, to create the popular Craft Culture series for Maxwell’s on Main, producing more than 500 live music and special events for the venue. He was also the brainchild of the venue’s Double Take Thursday series, where local musical acts performed whole sides of famous albums in competition.

Creating the scene in a town like this would be enough for just about anyone. But Joe is also an artist and performer. We shot this image during an evening shoot in my makeshift home office studio. The photographs served as the backdrop for a poster promoting his “Holy Heat Thunder” classic country show at his old haunt. And then it was back to his advocate roots, organizing and hosting a new evening event at the Michener Art Museum complete with interactive gallery tours and musical performances he curated.

You can read more about Joe in this terrific profile in JumpPhilly.

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