Joe Lee's Story

The Songs

  1. Tommy
  2. Steel Ridin' Cowboys
  3. Hammer Lane
  4. Demon Wind
  5. A Song For Mama
  6. Piggyback Ride (Take This Train To Hell)
  7. Reefer Madness
  8. In My Dreams

The Travel Store




“Thanks Joe for keeping me rollin’ so many miles, and for all them damn speeding tickets. (It was worth it though brother). I believe yours is the best trucker rock album ever made. I'll never stop loving that "Demon Wind". - Doug Metzger


It is with a heavy heart that I write that Joe Lee Smith passed away New Year’s Day, 2013 at the age of 60.  He had been in the VA hospital in Loma Linda, California for several weeks due to complications from COPD and diabetes.
Known by all as Smokin’ Joe, he lived his life exactly as he wanted, free and uncomplicated.  He pursued both of his passions, trucking and music, with the excitement of a kid and the wisdom of a veteran.
Many of you knew Joe through his associations with Jet Red, Ronnie Montrose, Tesla and numerous other bands.  Others crossed paths with Joe during his stints at various long-haul trucking companies, during which he logged over three million miles.  To put that number in perspective, that’s over 1,000 coast-to-coast trips.
Finally, thousands of fans knew Joe through his 1989 album, “Smokin’ Joe In Overdrive.” Many who bought the cassette tape, and later the CD, wrote to Joe expressing gratitude and admiration for his talent at writing songs that cut to the heart of the long-haul trucking lifestyle:

" I live my life on the highway thanks to you and your words. You are the biggest influence in my life. At night I put on Smokin' Joe In Overdrive and put the hammer down."-Troy aka Arizona Joker.

“Not many people know what a trucker goes through on a daily basis--your music nails it.  Keep rockin’ man!” - Ed aka Hard2Handle

Joe was the real deal, and through his music he always will be…

“I live to hear my engine roar and race the new sunrise
To smell pine-covered mountains, see the desert's lonely skies
An outlaw cowboy trucker's all I am and ever been
My life has never been the same since I felt that Demon Wind”
- Demon Wind by Joe Lee Smith


Smokin' Joe magazine and newspaper articles are now on the LINKS page.

Smokin' Joe in Overdrive CD is now available at these stores.

Joe Lee Smith

Joe Lee SmithFirst off, Joe Lee Smith is not a musician who decided to make an album about big truckin'. There's plenty of those guys out there already; some good, some not so good, and some in need of a good butt kickin'. No, Joe Lee is just a good ol' boy from Celina, Texas who grew up playing guitar but wound up making a living driving long-haul, over the last thirty years almost 3 million miles worth, and counting. But the music was always in him and eventually it had to come out. And boy did it ever. And that's the second thing you need to know. If you're looking for music with fiddles, banjos and twangy guitars you'd best just back out of here right now. Cause Joe Lee came of age listening to Skynyrd, ZZ Top, Hendrix and the like. Talk about rockin' down the highway! So be warned, this is not your daddy's road music. Matter of fact, your daddy just might give you a good butt kickin' if he catches you listening to it. Unless he grew up listening to Elvis and Chuck Berry...




Smokin' Joe In Overdrive

Cover FrontOne listen and you'll agree, there's never been an album of road music like this. First its off to outlaw school, and Joe Lee's remembrance of the man who broke him out, "Tommy"... Next up, "Steel Ridin' Cowboys" is a soon-to-be-classic about what it means to be a trucker. You can't listen to this song without feeling a surge of justifiable pride... "Hammer Lane" pretty much sums up the feeling of having 400 kitties purring under the hood... Sometimes, driving day after night for months at a time can become an addiction, and that's what "Demon Wind" is all about... "A Song For Mama" is a beautiful tribute to the most important woman in Joe Lee's life... See those train tracks running right there next to the highway? "Piggyback Ride (Take This Train To Hell)" is JL's not-so-tender ode to the railroad... Pushing it too far and too often is the demise of "Reefer Madness", a story about cheap freight and high lease payments... And of course, in the end love always finds a way, even if it's only "In My Dreams". Included with the CD is a 12 page, full-color booklet that contains all the words to the songs. You'll be singing along in no time!

"Smokin' Joe In Overdrive" is hard-drivin' music for a hard-drivin' lifestyle, so slide it in, turn it up and wind her out. Head on over to the Travel Store and pick up a copy. This one's for you.