News & Reviews - Archive

Hopper

By Dave Marsh
May, 2000

Hopper is a traditional folk music album in the truest sense. The stories Joel Rafael tells, and the emotional spells his music weaves, have depth and beauty because they come from so deep in his heart, and pierce so deep in ours. He's a genuine child of Woody Guthrie, not only because of his fine version of "way Over Yonder in the Minor Key," but because of the beautiful anger in China Basin Digs," the depth of loss in "still Alive," the total commitment and love in "Me and My Child" and "Mi Amigo." He says the music is "a streak" in his soul, but while you're listening, it seems more like the whole damn thing."

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