Smooth Sailing for Captain Joe Kent During Exciting Nashville Trip

Captain Joe Kent performs at Lyrics for Lyric at Pick's Nashville this past February

Louisiana riverboat captain and country songwriter Captain Joe Kent had the time of his musical life during a recent visit to Music City.

During a hectic few days set up by Nashville Music Guide executive editor and TCM Records head Randy Matthews, Captain Joe performed at Pick’s Nashville in the Lyrics For Lyric monthly series; played the next night at Tony Stampley’s Songwriters Night; had several key meetings and a fine photo session; and co-wrote a song with Tony that Stampley has already demoed.

“I have found a whole new family up there in Nashville,” Captain Joe said in a conversation from a Louisiana waterway between New Orleans and Morgan City in mid-March, when it was already almost 80 degrees. “Kymberly, Joe, and Randy Matthews all made me part of the family. So did all of them people at Pick’s, so when I played I couldn’t be really nervous because I was among people that cared about me.”

And when the captain came to Nashville, he brought a boatload of fans from all over to cheer him on. There were Captain Joe friends and fans from the states of Louisiana,  Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri and Georgia. Other folks from Alabama and across the country tuned in to the live Webcast on

“That shows the impact I’ve had across the nation,” Joe says.

The captain had been thinking about this Nashville trip for quite awhile, in many ways almost his whole musical life.

“It didn’t really dawn on me till we pulled up at the Best Western,” he says of arriving on Music Row with wife Denise and daughter Dianna. “We went in to get our room and everything, and the adrenaline started flowing.”

He continues: “I told myself that this is what I was up here for. I got a little nervous at first, because this is my childhood dream, and one that I thought would never be fulfilled.

Joe Kent poses for photo shoot with Bob Coan with New Media Edge

“This is one of the happiest times of my life,” he says.

Captain Joe, after the requisite five or six beers, was a terrific hit at the Lyrics For Lyric show at Pick’s. The next night, Stampley, a Louisiana native himself, invited Joe onstage at Tony’s own writer’s night.

“He called me on stage after only one beer,” Kent says, smiling. “I learned that I will never step on stage without five or six beers.”

Another bud of the captain’s, an Arkansas cowboy named James Adair, is such a fan of all of Captain Joe’s songs that he actually requested one that Kent had not rehearsed for his Nashville shows.

But as always, the captain weathered that musical storm as well, and did his usual superb job.

Meanwhile, Captain Joe also met with Bob Coan of for a photo session.

“The photos came out just awesome, and Bob told me a lot of trade secrets,” Kent says.

Joe also had several key meetings with Randy Matthews. Both are actually opening publishing companies – Randy’s called Oil Trash Music, reflecting his proud Oklahoma roots and great accomplishments in the oil and natural gas businesses; and Joe’s is called Boat Trash Music, which he and the Missouri tunesmith and artist Curtis Lyn Cook will run.

A co-writing session with Tony Stampley yielded a new song called “The Party’s On” which is already being pitched around Music Row.

“It’s an awesome, bad-ass song,” Captain Joe says. “Everybody’s extremely excited about the song, including Tony. It’s already being billed as a hit.”

Stampley and Kent have become fast friends. Both are talkative country boys with strong Louisiana roots, and both are highly creative, passionate types with writers’ souls.

Besides, Joe Kent has dreamt of writing with Tony Stampley for a long, long time. Kent’s greatest musical hero is likely Hank Williams Jr., for whom Tony has written more than a dozen songs. And Bocephus was very close with Merle Kilgore, the country manager and songwriter (Merle co-wrote “Ring Of Fire” with June Carter Cash) who was the only Music Row executive who encouraged Joe Kent early in his songwriting career.

“Everything that Randy Matthews set up for me turned out to be a huge success,” the captain says. “Playing at Pick’s for the Lyrics For Lyric went over well. I was taken well there. And Randy set up that writer’s appointment for me with Tony Stampley.”

Don’t be at all surprised if we hear the results of that dynamic duo at country radio sometime soon.

Another delight for Joe Kent was bringing some of his crew along with him, including pilot Eric Stern, known as Big E. After both returned from Nashville, Big E asked Captain Joe something nobody had ever requested before.

“I want my guitar signed by you,” Big E said.

After happily signing, Joe told Big E, “finally I feel like an official celebrity.”

Captain Joe’s life has changed dramatically since the Nashville Music Guide, thanks to Kym Matthews’s sharp recommendation, first wrote about the captain last fall. His Web presence and fan base have exploded since then. So has his cell phone, now often with requests from other writers wanting to co-write.

“The Nashville Music Guide has opened up all kinds of doors for me,” he says. “Way back when, I thought if I ever made it to Nashville that I would be saying `thank God.’ Now, after 20 some-odd years the apt response would be, ‘it’s about time.’ ”

Patience and hard work have truly paid off for Captain Joe Kent, with huge assists from Randy Matthews and the whole NMG and TCM Records teams.

