Joel first picked up a guitar at age 5, and at his grandfather's "nudging" began taking lessons... 30-something years later, Joel has proven that the few months of lessons as a child may pay off.

Born in Waco, Texas, Joel was raised around music. His father David loved singing and writing songs and Joel's mother Marcy was quite the singer herself - sitting in with bands and belting out tunes by Kitty Wells, Patsy Cline, and more. As a young boy, Joel was always within earshot of music. Joel's grandfather got him a Fender Stratocaster and a Randall Commander II amp when he was 5 and paid for Joel to take lessons. He performed his first show at the Kate Ross Center that year, playing rhythm guitar on the songs "Silver Thread and Golden Needles" and "Mountain of Love" with his instructor's band. They gave him the tips they made that night. Joel kept the guitar but quit taking lessons and didn't touch it again for about 10 years.

As children from broken homes do, Joel spent many weekends at his dad's house. One day he found a beat-up acoustic and asked his dad about it and he gave it to Joel. Joel took it to the local music store and was sold some strings and  was shown how they were put on. Joel remembered a few chords from all those years ago and began not only playing, but writing as well. By the time he was 16, Joel had written a couple dozen songs that the walls of his bedroom surely became tiresome of hearing.

In Central Texas in the 90s, honky-tonk dancing meant one thing - Cherokee Rose. Cherokee Rose was Waco's premier country band and Joel made almost every show for several years at the local dancehalls. When he was about 21 he got a job with them doing stage sound and lights. He learned about speakers, amps, eq's, and all the things that a professional musician needs to know about the gear. He put all that knowledge to good use when he got the call to join another Central Texas band - Wayward Sons - as the rythym guitarist. Joel didn't do much singing when he joined the band, maybe a song or two a night. But with the help of his vocal coach - who coincidentally happened to be his girlfriend and future wife Michelle - he learned to sing better and soon started getting to sing with the band more and more. After several years of being a 4-piece band they became a trio and Joel got thrust into the role of being the only guitarist in the band - covering rhythm and lead duties - and singing now half the songs.

Fast forward almost 20 years later, Joel is still with Wayward Sons, but also plays acoustic shows on his own - showcasing his talent as not only a vocalist, but as a songwriter. Joel performs a whole other catalog of material at his acoustic shows - keeping them and the band's shows separate as possible. Catch one of his shows and you'll understand.

Joel is married and has 3 children. He is an avid fan of the Texas Rangers, Dallas Cowboys, and Texas Longhorns. He is a proud supporter of the US military. He is a passionate baseball fan and enjoys playing golf. Joel would very much like to thank the Zehler family for their support and sponsorship.