Local Music Artist Spreads Show Me-Inspired Melodies

Some call it acoustic magic.

Joe “The Biz” Bizelli, a 33-year-old singer/songwriter from New Melle, started playing open mic nights in St. Charles coffee houses and performing at a retirement home in 2003. Now he’s working with one of Tennessee’s aspiring country music artists, Cole Sitzlar.

After Joe moved to singing at bars, parties, wineries, corporate events and weddings, he eventually played music full-time and has kept strumming since.

“What separates Joe from other solo-acoustic musicians is his ability to cover a wide range of new and old music, including Mumford & Sons, the Lumineers, Tina Turner, Steve Miller Band, Bob Seger, Spin Doctors, Lady Gaga, Sublime, Cat Stevens, Rhianna, Dolly Parton, Dave Matthews Band, Beyonce and Blues Traveler,” says Bryan Herr, owner of Naked Vine in Chesterfield.

Joe’s first single, “Follow Me to New Melle,” was released on iTunes and YouTube in March 2016.

He says songwriting goals consumed him in May 2016 while witnessing some professional writers play at the Bluebird Café in Nashville.

“They were so incredibly talented that no one spoke or made a sound while they performed. I knew that night that was exactly what I wanted to do with my life.”

He spoke to American country music singer and songwriter Neil Thrasher after that show, who shared the following advice: “Write about 90 bad songs, and you’ll start to get the hang of it. Just keep writing, and you’ll either get better or you’ll quit.”

Joe admits he’s on about his 50th song. And he’s having some luck, given that he’s had three songs on the Nashville Songwriters Association International Top 40 list and a song in the top 10 of the CMT/NSAI National Song Contest.

“My goal is to become so good at writing songs that the writers I play with at songwriter’s nights have to argue over who plays after me,” he adds.

Locally, he’s played at the Wolf Café in Ballwin, the Songwriter’s Round at the Focal Point Theatre in Maplewood, the Monocle in St. Louis, Cork and Barrel in St. Peter’s, the Quarry Wine Garden in New Melle and Alpha Brewing Co. in St. Louis.

Typically, when Joe performs, he intersperses his originals among music hits from the 1950s and every decade thereafter.

Joe’s first Nashville cut, “Whatchu Think,” which was written with Bobby Evans and Jay Putty, was recorded by Jay in June 2017. His second Nashville cut, “Float Trip,” was recorded and released by Cole Sitzlar this summer, and the music video was released on Nov. 1.

“I love working the crowd as a musician, and I absolutely love what I do,” he says.

Joe’s Top 10 Favorite Songs to Perform

1. “Fishin’ in the Dark” by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

2. “We’ve Got Tonight” by Bob Seger

3. “Red Red Wine” by Neil Diamond 

4. “Son of a Preacher Man” by Dusty Springfield 

5. “What’s Love Got to Do with It” by Tina Turner

6. “Jolene” by Dolly Parton 

7.  “Me and Bobby McGee” by Kris Kristofferson 

8. “Two Step/Warehouse” by Dave Matthews

9. “Colder Weather” by Zac Brown

10. “Irreplaceable” by Beyonce