By Phil Sweetland


  1. Captain Joesephus,

    I was browsing “You Tube” and ran across your uploads. I was so moved by your impressive lyrics and timely rythmn. We need more Country Singing Outlaws. God bless you for making this world a more bueatiful place with music.. I would love to hear you play if your ever in the Birmingham , Alabama area.

  2. Congratulations on all your success Joe. May all your hard work and dedicaztion to your craft pay off for you in the future. I know I don’t have a musical bone in my body but somehow we still managed to become pretty good friends in spite of it. See you at the top of the charts my friend.

  3. I had the time of my live in June at farm fest with Captain Joe and his wife. Captain Joe is a very special person inside and out as is his wife. I am so proud of you Joe. New you would make it and do anything you want. From an old Captain’s granddaughter to an awesome Captain, songwriter, and friend. Love ya’ll

  4. Blu-Thanks so much-you are one of the people who cared when not too many did!! I love you my brother and I hope to make you proud!! If I ever impress you then I will have succeeded in impressing myself-cause there was a time that I hoped to be like you!! See you at the top of the charts!!

  5. Love u and your music keep it up can’t wait to see how far your gonna go see you soon brother

  6. Chuck-the closest I ever had to a real, blood brother!! You brought back a lot of great memories!! I also remember staying in trouble for not being able to memorize multiplication tables. Had someone put it to a beat and made a song out of it I would have never missed one!! The reason I never gave up on the music and songwriting is simply because it is such a basic part of me that I would have to cut out a chunk of my soul in order to lay it down!! Win, lose or draw I will be writing songs!! There was a bit of poetry there in your comment too so there’s some of it in you as well!! I have been fortunate to have you around when a lot of the good ones were written-and yes you were a big influence and we built a lifetime of outlaw songs when we were running wild!! Of course I did change some names and details here and there to protect the not so innocent!! All in all we had a helluva a time keeping up our bad reputations!! Looking where we are both at today is only a direct result of the good Lord watching over us!! Of course give us half a chance together and we will get wild still at the drop of the hat-and we usually don’t wait for someone to drop a hat-we just throw it on the ground ourselves!! My mom was asking me not so very long ago what I had done to my head!! My reply was-I was hanging out with Chuck-she immediately understood with no further explanation!! Outlaw up!! See you at the top of the charts!!

  7. Smooth sailing for captain Joe
    Seeing that makes me grin as I think back to when we called you little Joe.
    Do you remember hearing little Joe stop drumming on the table or little Joe stop humming or little Joe do you ever stop singing.I think even when you were little Joe Kent you knew music would always be part of you. I don’t think you imagined it would take this long but you always knew.
    You have the heart of a poet and the soul of an outlaw and the songs you write have meaning and history. I know this because some of that history we made together . I know we are cousins but you will always be my other brother. You know the one some of us call little Joecephous
    I’m verry proud of you

  8. Capt. Joe, great articel I’m glad to see youre on your way love ure songs and congrats on your nashville gig. You had a dream and you stuck to it now its starting to pay off. I to had the same dream but I gave up on mine when I started workin in these damn boats, didnt think i could do both but you proved me wrong. Anyway congrats on the whole deal your friend and fellow capt. The Bogyman

    • Captain Bogyman, It’s been great working with you brother!! Don’t give up on your dreams-You’re never to old to start!! Look at Colonel Sanders!! Thanks for your support and for teaching me some of the good old stuff on the guitfiddle!! See you at the top of the charts!!

  9. Congratulations captain Joe we are all proud that you are on the.way. you had a dream and you stayed. On course now all your hard. Work. Is paying. Off I’m proud. To call you friend as a fellow picker I too had the dream. But i gave up on it many years ago now I’m. Happy. For you. So Congrats from. The bogyman



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  11. Joe, glad to C things are going your way…not sure how long the N.M. gig will last, but keep in touch, you never know… out for that (“Devil in the Bottle) ! Have a “good” one;)

  12. Congratulations Capt Joe! I known you for quite a few years and have always seen you put 110% in everything you do. I am proud to call you a friend……”see ya at the top of the chartas”……Billy

