Joseph Wooten: Keyboardist and Vocalist Spreading Joy

Joseph Wooten

So I got a guy who knows a guy. A friend of mine said, “You’ve got to meet Joseph Wooten. He brings me so much joy!” He went on to say that “Joseph breaks the mold, and he’s living proof that our nation is on its course to righteousness and equality.”

Naturally, I couldn’t wait to meet Joseph!

He’s keyboardist and vocalist for the Steve Miller Band and one of the Wooten Brothers from Nashville. He calls himself ‘Hands of Soul,’ and he’s got his own amazing music to boot. When we did meet, Joseph and I really connected on his song called “I Matter.” It’s a song connecting people and addressing the deep need that we each, in our own right, matter.

Throughout my years of coaching, one of many consistent threads I see in my work with clients is their need to know that they’re important and that they matter. And I totally get that. I feel it, too. We just want to know that we’re significant – somehow – in this big, vast universe. It’s a fundamental need. I even addressed it in my last post, which I wrote because of my own personal need to feel my place in the world.

Watch Joseph light up when he talks about his “I Matter” song, or listen to the depth of his words and music, and you know he’s on to something big.

He wants to give away the song…for free

This song is for… 
The one that’s not the champion
The one that has been trampled on
Maybe you don’t have a home
And your name is unknown
You don’t get enough publicity
Or you’re not the right ethnicity
And maybe you don’t know your mother
Or not as famous as your brother

He said the song came to life as he was watching the movie “Freedom Writers” (great flick!). There’s a scene where one of the students is falling by the wayside, and the teacher gives him a pep talk. “Somewhere in there,” Joseph said, “She told him that he mattered.”

Joseph goes on to say, “I was letting out my wife’s Chihuahua, and we were outside. All of a sudden, in starts pouring this song. I brought the dog in, went to the piano, and within maybe even thirty minutes, I had the whole song with all the words. It almost wrote itself! You know when you’ve written something special, and I recognized it right away.”

This is what you got to do
See that no one means more than you
And even when you’re fed up
You’ve got to keep your head up and say that
I am here
I am here
And I Matter

As soon as he started playing it for people, Joseph said that everybody seemed to have the same reaction; they were very moved by the song. “You can always tell when it’s the truth because it’s simple. That doesn’t mean it’s easy, but I just knew. It’s simple, yet powerful inspiration.”

The song references all different types of people from various walks of life, gently reminding them that they matter. Every single person. “It’s easy to feel like things are just too big,” Joseph said. “A lot of people seem lost in the shuffle, and I’m trying to speak to those people.”

This song is for…
The struggling single mother
And the chemically addicted
The physically constricted
And the wrongfully convicted
I can’t say I know your pain
I won’t say that I do
But behind even the darkest clouds
There’s a sky that is blue and the sun shines too
The toughest pressure makes a diamond 
And that diamond is you
So even when you’re down and out
From the highest mountain you shout
I am here
I am here
And I Matter

The song speaks to everyone

Joseph wrote the song for others. “But,” he said, “At the same time, I was going through some things in my own life.” He visited a group of students and played the song for the class. Then, the school’s music director asked his permission for the students to do Joseph’s song in their upcoming music production.

And so a month later, Joseph went back to watch their rehearsal.

“They started playing my song. And I pleasantly got destroyed by my own tune.”

Joseph continued, “That particular day was sort of a turnaround for me. Things were piling up at that watershed moment. But things have been much better since…by listening to my own song.”

We talked about how no one is exempt from that deep need to know that they matter; as a human race, we all yearn for it and we all crave it. And at times, we all doubt it, too. There are plenty of examples in the media highlighting how someone acted heroically, but there are also all kinds of other stories that don’t make headlines. “Maybe you just say something to somebody who really needed the encouragement that day,” Joseph said.

I never could dance like Michael
Can’t sing like Stevie
Sometimes when I speak my truth
I swear the people don’t believe me
I never could dunk a basketball
Can’t rap like Ludacris at all
And sometimes it’s just me and my songs
Just staring at an empty wall

Making the connection

“This song is really able to help people connect. For me as a musician, that moment when you’re on the stage – that connection – is something you would give anything for. Everybody wants to make their mark. It’s not just about being in front of people and being noticed, but we each want to feel that connection; that common denominator. That’s why I do what I do. Just trying to connect.”

