Plenty of Joeys are floating around the Columbus music scene.

But mention that first name alone and there is a good chance "the Songwriter" might be the next phrase to come to mind.

Joey the Songwriter's local renown is even more impressive because the man behind the guitar, Joey Viola, a Clintonville resident, has been performing under that moniker only for a year.

In fact, he's been performing at all only for a year; he had not even taken the stage at an open mic before the flip of a coin helped him decide to leave his day job to focus on music.

"I'm a much happier person for it," Viola said on a recent episode of the In the Record Store podcast.

Viola performs with just two ingredients: his voice and guitar. But that simple formula contains a multitude of possibilities.

Viola's songs exist in a world of their own perception, and in their complexity, they almost can be talked about as living things.

They express a philosophy of modern disillusionment and timeless sentimentality. He laments technological dependence and worries about letting down his father; he remembers the entertainment from his late-'90s childhood and frets about the prospects for a generation now grown up. The good old days have gone by, and here we are.

Plenty of comedic asides are dropped into Viola's songs, never allowing the seriousness to go on too long. These moments of winks and nudges are as vital to his music as the existential wonderings, both because it's a glimpse of the joy Viola takes in writing and they are so damn funny.

Viola's novelistic lyricism makes it seem he could write a song about almost anything. And with the evolution that his musical style has taken in the past year, it seems he could perform a song in any genre, too.

Much of his music includes folk-country vibrations, fast guitar strumming and a slight twang included. But recently, he has taken a soulful turn, his voice powerful and deeply affecting. He often sings in a casual, stream-of-consciousness manner, but he can also howl with the best of them.

Viola has dropped standalone tracks and demos from an upcoming album on Soundcloud over the past year. His debut album, "The Leap," is slated to drop next month.

Sam Kayuha is associate editor for In The Record Store. ThisWeek publishes a weekly feature from the organization, which focuses on central Ohio music discovery and involvement.