"He's one of my favorite musicians in Southern Illinois and such a perfect example of the kind of talent that can be found around here."  -Sad Max, River to River Community Records

Banjo Joe and Danielle

Acoustic instruments and vocal harmonies

Banjo Joe and Danielle are an authentic bluegrass/folk duet from southern Illinois performing original songs and old time classics on banjo and upright bass. Banjo Joe’s powerful tenor voice is strong and clear, sweetened by Danielle’s harmonies. Banjo Joe is also the lead singer for Whistle Pigs and has been a singer/songwriter/banjo player for over 15 years. The talented Danielle makes her debut with this duo.

Banjo Joe and Danielle have been sweethearts since they met in 2011. They both come from musical families and are self taught. They first started creating together as vloggers on their YouTube channel, The Banjo Joe Show. Then, in the summer of 2021, they decided to combine their musical talents with Danielle now on upright bass. Danielle had always dreamed of playing with him and now that the duet is formed it is proving to be just the right thing, providing the basis for old time music-the natural tone of acoustic instruments accompanied by vocal harmonies.

Banjo Joe was given a banjo by his grandpa in the early 2000’s along with the advice to “make it ring” and began writing songs about southern Illinois, being broke, drinking and his new friend, the banjo. In 2007 he helped form the band Whistle Pigs as the lead singer and his songs became their first two albums, Long Term Plan, 2009 and Bless Your Hearts and Livers, Mudstomp Records 2010. They toured extensively through 31 states for several years playing thousands of shows at venues large and small. In 2014 he made the difficult decision to step back from performing and writing and went on to successfully face the demons of alcohol abuse and depression. Four years later he made his comeback and released his first solo album, Im Just an Old Hobo (River to River Community Records, 2020)

Banjo Joe and Danielle are currently traveling around the USA in their self converted school bus, creating videos, writing and making music, and playing gigs as much as possible. They are part time nomads and have travelled over 100,000 miles together. Check it out on https://www.youtube.com/c/TheBanjoJoeShow.

📸 by Lindsay Aman

Press Photos

Banjo Joe Interview w/ Activator Magazine!

We were part of the We Are For Egypt Project...

"We Are For Egypt is an album celebrating the history and identity of Southern Illinois, featuring traditional songs passed down through oral history and newly commissioned songs about the area to include rebellions, immigrating to new lands, love, natural disasters, unity, local landmarks, pirates, and a hero dog. Join us for a night of original and historical Southern Illinois music, with performances by Mila Maring, John Reimbold and the Kitchen Table Crew, Banjo Joe and Danielle, and Miss Jenny and The Howdy Boys. 

The album was produced by Jenny Pape, Executive Produced by Stacy Davidson, and supported by the Mellon/ACLS Community College Faculty Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies. The album is one piece of a larger project that examines the identity of "Egyptian" Illinois, and is to be hosted in the Special Collections of Morris Library at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale."

We Are for Egypt

River to River Community Records

Executive Producer’s Note: Stacy Davidson

My vision for this album is to bridge Southern Illinois’ traditional musical heritage with its living arts culture while highlighting Southern Illinois’ fascinating “Egyptian” legacy. In an homage to the “song catching” of Appalachian ballads, I set aside half the album for traditional songs and the other
Executive Producer’s Note: Stacy Davidson

My vision for this album is to bridge Southern Illinois’ traditional musical heritage with its living arts culture while highlighting Southern Illinois’ fascinating “Egyptian” legacy. In an homage to the “song catching” of Appalachian ballads, I set aside half the album for traditional songs and the other half to newly-commissioned works. It was a firm requirement that all of the musicians were from Southern Illinois or were active in Southern Illinois’ music scene. I also hope this album serves as an example for historians and researchers to develop more outward-facing projects and incorporate community members in the knowledge-making process. Ultimately, a scholar’s work is not for themselves but for others. May listeners, present and future, find inspiration in these songs and the rich, artistic traditions of Egypt, Illinois.

My work on this album is dedicated to the memories of my Grandpa,JohnT. Davidson (1928-2003), dulcimer-player extraordinaire and history buff, and my landsman, Steven H. Crane (1980-2020),
saxophonist, bass clarinetist, and repository
of Egyptian Illinois lore.

I am grateful for the unwavering support of Joseph Davidson and Carolyn Davidson as well as my family, friends, and supportive colleagues.This album would not have been made without the dedication, hard work, creativity, expansive talent, and extensive experience of my Producer, Jenny Pape, and the musicians who contributed to this album.

Producer’s Note: Jenny Pape

When Stacy contacted me, I knew the hardest part of my job was going to be narrowing the scope of this project to only a handful of songwriters and performers in this area. Not the worst problem to have, I admit.We’re fortunate to have a rich, musical history in Southern Illinois, with a community that celebrates live music and its songwriters.This album, I believe, shows that to be true. A lot of research went into selecting the traditional songs, and I found the SIU Press to be a great resource of local folklore, oral traditions, regional specific songs, and public domain works.When selecting songwriters and thinking of the type of sound for the album, I wanted to keep with the American roots music found within this region and include: blues, folk, Americana, bluegrass/string band music, and even a blend of Latin and country music. I was continuously impressed by what the artists brought to the table throughout the entire process of writing, arranging and performing. This project has been a blast! It’s been a journey, and I can’t say enough good things about it, so I’ll stop trying.

I’d like to dedicate this album to my son, Thelonious Arthur Pape, with a smile sweeter than a Cobden peach.

Thank you to my supportive husband, Alex Pape, my creative and technical sounding boards, Alex Jockusch and Josh Morrison, and all of the incredibly talented songwriters and musicians. A heartfelt thank you to our Executive Producer, Stacy Davidson, the reason any of this happened— we are so grateful for you.
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