  13. CLC-it’s pretty simple why I do what I do!! It’s never been about fame, glory or money for me!! It’s always been about the music and my heroes!! Whether you know it or not it is the same with you!! The first time I watched the Outlaws video I found a lot of me in that song!! I thought man I wish I would have wrote that because it said just what I wanted to say!! Therefore you immediately became a hero and that song became my favorite!! When you honored me by asking that Boat Trash publish your album I was immediately put on a mission!! I’ve had publishers in the past who wanted half the money while I did all the work-I made a commitment to make sure as a publisher that I actually did something!! You see your success is my success!! The same with the pilots I train-every time they are successful or rise up to captain then that is a feather in my hat!! Just like them you are doing the work-I’m just helping and collecting feathers along the way!! Soon we will have this incredible album Just My Luck to show for our efforts!! I get to be involved with one of my heroes and have a hand in some of my most favorite songs-That’s just my luck!! I was a fan before I was anything else so this mission I’m on is simply because I love and believe in what you do!! Look at all the magic happening around us-the kind of magic a man can go his whole life and never have happen!! I can’t take credit for that!! Randy Matthews and the whole NMG got it all started-then the fans showed up!! Phil Sweetland, Bob Coan and so many others have invested their time and efforts into our success!! Then just when we needed legal advice on the publishing company, a chance meeting on an airplane with a lawyer introduced me to a judge with all the things we needed to get us started!! Everything has been handed to us on a silver platter and we have no choice but to reach for the top!! I believe in order to succeed in life you just have to help enough other people to succeed!! Randy Matthews started that chain and has never asked for anything in return!! A whole lot of other people have given unselfishly with their time and talent!! I am giving my all to you and we will in the future give our all to others!! We will pave the streets of Nashville in solid country gold and we will beat out the competition simply with honesty, integrity and our willingness to help others!! See you at the top of the charts was just a catch phrase but now it is the reality of our dreams coming true!! You are going on TV and Radio shows and we have just begun!! Outlaw up and I’ll see you at the top of the charts my honky-tonk brother!!

  14. Well well, My honky tonk brother. Your “catch phrase” is “SEE YOU AT THE TOP OF THE CHARTS”..That’s a direct reflection of how you approach everything..Reaching the top!. I understand how you’ve gotten yourself this far but, I don’t understand why you want to and “insist” on pushing me there as well. You’ve made so many things happen for me that, it’s hard to comprehend why you want to. Well, I’ve figured it out!! It’s just the way you are. You shared your expericences with me and others and it’s touched alot of folks. No way I would be where I’m at today without my “OUTLAW BROTHER”…We’re that, and we’re business partners, I tell everyone you’re my MANAGER…Hell, your better than most I’ve ever had or could ever have and, you do it all without taking any of the credit for what you’ve been able to accomplish. The power of positive thinking had to have been created by you my brother.
    Now, I look up this page, and (it’s a long way to the top) because so many folks love and adore you for what you are, A REAL LIFE PERSON.. Just look how much support you have gotten. Not many Country artists can accomplish what you have in this magazine. I am proud that Randy, Kymberly, Joe and the others see what I have seen in you. I have the perfect explanation for it all..That just being yourself is enough. I love your ability to write your feelings in a song. You’ve taught me that my songs are more about me than I really ever realized. Thanks for all you do for me and everyone else who is “PROUD” to call Ol’ Jocephus a Friend. We love ya man,

  15. Joe I am so very proud of you cuz…. But just thought I’d remind you , you still need to say Thank God. You know all things happen on his time not yours. You are mature enough now to handle it. I love you and the family dearly and again I am so very proud of your success. I’d love to get a cd of your songs I’ve really only heard the older ones. Call me next time you are home so I can come see yall. Talk to you soon . Oh by the way you have the heart of a lion you don’t need any beer to get on stage. We have the same blood running through our veins and however I can’t sing but getting up in front of people to talk doesn’t scare me so I know you will do great regardless you just need confidence in yourself . I know its there let it shine my wonderful cousin. Alcohol doesn’t deserve the credit only you deserve it. Muwah much love to yall…….. better be thanking Denise for supporting your music and of course putting up with you. Lol.

    • Miss Shannon-Thanks so much for your comments and advice!! I love ya’ll greatly and will be looking forward to seeing you soon!! See you at the top of the charts!!

  16. Joe I am so very proud of you cuz…. But just thought I’d remind you , you still need to say Thank God. You know all things happen on his time not yours. You are mature enough now to handle it. I love you and the family dearly and again I am so very proud of your success. I’d love to get a cd of your songs I’ve really only heard the older ones. Call me next time you are home so I can come see yall. Talk to you soon . Oh by the way you have the heart of a lion you don’t need any beer to get on stage. We have the same blood running through our veins and however I can’t sing but getting up in front of people to talk doesn’t scare me so I know you will do great regardless you just need confidence in yourself . I know its there let it shine my wonderful cousin. Alcohol doesn’t deserve the credit only you deserve it. Muwah much love to yall……..

  17. Hey Ken-Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment my brother!! I do appreciate your continuous support!! See you at the top of the charts!!

  18. Great going Capt. Joe! You are one awesome song writer and singer. You’re gonna rock Nashville and all the country music lovers!

    • Miss Beckie-it has been a blast getting to know you!! You are one of the rowdy outlaw women that we love, talk about and write songs about all the time!! Your love of life and sense of humor is a warm inspiration!! I am awed that you and your rowdy girlfriends will be making that long trip in June just to come jam out with me and CLC!! We love y’all for that and can’t wait!! See you at the top of the charts!!

