The Value of Mentorship

Joe-WowkJoe Wowk of Stone Finger Studio, located in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, has a heart for helping musicians. After enjoying his own experiences in the music business, including winning the “Best in the West Guitar” contest 2 years running and touring with artists like Chrissy Steele and Brian Adams (just to name a couple), working in Scott Smiths Studio (Loverboy), as an engineer/producer, and winning the title “Best Traditional Country Song” for “Dream’n” at the BCCMA, he has now taken to working with aspiring artists. Whether he’s teaching guitar at G&G Music, co-writing music, or recording in his studio, his heart to mentor is undeniable. “I just want to help these artists get their music produced,” Joe states, “I know they don’t have much to pay me, but I can see their talent and I want to help them. This can be a tough business to break into.” The Canadian music industry needs mentors like Joe. His heart to step-in and make someone’s dream a potential reality is essential to its growth.

Most recently, Joe has been working with Tara Crowther, who has since become one of the most popular country music artists in BC. This comes as no surprise to the listener as Tara has a soulful voice with controlled emotion, making her vocals sound effortless. Having previously written with the likes of producer Brian Howes (Hedley, Hinder) and playing with such legendary Canadian rock bands as Trooper, at the age of 23, Tara continues to expand her unique sound.

“The problem is what do they do after?” Joe expresses with concern, “I know how to work with them in the studio, but once they have their music recorded, they need to take it to the next level.” Recognizing that the music business has changed and has now placed much of the responsibility into the hands of the artists, it’s clear that these days, artists must also be entrepreneurs. Musicians need to not only master their instrument, but acquire business savvy as well. Artists like Tara, as talented and full of potential as they are, need education and mentorship in order to make it. Joe agrees that in this industry, an education learned from someone who graduated from the School of Hard Knocks can be the most valuable education received. A sigh of gratitude and relief emerged when Joe learned that is focused and driven to provide this level of education for emerging and rising Canadian musicians.

Mentors are people who have already been where you want to go. They are people who have already made the mistakes you want to avoid. They have the answers to questions you haven’t yet thought to ask. Many times, they are the unsung heroes of our lives. Yet, it is because of them that we achieve success. would like to thank mentors like Joe Wowk for giving of themselves without regret or reservation. It’s people like Joe Wowk who truly make a difference.

For a list of Tara’s upcoming events, visit : Crowther

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