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A Musical Life

A Musical Life: Joe Stumpe

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Carrie Rengers
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Joe Stumpe is a Wichita-based singer-songwriter who has recently released the CD Jump The Track under his own name. He is also a member of the band Fly By Night and a journalist with more than 30 years of experience.

“I studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and have been a working journalist since 1983 in Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and here.

There’s one song on the CD that’s taken directly from some court documents I was looking at while covering an old court case. It’s called ‘Ten Minutes’ It’s a letter from a prisoner to his wife, complaining that she won’t pick up the phone when he calls. I’m not sure why it was in the court file but there it was. It was kind of heart-rending to read. I’ve since had people tell me, ‘Yeah, that’s my brother-in-law. My ex-brother-in-law keeps calling the house and won’t answer the phone.

I like to have a good time. Pretty much anybody who knows me will tell you. For me, getting out and playing music is really just about doing that. I’ll throw in the occasional serious song but I would much rather have people dancing and bobbing their head with a smile on their face. And hopefully a cold beer in their hand when they’re listening to me. Because I do sound better the more you drink.”