Joseph explained, “Often times it’s the connection as much as it is the message. We all want to feel a part of a larger whole.”

Each person has that deep need to know and feel that they matter, regardless of what you see on the outside; regardless of the success you think they exude.

But this is what I’ve got to see
See that no one means more than me
And one day when my days are numbered 
Headed to my final slumber
I’ll say that I was here
I was here
I was here
I was here 
I’ll say that I was here
I was here

And I Mattered  

And You Matter too…

Joseph is one bright light, aiming to spread joy wherever he goes. He encourages each of us to tap into the answers within ourselves. “If all the answers are on the tip of your nose and you go to Tibet looking for answers, then the trip is the obstacle and it keeps you from seeing the truth. The real answer that you seek…is that you are that answer. What you’re searching for is what you’re made of. The journey is inward; it doesn’t require you to jump on a plane or talk to the Grand Pubah or whatever. It just requires you to go inward,” he said.

Joseph’s song is a way to start that journey of going inward.

“I want people to download the song with the intention of giving it away.”

Introducing the “I Matter” song

Give yourself a gift and click the play button below. Turn up the volume and get comfortable. Sit back in your chair and let the song unfold. Breathe it all in and allow it to warm your heart and soul.

Then pass this post along to someone else you love, someone else who needs the message, someone else…just because.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Joseph Wooten

“I want to grow this all of goodwill. It’s like a big ball of self-worth! For free.” Check out Joseph’s new website where you can actually download the song and post a comment about who matters to you.

Joseph’s band mate (the “guy” I referenced in the beginning), Kenny Lee Lewis, summed it up best: “Joseph’s a good father and husband, and offers his hands of soul to all that would reach back.”

Soul Angel Management

Thank you, Joseph, for your gift of music and for touching the world with those Hands of Soul!

Readers, you can stay in touch with Joseph via his new I Matter You Matter site, his Hands of Soul website, My Space, Facebook, or Twitter.

Be sure to leave your comments for Joseph below!


Soul Angel Management 716.316.3471
Photos courtesy of Lindsay Cook

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28 Responses to “Joseph Wooten: Keyboardist and Vocalist Spreading Joy”

  • Joseph Wooten says:

    Thank you so much for helping me share my music. I hope this song helps people. It sure helped me. Thank you also for helping people connect with their joy and helping them feel their connection. You are a bright light in this world and sometimes people need that guiding light to help them navigate out of their own personal darkness.
    You are a gift to us all.

  • Kimberly says:

    Awesome post! Joseph Wooten is an amazing talent, and what a HEART! This song made my day. I can’t wait to share it with my friends and pass along the joy!

  • Bill says:

    Wow! Thanks so much for sharing Joseph with us – this is a very uplifting post!

    Joseph, thank you so much for sharing this beautiful song with us…it’s beautiful in so many different ways. Like Michelle says, we all have a deep need to feel recognized and valued. But we often forget that just by being ourselves we are all important and loved and needed. This song will be a comfort, and a great reminder for us in those times of doubt. Well done!

  • Suzette says:

    Outstanding! Thank you

  • @ Joseph: What a gift it has been to do this article with you. I’m humbled by your kind words and feel amazingly blessed to call you “friend.” Thank you for shining your light in my life and with our readers! I can’t wait to see where this all goes!

    @ Kimberly: Yes, a combination of talent AND heart is so cool. Delighted to know that you find joy in the song and want to pass it along. Awesome! Me, too. :)

    @Billy: It was certainly a delight to do this with Joseph, and I know the song has touched you tremendously, too. I like how you said the song is a “comfort” – totally agree!

    @Suzette: Thank you! And thank you for being here, reading the post, and commenting. Please come back soon! :)

  • Linda Lombardo Appleby says:

    this is an amazingly beautiful post Michelle. You have captured the true feelings of not only an incredibly talented artist, but, also the message of his lyrics. You also Michelle have an amazing gift, that gift of capturing the essence of so many and their talents, and yet YOUR OWN talents are equally joy filled. Thank you for sharing these words, and for continuing to hone in on the many who are so gifted as well. May your days continue to give you light, and joy. Thank you for always making my days so uplifting, filled with purpose and smiles. I hope that these words to “I Matter” will be as inspirational to others, as they have been for me as well. Extraordinarily well done Joseph, and to you, Michelle, i thank you from the bottom of my heart for spreading the word to others!! Linda

  • Cindy D says:

    Awesome post Michelle…touched my soul and calmed me for another glorious day. Joseph–I love your genuine style…I felt as if you were talking to me as a friend…YOU matter!

