News & Reviews - Archive


By Arthur Wood

Clear winner, by miles, of the Kronikle's 1996 Festival title "Favorite New and Previously Unknown Songwriter" is the Joel Rafael Band, an acoustic quartet which hails from San Diego, California. Jeff Berkley plays what has been termed ethnopercussion (congas to most of us), Carl Johnson is on acoustic guitar, as is leader and songwriter par extraordinary Joel Rafael, while they are topped off by Joel's daughter, Jamaica on violin. The band members also pitch in with the backing vocals where necessary. Joel was one of the winners of the Kerrville New Folk Contest circa 1995.

There's an incalculable listening longevity about Rafael's material. The guy's a lyrical philosopher and a dream weaver with melodies.

In concert Rafael performs a selection of his countless "hits" - "My Father's Son," " Ballad Of Bellingham ," "Goldmine" and "Meanwhile The Rain" - like I could list here all twenty three tracks Joel has cut to date. He's that good and then some...

Reprinted from the British fanzine the Kerrville Kronikle

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