Joe Scarborough stepped out from behind the “Morning Joe” news desk for the release of his band’s EP, “Mystified,” on June 22, 2017.
The nine-piece band, Scarborough, played an hour-long set at The Cutting Room, in Manhattan. Among the crowd were Willie Geist, Phil Griffin, Eric Bolling, Shepherd Smith, and fiancée Mika Brzezinski.
Brzezinski took the stage and asked the audience how many Republicans were in the crowd. Her question was met with silence, until Scarborough answered, “This feels strangely like MSNBC.” He had previously told Variey, “It’s one of the great tragedies of my political life that Democrats get all the great musicians.”
Scarborough, 54, started playing piano when he was five. He taught himself the guitar and began writing music when he was 12. Throughout his life as a student, football coach, in law school, a member of Congress, a lawyer, and a television personality, he has written songs.
When the “Morning Joe” rock star was 14, he played guitar in his first band, The Establishment. His strongest influence is still Paul McCartney. In 2010, Scarborough had the opportunity to meet his musical hero and almost canceled it because he was so nervous. Fans of the MSNB news show may find his reaction shocking.
However, “Mystified” is his first album. It was released by Red Music and is only available for digital download.
The album features five original songs: “Mystified,” “Superbad,” Let’s Fall in Love,” “Girl Like That,” and “Chelsea.” Variety stated the lyrics have a “deeply conservative streak,” with lines like, “disco boys, cocaine and sex-shop toys.”
A review in Variety stated, Scarborough has a sound that combines Springsteen, the Kinks, Beatles, and Sonic Youth. It also accused the “Morning Joe” host of being a “highly aware mimic without any particular identity of his own.”
Regardless of Variety’s negative review, Brzezinski said Scarborough reminded her of “the show Joe created; [bringing] out the best in everyone.”
The “Morning Joe” host has written 400 original songs and plans to release an EP a month for four years. He told Vanity Fair, it is time to focus on his music and see if he can continue long after he retires from his television career.
It may be difficult for Scarborough to top his success on MSNBC. In May, “Morning Joe” touted over one million viewers. The show first aired in 2007, and has experienced an audience year-over-year increase of 81 percent. Twenty-seven months in a row, it has topped CNN’s “New Day.”
Scarborough’s musical director, Nicholas Wells, told Forbes, “It’s exciting to work with someone so inspired my music.” Whether he becomes a rock star makes no difference; he will be sitting in a rocking chair on the porch, at 80 years old writing music.
By Jeanette Smith
NY Daily News: Joe Scarborough, anchor by day, rocker by night
Forbes: ‘Morning Joe’ To Rockstar? Inside Joe Scarborough’s EP Release
Variety: ‘Morning Joe’ Host Joe Scarborough Releases an Album: Here’s What It Sounds Like
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