  • WOW!

    What a beautiful reminder that we all carry the light of life inside. We’re all equal. And we all matter.

    It’s so easy to feel the TRUTH in Joseph’s song as it quickly opens your heart and sends chills throughout my body.

    Here’s to everyone feeling their importance and connection to life!

    And so it is,

  • Yvette says:

    This is a wonderfully written post about a man I am blessed to call my dear friend. Joseph is indeed exactly as portrayed here: compassionate, empathetic and always reaching out to make lives better. “I Matter” touches me deeply. It is an arrow to the heart of what we all yearn for. Thank you for sharing his story. Now, more than ever, we need to know that there are truly good people in this world.

  • @ Linda: Wow, THANK YOU!!! Your heartfelt comments completely fill my spirit. What a joy it has been to work with Joseph and you throughout this process. And the cool thing is that we are all so excited to be spreading this important message. Thank you, so kindly, for your loving words and thoughts. Really, this has been an honor for me. Sending you love!

    @ Cindy: Score! So happy to know that the post and Joseph’s message was the right one for you today. Fantastic! He will love knowing that it touched you.

    @ Maryanne: This is like the most perfect testimonial for the “I Matter” song! Thank you for sharing your thoughts, and your love, here.

    @ Yvette: Hi! Fun to have one of Joseph’s friends here – thank you for reading the post and sharing your thoughts. I loved hearing your perspective, and yes – we’ve got to keep focusing on all the GOOD!

  • Robyn Froemming says:

    Excellent article Michelle and what a beautiful song. I love all the ways that Truth flows. We do all matter. Thank you both for sharing the love.

  • Lisa Metwaly says:

    I want to share this with the world. Let me know how I can help get this song out. It’s awesome! Thank you for sharing your joy!

    With a smile,
    Lisa Cotter Metwaly
    on Facebook as The Q Kindness Cafe

  • Lance says:

    Thanks so much for the introduction to Joseph, and this beautiful song! We all matter…every one of us. At times, we can lose sight of that – and the words Joseph shares just really touches upon getting back to that place of knowing that we matter.

    Michelle…you matter to me…thank you for shining your amazing light out into this world…

  • Marcia Hampton says:

    Awe, that was a great piece. And it is just what I needed right now. I am in London right now having a difficult time but will be seeing the SMB boyz tomorrow night at RAH. I got to meet Joseph this last January after the tribute for Norton. Just happened to run into him the next day outside the Claremont. I had just lost my husband and Joseph was such an inspiration. He could sense I was hurting so badly inside. When leaving he turned back around after saying goodbye and had to come back and give me a huge hug. Such a great person!

  • @ Robyn: Thank you…for being here and for sharing the love with us. :)

    @ Lisa: Great! To pass this song along – for now, share this post (like you so graciously did on FB!), but I will also send you a separate note about getting you connected. The song ties-in beautifully with the work you do and the principles you stand for. Cool!

    @ Lance: Hi! I love how you said the song helps us get “back to that place of knowing.” Amen. Thank you for your beautiful words, Lance. You certainly know how to make my day!

    @ Marcia: Thank you – I’m so glad you liked the post. What a special time you tell of when you first met Joseph. I’m sorry to hear you are having a difficult time and especially that you have lost your husband. Many blessings to you, Marcia. ENJOY the show tomorrow night!

