AUDIO: Shaped by the past

Multiple musical guides inspired Joey Verskotzi’s view of music

Story by Tyler Henderson, Multimedia editor

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Joey Verskotzi grew up with a long line of musical heroes, including John Lennon, Jack White, Wilco and even actor Jack Black after his famous role in “School of Rock” back in 2003.

From influence to influence, Verskotzi became a well-rounded musician and put that training on display at The Cabin for three shows last weekend.

Verskotzi, with a band that goes by his last name, is a Minneapolis-based artist who brings indie rock and classic genres to the table, including classic rock, funk and blues.

The band performed its most recent album, Lemon Heart, for a packed venue while Verskotzi threw in a few newly-written songs of his own toward the end.

Senior Forest Friedrichs said he liked how the band electrified the calm vibe of The Cabin.

“They had energy,” he said. “It was a low key venue, but they had presence … It was great fun.”

A few of Verskotzi’s new songs, with at least two of them performed solo with Verskotzi on the guitar and vocals, were recently written when he spent some time in Nashville with some other songwriters, learning their craft. There, he found the best practice is to keep it simple.

“I love a good melody,” Verskotzi said. “Anything that comes down to the melody is great for me.”

Having grown up learning the piano, Verskotzi began to play the drums when he was 10. Although he continued to play the drums, even playing drum set in his college jazz ensemble, his true love for the complexities of music began when he picked up his first guitar at 14 years old.

“I remember looking at the guitar and saying, ‘There are so many ways I can use this,’” he said. “I felt overwhelmed by the options of what I could do.”

Now, with his own band planning to both record and do an East Coast tour before winter is over.

“It’s a mountain of stuff to do,” he said. “But it’s good; we’re excited.”