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"The first compilation tape I got from Benny with new songs on it, I was amazed at the amount of time he must have spent researching my previous records and the kind of music I liked," Joe told The Boot and other reporters at last week's press conference announcing the new label. "Sometimes that first compilation, you're feeling your way with the new partnership, but it didn't feel like that at all when I received the CD from Benny. I could tell he knew something about my background and the songs I had previously recorded. He's like, 'Here's what I have. You've done this in the past. This worked and these songs would be great. This didn't work so leave it alone.'"
Joe adds that he appreciates the label head's organic, straightforward approach. "Sometimes as an artist you get wrapped up in what you are doing and you can't be objective. Benny offers that objective look, and you can't argue with the success he's had with people like Jason Aldean."
Another thing you can't argue with Joe about is his love for his daughters, 14-year-old Ashelyn and six-month old Dylan.
"Dylan is growing like a weed," says the proud papa. "She's a sweetheart. It breaks my heart when I have to leave her at home. Part of my motivation at the new label is to have more success so we can take the family on the road with us. I'd love to be able to do that.
Ashelyn, he notes, is "14 going on 24. She aggravates the hell out of me. And she's really smart, which is awful. You know when the child is little you wish for that, but when they grow up you're like, 'I wish they didn't have that spark.' [laughs] She always tries to out-think you."
Ashelyn is a freshman in high school and he popularity with classmates has proven challenging at home. "She was the only freshman homecoming attendant, which made her ego go through the roof," Joe explains. "I'm getting a dose of what I was like to deal with after my first No. 1. 'Oh this is how it goes, freshman, big opportunity, everyone is looking at you, and all of a sudden you become a diva.' Seriously, she's got a great future, if she'll just stop looking at boys! I tell her, no boys until after Harvard!"
Joe's Red Bow debut is expected early in 2013.