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Jerry Joseph passed through some discouraging times and faced a serious addiction before coming out on the other, brighter side. Born in California, he spent a couple of decades kicking around the world, playing out and trying to make a living with his music in places like New Zealand, Colorado, Central America, New York, and Utah. By his mid-20s, with no big record deal on the horizon, he figured he'd taken his shot and it was all downhill from there. Within five years, the situation had thoroughly depressed him and he became addicted to heroin. Throughout this destructive time, he continued to write songs and perform, yet his personal relationships suffered. Joseph is the father of a daughter and a son.
During the early '90s, Joseph fronted a group called Little Women. The band dissolved in 1993, and Joseph went on to record solo. By 1995, he was living in New York City, where he managed to kick his heroin habit. He went on to spend some time in Montana. Jim Bone, the drummer from Little Women, invited Joseph to Utah, where they formed the Salt Lake City-based Jethro Belt, an acoustic group. Jethro Belt evolved into the Jackmormons with the addition of Dave Pellicciaro on keyboard. Jerry Joseph and the Jackmormons released Butte, Mont. 1879 on Holladay in 1996. Joseph and his band did well on tours throughout the western region of the U.S. In Utah, however, they could not attract the same kind of crowds as his old band, Little Women, had done a few years earlier. Late in the year, drummer Bone left and was replaced by Adam Sorensen. Through Holladay they released Cotton, an EP, before Pellicciaro dropped out. Joseph and the others kept the group going as a three-piece. In 2002, Terminus Records released Jerry Joseph & the Jackmormon's Conscious Contact, the band's fifth release. Widespread Panic's bass player, Dave Schools, acted as the 12-track album's producer. The title of the album, which was recorded in Georgia, refers to one of AA's 12 steps of recovery. One of Joseph's earlier efforts didn't even get the chance to make a ripple, thanks to his then-record company's bankruptcy.