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Local musical family releasing first album
Joseph Stotts family band.jpg
Joseph Stotts is in the process of releasing his first album recorded with his family. Pictured, from left, are Bowman, Joseph, Mendy, and Lucy Lee Stotts. Lucy Lee is holding a picture used on the album cover.

McMinnville resident Joseph Stotts is soon to release his first solo album. The album is called “Home Sweet Home,” consists of 22 tracks centered on the theme of home, and was created in collaboration with his wife Mendy and their two children, who are collectively known as the Stotts Hill Band.

Stotts has been at work on the project for over a year, and he says he hopes the album will bring awareness to the issue of homelessness and to the work of the local volunteer organization HOME, Homeless of McMinnville Effort, which assists persons who are in various stages of homelessness. 

HOME provides meals and secures shelter for homeless individuals, among other services. Mendy serves on the board of the organization.

“Homelessness is a problem everywhere, even in rural Tennessee,” Stotts says. He says many people who are homeless are not homeless by choice. 

“People that are homeless, they generally have had something happen in their life, and they’ve dealt with it in the best way they could.” Stotts said. “People need just a little help, a little help, getting back on their feet.”

The idea for making the album has its origins in the COVID-19 quarantine of spring 2020, when Stotts, like many other people around the world, was asking himself the question, “What else do you do at home?” He and his wife decided to turn their dining room into a music room, and then they recorded the entire album using the GarageBand app on Stotts’s iPhone.

The album, which will be released digitally, features original songs, some written as far back as 20 years ago. Standout tracks are “Home” and “Searching for You.” There are also “Rock Island Train,” written with his 9-year-old son Bowman and featuring Bowman’s playing of a toy train horn, and “Baby Cheetah,” co-written by and featuring the vocals of his 5-year-old daughter Lucy Lee.

Stotts says of the song “Home,” “I knew that I needed a main song to kind of hold the entire thing together.” Once he and his wife wrote and recorded the song in late August, he says he knew that “Home” could shoulder that load.

An original music video for the song “Searching for You,” created by Stotts and his family, is set to appear on Ben Lomand TV in May. 

Stotts says he is hoping for late May or early June album release. He is trying to get the album released for purchase on three digital platforms, Band Camp, Spotify, and Amazon. He hopes to secure an agreement where a portion of the album’s sales are donated to HOME.

Stotts, who is a therapist by trade, says of “Home Sweet Home,” “I’ve never been more excited about a project.” 

He mentions the involvement of his family in the making of the album, his affinity for the songs, and the potential to bring awareness to HOME and to homelessness, as reasons for his excitement.

Stotts, who is vice president of clinical services at Generations in McMinnville, says of music, “We all have things we do. Then we have stuff that keeps us going, and music is like that for me.” As someone who feels blessed to have been able to collaborate on “Home Sweet Home” with his wife and son and daughter, he says, “This is something my children and my family will have years after my time has passed.”