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Indie Artists On Review
Joel Rafael Band: WOODEYE

Wood & Steel
Winter 2003, Vol. 35, page 27

Taylor used: 514ce

Many artists have performed Woody Guthrie songs with varying degrees of sincerity and artistic success. On the triumphant Woodeye, the Joel Rafael Band is up to the challenge of not only reproducing, but faithfully interpreting Guthrie’s songs.

Rafael is careful not to let his voice or delivery intrude on the complex subtleties of the human condition that are the soul of Guthrie’s narratives. An immaculate blend of strings, percussion, and Taylor guitars provides a warm, vibrant, musical backdrop as the band takes a journey that retraces Guthrie’s steps through Okemah, Oklahoma.

In an amazing bit of opportune timing, someone heard this album and decided that the band should provide the live music for Frank Galati’s theatrical adaptation of Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. The Tony Award-winning production was presented last October by L.A. Theatre Works in Los Angeles’ Skirball Center.—DK

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