It sounds cliche, but I think Joe Sullivan almost literally has to write songs. In his corporate world of frequent flyer miles and expense reports, he would go nuts without the outlet. Joe will be the first to admit that his mind is all over the place. You’ll find many different versions of the same song because he can’t quite decide how he wants it to be. I don’t think of this as a bad thing at all. sometimes he’ll dig up old songs and give them an entirely new life, as is the case with KEEP THE LIGHT ON, a song that everyone loved six or seven years ago, but a completely reimagined version of it came out on this years Villaintine’s compilation and blew everyone away.
I’ve always admired and even been envious of his use of imagery, and location plays a big role in that: the east coast where the apples grow vs. these old orange groves. etc. etc. That even bleed into the name of his band at one point. He once went by the name Joe St. Thomas and the Mountain Meadow. Mountain Meadow being the name of a road in the North San Diego town that we grew up in. Joe and I grew up down the street from each other not far from Mountain Meadow Rd. We both grew up without brothers, me being an only child and Joe being blessed with three sisters. It wasn’t until years later that we acknowledged that we filled the brotherly gap for each other, but I honestly think of him as my brother.