News & Reviews
2012 Top 20 Homeless Songs: Joel Rafael: America Come Home
To the general public he is not well known. But that would have to be! Because if you have played with Jackson Browne, David Crosby and Graham Nash, Emmy Lou Harris, Kris Kristofferson, John Lee Hooker, Taj Mahal, then you must do what can.
For over 40 years Joel Rafael has devoted his life to singing and writing folk music in the true tradition. The influence of Woody Guthrie unmistakable. Joel Rafael began his career with small gigs in Los Angeles, San Diego and the hinterland of California. In 1978 he formed a duo with assistance from San Diego Rosie Flores. After about a year he was approached as an opening act for Emmy Lou Harris. Since then he has performed with, among others, Rick Danko (The Band), John Lee Hooker, John Stewart, Laura Nyro, and Taj Mahal. In 1981 his first album came out Dharma Bums. In 1984 he toured with Joan Baez and played regularly with John Trudell.
In 1995, Rafael won the Kerrville Folk Festival's prestigious "New Folk Songwriter Award".
And since the very first time in 1998, without interruption he has been a guest and performer at the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival. Joel has music composed music with five lyrics of Guthrie. They were made available to him by daughter Nora Guthrie. Two of his 'co-writes' with Guthrie appeared in 2012 in the complete Woody Guthrie songbook: "Every 100 Years - The Woody Guthrie song book (2012) ".
"Dance Around My Atom Fire" (Guthrie / Rafael) is the opening song of his latest album Come Home America (July 2012). That song - where David Crosby and Graham Nash also provided a contribution to the special honoree - was given the honorable mention as "Best Folk Song of 2012" at the 9th Annual IAMA (International Acoustic Music Awards).
- 1. I Ain’t Got No Home - Woody Guthrie
- 2. The Brothers Under The Bridge
- 3. Brother Can You Spare A Dime
- 4. Hard Times Come Again No More
- 5. 500 Miles - Hedy West
- 6. Man Of Constant Sorrow - Traditional
- 7. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out
- 8. Burnin’ It Down - Steve Earle Woody Guthrie and Joel Rafael
- 9. Plane Wreck At Los Gatos - Woody Guthrie
- 10. Fast Car - Tracy Chapman
- 11. Like A Rolling Stone - Bob Dylan Bruce Springsteen
- 12. Streets Of L.A. - Jack Tempchin
- 13. Burnin’ It Down - Steve Earle Yip Harburg and Jay Gomey
- 14. Plane Wreck At Los Gatos - Woody Guthrie
- 15. Fast Car - Tracy Chapman
- 16. Like A Rolling Stone - Bob Dylan
- 17. Streets Of L.A. - Jack Tempchin
- 18. China Basin Digs - Joel Rafael and John Trudell
- 19. Meanwhile The Rain - Joel Rafael Eric Clapton
- 20. Ramblin’ Reckless Hobo - Joel Rafael and Woody Guthrie
- 21. Sierra Blanca Massacre - Joel Rafael
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