  • Tracie says:

    Thanks so much Joseph and Michelle! What a moving song – it surrounds that small space in my heart where I question my worth and importance, reminding me to cast the doubts and keep moving ahead. That we are all a part of the whole on this earth. Thank you again! with Love Tracie

  • @ Tracie: You said eloquently…what we all feel at times. So glad to know the song touched you and I appreciate you sharing your thoughts here. :)

  • david ruffin says:

    i am one the students that sang this fabulus song mr.wooten u are fabulous and i hope to sing with you once again this year. like this song says I MATTER yes we all do. us kids and grown up go through alot in life but there are alot of things to get around the facts and fears fantastic job with us kids mr. wooten you are a blessing to us kids and to some of us you are like a father u are there for us wen we need somebody to talk to.i juss wanna say i am a former student of south park high school and working with this fabulous musician was a blessing to all us kids he relly opened alot of our eyes and our lives and showed us the way and how to be successful. defiantly me and my cousin marion mccarthy. we hope to see u at ur concert here in buffalo take care and keep up the fabulous work

  • Joseph Wooten says:

    Your words mean so much to me. You and the rest of the kids that I met in Buffalo have added so much to my life. Thank YOU for being inspiring and becoming a great person despite the things that you have to go through. I look forward to seeing you again. I will be in Buffalo in November. Ms Appleby will let you know where I am and when I will be in town. Thank you again for your kind words. You inspire me also!

  • Joseph Wooten says:

    Marcia Hampton….
    thank you for sharing that story. I am glad that we got a chance to touch each other’s lives. If you wanna talk, contact me on FB and maybe we can email. Do you have Facebook?

  • Shaf says:

    Thanks for sharing this Michelle and Joseph! The song is beautiful. I believe that’s all any of us want…is to feel like we’re significant and to be heard. Keep spreading joy and sharing your gifts with the world!

  • Joseph Wooten says:

    Again, thank you everyone for stopping by and letting me know how this song touches your lives. You have NO IDEA how much that touches mine!

  • Dear Joseph and Michelle!!

    What a gift !!!

    Thank you for being in this world and connected to all of us. You lift us up!!

    Peace…yes, please,

  • @ David: Wow! What a joy to hear from one of the students – welcome! Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful thoughts here and wishing you all the best.

    @ Shaf: Thank you for being here and for sharing your thoughts – great to hear from you!

    @ Joan: Always love hearing from you; thank you for taking the time to shine your light here! Peace.

  • Joseph Wooten says:

    Thank you again and again for letting me be a part of your “Following Your Joy” blog. Imatteryoumatter is up and functional. I am enjoying hearing the many deserved people being honored there.
    You are thanked from the bottom of my heart and an integral part of this ball of goodness that is being grown. Goodness and light will win in the end because of people like you!
    Please send all the people that you know to

    Joseph Wooten

  • Linda Sevdy says:

    Dear Joe,
    To my friend from Cordova Villa Elementary School. You brought so much fun to that school. I was only there a short time – but you made it memorable. You used to tell some great stories during recess, and I see you’re still wearing that hat! So glad to see you have found great success!

  • Joseph Wooten says:

    Linda Sevdy!
    Wow, it is good to hear from you after allll these years. Contact me and let’s catch up. My email is And thank you so much for the kind words!

  • Matthias says:

    Hi Michelle
    Thanks so much for poasting this amazing, heartfelt & encouraging blog.
    Musicians like Joseph are here to connect us to our joy. Like Stevie Wonder and Aretha and Mozart.
    Thank you so much for this good mitzvah!

    heres a piece that people find thought provoking and inspiring.
    I am a singer-songwriter guitarist and producer in CA

    Enjoy the music, have a beautiful day!

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Michelle Stimpson: Editor/Writer

Michelle Stimpson Hi and thanks for visiting - so glad you're here! This blog is especially for cool people who want to experience joy and live a life of purpose. Welcome!

Here you'll find great stories that will inspire you and remind you that life is good, and there's an abundance of joy all around us. Simply put: When you follow the things in life that make you come alive and bring you joy...the magic begins to unfold.

Start by checking out the "Best Of" page and be sure to consider subscribing above. Thank you and cheers to joy!

Michelle Joy Stimpson
Executive Editor & Writer
Life Coach, LifeShine

Bill Stimpson: Partner-In-Crime

Bill Stimpson Hi! Not only will you see me “show up” in many of Michelle’s stories and posts here, but I also serve as Michelle’s editor, helping her clarify intentions and make her posts shine.

One of the great joys in my life is being involved with this blog! It’s a constant reminder for me to focus on the things that bring me joy. It also feels great to be sharing so many of these joys with you - in hopes that you, too, will find ways to focus on your own joyful experiences.

Here's to an abundance of joy in your life!

Bill Stimpson
Hubby & Associate Editor

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