Life of An Artist & Musician

Joe Mette

Thought I'd try to give a short bio-sketch of my life, my art and music as I see it. I have decided for artistic and personal purposes to use an abbreviation of my real name -- Mettenbrink -- not because I'm not fond of the unique Dutch-German origins of it but partially since my father has the same first name but not the middle one. I do so to express my unique individuality. 

I was born in Kearney, NE the first and only son but with two lovely sisters, Sally & Valerie. My mother Ardis, was a schoolteacher of mostly Kindergarten and First Grade for over 30 years of her fairly short life (1929-90), and my Grandmother in my beginning years helped run a Zoo (with exotic "pet" animals like two monkeys in her house part-time & even an alligator in the basement!) with her husband Carl in Culbertson, Nebraska -- the “Kugler Hill-Top Zoo” which existed until about 1961, and was my first adult-kid's song written in honor of Ora Kugler shortly before her death in 1986, at age 94.

Although I wrote my first real song about age 13, (“It Happens In the Springtime”), after my early college years, I put aside my songwriting to pursue a career as an artist and later a printer, yet kept my love of music and piano (took lessons -- about 7 yrs). After living briefly in both Florida and California, I married a Lincoln woman and probably the happiest moment of that troubled time was a wonderful trip to Germany and France where I met my cousins, (which I plan to see again this year on the farm where my Great-Grandfather was born); stayed with my sister and brother-in-law and saw the fantastic Louvre Art Museum in Paris. After my separation in 1983, I moved to Omaha, NE where I work for a printing company & write, record & play my songs in various coffeehouses & one Acoustic Music Bar-Mick's over the last 10+ years.

Getting in touch with my “Inner Child” and working through some childhood & early adult traumas and emotions has been hard but lately a largely successfiil struggle with the help of friends, my High Power(s) and especially my Art and Music. Songwriting has been especially important to me -- not to see how many I can write (over 200 song titles so far) but to give inner expression to my feelings and environment.

Friends -- many local folk musicians and artists -- including my good ones operating this website on the Omaha Nation Res., have inspired me and helped me along the way. Learning to play the guitar in my early-mid-forties and find the courage to play for kids and adults at Earth Day and in a few local coffeehouses like the Omaha History Center and McFoster's has helped me alot. Recently getting involved with Marionette puppets (German-American Society) and writing a song and painting scenes for plays there recently has benefited myself as well as others.

I still enjoy sketching, and learning new things on our computer and e-mail. Thanks so much to all those who have and will touch my life and let me be part of theirs as I sincerely endeavor to be the best person that I can be for myself, my family, friends and mankind! Like my hero Beethoven said (hard to deal with as he was), “Life is short but Art Immortal” -- what we do for others is as well!

Highlights of My Life

Creative & Personal

June 12, 1951 born Kearney, NE.
1963  Fourth  Grade, won Miller & Paine art award, State Elementary Contest   for crayon drawing of "Omaha, NE" -- memory sketch of first visit to this city! Lincoln
1970 graduated from Kearney High School.
1975 Bachelor's Degree with Art Major-Kearney State College (UNK)
1982 Associate Commercial Arts-Graphic Design Degree, Southeast Community College, Milford, NE.
1984-present assistant Web Press Operator, and printer for local company.
1993 Married Lee in Omaha, NE.
1997 recorded & released first children's cassette -- “Libby The Pet Raccoon & Favorite Songs” -- 26 original ones, cover art by Margery Coffey.
2002 "Seek A Better World" of 18 of my memorial & tribute songs copies not currently available. 

Active in German-American Society, (Sangerchor & puppet groups), 
Omaha Folk Song Society,
Society For Creative Anachronisms, 
Sons Of Union Veterans & other organizations.

Help support the Omaha Symphony concerts & local folk artists.
Main hobbies besides Art & Music-(songwriting, performing) are travel (USA & Europe -- Germany especially,) historical research, photography and Native-American, other minority & environmental causes.

Work in progress soon in memory of Arlen Lazaroff on my environmental & Native tribute & mystical or ancestral theme -- "Songs of the Native Spirit" -- some tribute songs of others included -- aka Malcom X.

I am available for small groups and kid's parties to perform  or can write songs for that special loved one in your life for reasonable fee.


Online purchases of Joe Mette's music can be made at the

Libby The Pet Raccoon tapes available


For more information contact me by clicking on name below: 

Joe C. Mette


Thanks --

I appreciate your support and friendship!

Songs are dedicated to the person the song is written about and/or family; or listed on the printed recording (CD and cassette).

All song lyrics published here and elsewhere are copyrighted -- permission is given to copy when credit is given to the author.



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