  19. Hey Nashville is a super place been there. Great to see ya on dry land ya river boat man. Keep on with that great voice of yours blow em away in Nashville movin towards the top Ken

  20. Capt. Joe the article about you was awesome!! Im proud to say i work along side you. Your music is awesome. Keep up the great work and ill be listening to your music while im southbound and down!!

    • Capt. Brad, Thanks so much for being a fan but more importantly for being a brother!! I’m thrilled that you are digging my songs while you are digging down the river!! The river is getting mighty dangerous out there so y’all be careful!! See you at the top of the charts!!

    • Thank you Stacey-It’s great to be in such good company!! I hope Waylon and I can work on a project together one day-he is such a great talent!! Pens up and I’ll see you at the top of the charts!!

  21. Joe, Keep going to the top. Congratz I know you have been waiting a long to. I listen to u new one each time u post them . Love them all. – Catch ya later Sis

    • Thank you Miss Sis-I appreciate you listening and supporting me!! It is the great fans like you that are listening all the time that makes it all worth while!! Pens up and I’ll see you at the top of the charts!!

  22. You got it Captain Jocephus! I think Tony played at the Key West Songwriters Festival this week; here’s to you playing there with him next year – after you 2 have had your first No. 1 as co-writers at country radio!!!!

  23. Even though I have only recently been turned on to “Joecephus” Captain Joe Kent’s music..I have to admit I am already a big fan. There is a soul, passion and grit that comes from Mr. Kent’s music…that is not only comforting…but a breath fresh air to the modern country music scene. After listening to my personal favorite “Son Of The Highway” I wouldn’t hesitate to compare Mr. Kent to one of the biggest legends of country music…The Great Waylon Jennings. There is no doubt that I will be tuning into my favorite country music station and soon be hearing the greatest hits of Captain Joe Kent “Joecephus”……………………………. I wish you much Success.

    • Miss Debra-it has been great having you as a relatively new fan but in that short period of time you have become a great friend as well!! I am honored to be one of the few that you have shared lyrics that you penned yourself with!! You have brought a lot of folks over to meet me and become fans and you have shared my music with so many others!! You are one of my favorites and I am so glad we met!! You share that same creative Jenius that I know so well and it has sought many avenues with you-you are a very multi-talented young lady and enjoy your work and passion!! I hope that I can be a positive influence to that song writer that you have inside and I hope I can help you develop and explore that talent!! You know where I’m at if I can help or encourage!! Pens up my love and I’ll see you at the top of the charts!!

  24. Hey Captain Jocephus – – – – Always an honor to write about folks like you and Randy&Kym Matthews, Curtis Lyn Cook and Joe Matthews. We’re already getting lots of radio folks asking about you and CLC since your news releases ran in Country Insider this week. So keep on sailing all of your songs straight to No. 1! Lord knows, country radio needs the kind of music that you, CLC, and Joe are creating and recording.

    • Phil-Thanks again for all the great support!! It means a great deal to have someone writing about me that has actually listened to and likes the songs!! See you at the top of the charts!!

  25. joe I am so very proud of you, it has been long in coming, and i think this is just the tip of the iceburge for you, i am so happy you got to live you’r dream i know i will also someday for they do come true,you are the best son i ever had,love you much

    • Hey Mom-ain’t it great?? I think when I first started really pushing this song writing thing most folks thought I was crazy and I’m sure I nearly drove ya’ll crazy in the process!! I intend to make ya’ll proud!! Not many people will catch the humor in your comment-guess I learned that from you-of course I’m the best son seeings how I was the only son!! Guess that makes me the worst as well-Hahahaha!! I’ve got a bad reputation to keep up you know!! Love you very much!! See you at the top of the charts!!

  26. Hey there Captain Jocephus – – – – WAY TO GO on all the new adventures, and on the nice note from your distinguished co-writer Tony Stampley! You both are “Admirals” in my book!

    • Phil, Man I think you have the Midas touch-seems every story, bio or press release that you write turns to gold!! We bring stories to life in song but when you work your magic our stories are larger than life!! Anyone that is looking to have a bio or press release written need look no further than my good friend and honky-tonk brother Phil Sweetland!! It has been a great pleasure working with you and getting to know you!! Your commitment to exact detail on every line is unmatched!! I consider you a close personal friend and I hope we have a long literary future ahead of us!! I think there is one other bio that I would love to see you pen-I think an autobiography of your unique experiences told about the adventures you have had would be a NY Times best seller!! You have a lot to be proud of and we have a lot to be thankful for because you are a part of our lives!! Thank you Phil and I appreciate your stopping by to comment!! Pens up my brother and I’ll see you at the top of the charts!!

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