Goodbye to the Fulcos Family Band as they move to Florida

Goodbye to the Fulcos Family Band as they move to FloridaBy LAURA QUEZADA

News Review Staff Writer

Right after New Year’s Day Joey, Jesse and Tyler Fulco packed up a pickup, a box truck, three cats and a dog and headed east to Florida. They got set back in Texas with a flat tire but hit the road again to their new home: Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida. Joei, remembered for her great vocals and success on TV’s “The Voice,” will not be joining them as she is pursuing her own creative path in Southern California.

The Fulcos have always followed the music and now opportunities present themselves on the other side of the country. Joey Fulco, the father of the group, was born in Brooklyn, New York and does not believe in having a “Plan B.” His plan has always been to make a living making music and that is what he does. His sons, Jesse and Tyler, share this passion. This commitment has kept them on the move. In California they homebased in Lancaster. They have also lived in Tennessee, Las Vegas, Switzerland and upstate New York.

One can attribute the pandemic to The Fulcos leaving the desert. “When COVID hit everything changed,” says Joey. “Some of the venues closed up. Some stopped doing music. It was a difficult time to make a living as a band. I heard that there was a big music scene starting to happen in Florida.” He went to check it out, staying with a sister who recently relocated there. He was surprised to learn “I have a cousin who is an agent, one of the biggest agents in Florida. She’s been trying to get me out there, but I never knew what she did for a living.”

With these connections and opportunities in place, the band decided to relocate. Unfortunately, their drummer, Matt, decided to stay in California. “He just got married and his wife is a teacher. That hurt because he’s such a great drummer; we wanted to bring them but they just couldn’t make the move.”

For about the last five years, The Fulcos have been the go to band for many popular community events and venues. They first hit the local music scene at Tommy T’s where they would start their evening early so that entire families could attend. With over 400 songs in their repetoire, they had something for everyone. As an homage to their “family band” status, they included a medley of music from decades of family TV sitcoms. However, this versatile band can really rock and roll. They bill themselves as a “The Fulcos: Classic Rock The Way It Used To Be 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, 2000’s and so much more... Big Sounds! Big Songs! Big Doins!”

Locals may remember them headlining the Fourth of July celebrations at the Desert Empire Fairgrounds for two years, playing at Kennedy Meadows General Store, opening at and running sound last year at Old West Days in Randsburg, and playing at Jawbone Canyon Store four times per year. Letty Cobain, co-owner of Jawbone Canyon Store was sad to hear the band was moving away. “They were like family,” she says. “They are great friends and everybody loved them.” Joey shares mutual admiration for Letty, saying, “She is so wise and has so much wisdom.”

High energy is a given with this band. “We don’t take any breaks,” says Joey. They play for four to five hours. This stamina could have its roots in Joey’s youth when he was an award-winning bodybuilder. His mother wouldn’t let him join a gym until he was 16 because “your bones are still growing.” He joined on his 16th birthday and went on to teenage competitions winning Teenage Mr. USA, Teenage Mr. America, Teenage Eastern Seabord and Teenage Mr. Metropolitan.

Joey speaks fondly of his time in Ridgecrest, “The people in Ridgecrest - there’s an unconditional love there with us. They’ve always treated us with open arms, invited us into their homes, tipped us really well. They made us feel welcome. They always hug you. They always always asked for more music and encores. The people in Ridgecrest were so amazing. It really was like a second home for us.”

Courtesy Photo: The Fulcos in 2018. Jesse, Stevie, Joei, Joey and Tyler.

Story First Published: 2022-01-07