Joey Eppard On Unknown Sundays 2024


Wake Pig.  That’s the cover I see with outstretched, oddly shaped hands arms, or is that tree-branches as arms.  Is the band Wake Pig, or is the album name Wake Pig.  Is it both.  This is the used bin in another record store (because, goddamnit, I’m addict, remember), and I’m flipping it one by one, taking each album cover in and calculating the possibilities of what kind of music it just might be sight unlistened, or “unknown” as it fits for this Sunday’s Unknown Sunday.  Okay, what else do I see, well this number “3” in cased in a sticker and on the cover.  The sticker is stating that they’re going for ADDS November 9th, and the suggested tracks to play are 1,3, and 6.  Oh, and a website (so they’ve got a website, and of course in 2004, I’m really not going to be able search anything as I don’t have a smart device at this time).  This is obviously a promo copy, and it’s in the used bin for such a reason, and the price is right, and the songs on the back are short with one being ‘dogs of war.’  I’m finally sold on my three-dollar-and-ninety-nine cents when the record label is Planet Noise Records.  Why?  Not because I know them, or have other bands that I recall on that label.  It’s because it kind of tells me that Wake Pig or “3” are going to be making some noise.  The band is “3” here on Unknown Sundays, but the man I find out behind it has more of signature than expected.  Joey Eppard on Unknown Sunday 2024.

The progressive rock band, 3 (three), was my first foray into the guitar styling uniqueness of Joey Eppard, which is finger-tapping rhythm.  He doesn’t seem to be a guitar pick user from what I discern, playing electric and or acoustic free-hand for the most part, utilizing every inch to the guitar to create the sounds the dominate and fluctuate the sound that is the band, as well as in his own solo record, Been to the Future (2002).  What makes it progressive is that style, the sway into acoustic from electric, elongating the songs into epic proportions.  Also, though, Joey’s vocal, siren-like style is the other added component that puts the music at the progressive rock and even alternative genre.  Wake Pig in 2004 got two releases, one under the Planet Noise Record label, but then it also was released under Metal Blade (which certainly is the bigger name in the bunch, and would be the record label for the band permanently there forward)‘Bramfatura’ into ‘Trust’ is an example of the carefully laiden combination of it all, at least on Wake Pig.  As the band moved forward, they certainly homed that sound and skill set, making larger productions in the 2007’s The End is Begun, the Revisions record in 2009, and the final album, The Ghost That You Gave Me.

Joey Eppard knew how to weave a song in lyric and let his voice work in softer songs, too, which definitely added to the flow and dynamic of recordings, creating the overall progressive feel of the albums.  While the hard hitting alternative progressive rock would be that which would gain attention of rockers, it would be the complete albums that drove the hardline base of fans that enjoyed the progressive nature and characteristics of their sound.  A triple threat, really.  Joey, while his voice isn’t completely unique, it leans much more progressive than pop or rock (think Getty Lee, Steve Wilson, and Dream Theater’s James LaBrie).  In fact, back on the anniversary of Woodstock, the band and Eppard were getting in line with record executives in the likes of Porcupine Tree and Dream Theater, which is another falling out record executive firing story of delay that was more than common in those days.  But, they were young, and were able to endure.

Joey’s Been To the Future solo album is a slight departure from the overall progressive sound, collecting his musical talents and guitar playing into a more acoustic, singer-songwriter indie-stage with hints of progressive natures that kind of might fall into a little more funk and experimental.  It even showcases a different range of his vocals like in ‘Stranded In A Tree Top.’   The overall delivery of the record was well produced from top to bottom, but obviously it didn’t move a lot of units.  However, we in the music multiverse know talent and appreciate the dedication and exploration of the craft of music, songwriting and audio creativity in all genres.  That’s why we’re here, and Mr. Eppard is a great example of diversified talent top to bottom.

Joey has toured and performed with the likes of Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree, Coheed and Cambria (which is brother is the drummer of), Opeth, Atreyu, Within Temptation, Between the Buried and Me, Cynic, Scorpions, Heart, George Clinton & P-Funk, Little Feat, Aztec Two-Step, Todd Rungren, Orleans and many more!  Joey is also was a member of the band DRUGS with members of P-Funk, and an original member of Travis Stever’s Fire Duece.  During COVID shutdown, Joey and his wife did, “Staying In With Joey Eppard” which were a pretty big hit.  I certainly like those kinds of performances back then, as I was certainly hoping to hear more of Joey Eppard and whatever inclination of band or solo art might be forthcoming.

While I’m fairly certain Joey Eppard will emerge somewhere, I am very grateful that there is a catalog to enjoy.  He is an interesting guitar player, and “3” (three) was a very unique sounding progressive rock band that during its run was always in my stereo of car or at work.  They consistently made very good music that is worthy of being in your catalog, or at least something you should explore in a music rabbit hole.

Albums of Joey Eppard and “3” (three) in my collection
  • Paint by Number (1999, Planet Noise)
  • Half Life (2002, Planet Noise)
  • Joey Eppard Solo:  Been to the Future (2002, Planet Noise)
  • Summercamp Nightmare (2003, Planet Noise)
  • Wake Pig (2004, Planet Noise / 2005, Metal Blade)
  • The End is Begun (2007, Metal Blade)
  • Revisions (2009, Metal Blade)
  • The Ghost You Gave to Me (2011, Metal Blade)


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