Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

June 23, 2014

Jewel of an experience for Goshen man

GOSHEN — Joel Jimenez, a native of Costa Rica, has plenty to smile about these days.

His homeland’s national soccer team is 2-0 in the World Cup. He owns The Art of Bea Studios, which is run out of the basement of The Electric Brew. And he’s getting ready to hit the road for a six-day stretch in July to work as a sound technician on singer-songwriter Jewel’s California tour.

Jewel, a four-time Grammy nominee, has sold more than 27 albums worldwide. She rose to stardom in the 1990s with a distinct folk-pop sound. Since then she’s recorded a couple of country albums as well as two children’s records.

Jimenez first worked with Jewel when she opened for country singer Brad Paisley after the release of her first country album, 2008’s “Perfectly Clear.” He worked as her stage manager and even got on stage with her.

“There were some issues with the bass player,” Jimenez said, “so I got to step in and play bass.”

Though it has its fun elements, Jimenez is quick to shatter the myth of what “life on the road” means. Working with an opening act rather than the headliner may be a little less stressful, according to Jimenez, but it’s still hard work.

He said he typically gets up and starts working around 8 or 9 a.m. and goes solid through midnight with just a few breaks in between. That grind got to Jimenez after working for a year on tour with the rock group Puddle of Mudd.

“I was done after that,” Jimenez said. “I ended up taking two and half years off.”

Eventually when the chance to get back on the road came again — this time with Jewel — Jimenez took it.

Though not the world’s biggest country music fan, Jimenez has gravitated toward touring country artists.

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