KINGMAN - About 10 years ago, Kingman resident Joe Buck's vision began to deteriorate. Buck was diagnosed shortly afterward with a rare hereditary disorder called retinitis pigmentosa.
Today, Buck, 36, retains less than 10 percent of his vision field, and he knows it's only going to get worse as time goes on.
"It's like extreme tunnel vision, and what I do see, I can't rely on," Buck said. "Good thing you don't need to see to make good music."
Yes, "Jammin' Joe Buck" is a musician, but more than that, he's a one-man record label, writing, playing, producing and publishing his own original music, completely unassisted.
"I didn't want to rely on anyone else," he said. "You know how musicians can be so flaky."
Describing himself as "a blues/funk/rock band with a full-on horn section," Buck is proficient in a wide variety of instruments, among them drums, bass, guitar, trumpet, trombone and vocals.
In the studio, he combines each of these instruments through a process called step-recording, producing a complete band sound with himself on every instrument.
"I'm one of those freaks where, when I think of a song, it's not just one instrument," he said.
"All of the parts - I can't explain it, it's just there, and I'm able to produce that."
Buck said his musical training began at age 3 when his father, already an accomplished musician himself, taught him how to play the trumpet.
The young Buck picked up his first guitar at age 12, and from there, he said, "drums and bass just came naturally."
But while Buck's focus had been on guitar and trumpet, it was his diagnosis of retinitis pigmentosa, and the knowledge that it was progressive, that drove him to step up his musical training.
"That really got me off my ass to do it myself," Buck said. "I always knew I could do other instruments, but to perfect them, where people ask me 'What's your main instrument?' That's pretty cool."
Buck said his musical influences range from his trumpet- and trombone-playing father and grandfather to such musical greats as jazz guitarist Joe Pass and blues-rock guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan. His latest album, "On The Road To Nowhere," released this year is definitely indicative of these roots, though Buck does switch genres on occasion.
"I do have one country song on there," he said. "Gotta have some country out here."
Buck has achieved some exposure outside of Kingman, with some of his songs playing on radio stations in Florida, Oregon and his native California. At 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, Buck will be featured on "Good Morning Arizona," which airs on KTVK Channel 3.
"I will be performing with an acoustic guitar and playing a few of my songs," Buck said. "I'm going to be playing one song from my last album, and the other one is going to be sort of a sneak preview of what's coming up on my next album."
For more information on Jammin' Joe Buck's music, or to hear some free samples from "On The Road To Nowhere," visit his Web site at www.myspace.com/jamminjoebuck.