Back on the Block

By Andrew Gilhooley / 411

IT HAS BEEN almost a decade since New Kids on the Block called it a day. The five members of the group that is often credited with starting the “boy band” industry have all moved on to successful solo careers.

Joey McIntyre, the youngest member of the band, has recently released “8:09,” his first studio album in two years. This Saturday, he will be performing live at the Del Monte Center in Monterey. The show will be an “unplugged”-style acoustic performance, and it will be McIntyre’s only appearance in Northern California.

The songs on “8:09” come from a different, more personal place than McIntyre’s previous work, whether solo or with New Kids. The material shows a man of 30 years old with an outlook very different from the teenager he was at the beginning of his career.

Since those early days, his career has encompassed not only music, but also stage, television and movies. Fans of the TV series “Boston Public” may recognize him as English teacher Colin Flynn. These career advances necessitated a move to Los Angeles, and the first single from the album, “L.A. Blue,” reflects on his feelings about moving from his native East Coast to California.

“It is certainly about my personal experience in Los Angeles and definitely was inspired by my existential malaise, if you will, when I first moved out to L.A.,” he said, “but it’s really a universal song — about loss and letting go — and then acceptance and moving on.”

McIntyre also got married last year; the album’s title refers to the date of his wedding to wife Barrett, who has a song, “This is Different,” dedicated to her on the CD.

“8:09” was produced by guitarist Emanuel Kiriakou, who also co-wrote all the songs with McIntyre. The pair first worked together on McIntyre’s 2001 album “Meet Joe Mac,” and have been touring partners ever since. They describe their acoustic duo as “a one-man show with two people.”

McIntyre says he’s very proud of his work on “8:09.”

“I feel fortunate that I had the freedom to create another independent studio album where I can put my name above the title and know that this is exactly what I want people to hear,” he said. “8:09 is the best piece of music I have ever been associated with. My goal was to make sure that the honesty and integrity of each song was real, and I really believe it will resonate with people.”

First published in "411", The Salinas Californian, May 20, 2004

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