News & Reviews
Armed with an acoustic guitar and his harmonica, Joel Rafael will return to the 22nd Annual WoodyFest this July!Read more
Social change has always been a topic prevalent in Joel Rafael’s songwriting, and the song “Under Our Skin,” featuring Jason Mraz, is a good example of this kind of powerful message.Read more
Rafael to release “Strong (feat. Jason Mraz)” on April 19Read more
Joel Rafael partners with Jason Mraz on a repurposing of his song "Strong," premiering exclusively below, as part of his upcoming album Rose Avenue.Read more
Joel Rafael To perform at the Clearwater Folk Festival, the country’s oldest and largest music and environmental festival in Croton-On-Hudson, NY on June 15-16
The country’s oldest and largest music and environmental festival brings together major musical acts and Clearwater’s own brand of green activism in Croton-On-Hudson, NY on June 15-16.Read more
Critically-acclaimed singer songwriters Joel Rafael, Jude Johnstone, and Jack Tempchin have announced a June 21 show at City Winery Loft in New York City. The trio will perform a Songwriters Circle (in the round).Read more
"I picked out ten different songs, that Nora (Guthrie) showed me," Joel Rafael related in an exclusive interview with People's World. "These song lyrics were Woody's own writing and never recorded." Five of those songs ended up on Joel's first of two albums of Woody Guthrie songs...Read more
After their show-stopping set in the Pastures of Plenty at last year's WoodyFest, the Woody Guthrie Coalition is thrilled to begin this year's festival with a special benefit presentation of Joel Rafael with John Trudell's Bad Dog. This noteworthy performance will take place on Wednesday, July 11 at the historic Crystal Theatre in Okemah to kick off the 21st annual Woody Guthrie Folk Festival and the performances of more than 90 musicians over the three day music festival...Read more
Jackson Browne Adds A 2nd Show At Pechanga Resort & Casino with John Trudell's Bad Dog featuring Joel Rafael
Benefit Concert - Honoring Quiltman - February 24 - SOLD OUT
2nd show added on Sunday, February 25
Singer songwriter Jackson Browne announces a 2nd benefit concert at Pechanga Resort & Casino on Sunday, February 25 at 7 PM, after Saturday's show sold out. The benefit concert, Honoring Quiltman, will be held in the Pechanga Theater. Tickets go on sale January 18 at 3 PM (Pacific Time) through Ticketmaster.com
Accompanying Jackson are longtime band mates Bob Glaub (bass), Mauricio Lewak (Drums), Val McCallum (guitar), Alethea Mills (Vocals), Chavonne Stewart (vocals) and Jeff Young (keyboards). Also performing is John Trudell's BAD DOG with Joel Rafael...Read more
Jackson Browne Announces Benefit Concert At Pechanga Resort & Casino with John Trudell's Bad Dog featuring Joel Rafael
Singer songwriter Jackson Browne announces a benefit concert at Pechanga Resort & Casino on Saturday, February 24, 2018 at 8:00 PM. The benefit concert, Honoring Quiltman, will be held in the Pechanga Theater. Tickets go on sale Wednesday, January 4 at 3 PM (Pacific Time) through Ticketmaster.com
Accompanying Jackson are longtime band mates Bob Glaub (bass), Mauricio Lewak (Drums), Val McCallum (guitar), Alethea Mills (Vocals), Chavonne Stewart (vocals) and Jeff Young (keyboards). Also performing is John Trudell's BAD DOG with Joel Rafael...Read more
Joel Rafael With John Trudell's Bad Dog To Perform Summer Festival Dates In Support Of John Trudell Archives Re-release Of John Trudell's AKA Grafitti Man
From a providential meeting at Peace Sunday, a concert to promote nuclear disarmament at the Rose Bowl on June 6, 1982, after hearing John Trudell speak, Rafael became an advocate for Indigenous Rights, sharing John's words, and following his trail, until the emergence of the seminal Joel Rafael band in 1994 resulted in regular co-bookings with Trudell and his band Bad Dog, and opportunities to write together. After John's transition to the spirit world in December 2015, the band asked Joel to carry on Trudell's work by performing with them....Read more
Singer Songwriter Joel Rafael To Perform At Del Mar's New Venue Brick15 On Saturday, February 18, 2017
Tickets are available now through www.brick15.com...Read more
Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Jason Mraz, Joel Rafael and John Trudell's Bad Dog donated over $85k to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe this week from proceeds and donations from their November 27 benefit concert at the Prairie Knights Pavilion in Fort Yates, ND, seven miles from Oceti Sakowin Camp....Read more
San Diego singer-songwriters Joel Rafael and Jason Mraz have often sung out for causes they support. But their largely under-the-radar performance last Sunday with Bonnie Raitt and Jackson Browne at the remote Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota was especially meaningful for the two North County troubadours.
"It was a really, really special night," said Rafael, whose musical activism dates back to the 1960s.....Read more
Jason Mraz Joins Joel Rafael, Jackson Browne And Bonnie Raitt For A Benefit Concert At Standing Rock To Stand In Solidarity With Standing Rock
To Stand In Solidarity With Standing Rock #NoDAPL #WaterIsLife
The concert is scheduled for Sunday, November 27, 2016 at Prairie Knights Pavilion in Fort Yates, ND, seven miles from Oceti Sakowin Camp...Read more
Bernie Sanders is gunning for a memorable campaign push at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego this Sunday, and this time he's bringing heavy ammunition. Entertainment ammo, that is.
In what appears to be part of an intense effort to rally voters just days ahead of California's primary on Tuesday, Sanders is set to appear at the stadium's parking lot with some notable (and some not so notable) entertainers by his side. The event is free (RSVP here: https://go.berniesanders.com/page/event/detail/rally/gplf2x e), and if you do plan on going here are some of names and entertainers you should expect to see...Read more
Night with Live Music on May 19
An Author Night with historians Darryl Holter and Bill Deverell discussing their new book, "Woody Guthrie L.A.: 1937 to 1941" will be presented in the Library Community Room on Thursday, May 19that 7:00 p.m. The event will also feature live renditions of Guthrie songs by folksinger Joel Rafael to open the show followed by the Woody Guthrie history presentation by Bill Deverell and Darryl Holter. To conclude, Darryl Holter, also a singer-songwriter, will offer a few more Woody Guthrie tunes...Read more
Joel Rafael, Jackson Browne, Grace Potter And Shovels & Rope Slated For The 7Th Annual 30A Songwriters Festival
The 7th annual 30A Songwriters Festival - set for January 15, 16 and 17, 2016 - has announced the initial line-up for the 2016 celebration of singers and songs. The festival, held in venues along scenic Highway 30A in Florida's South Walton County, will feature headline performances from esteemed artists Jackson Browne, Joel Rafael, Grace Potter, Shovels & Rope and Wine, Women & Song featuring Matraca Berg, Suzy Bogguss & Gretchen Peters.
Joel Rafael will be performing January 15th, 16th and 17th.. . . Read more
Joel Rafael est ce que l'on appelle aux Etats-Unis un storyteller. Il raconte des histoires dans ses chansons à l'image d'un Johnny Cash ou d'un Woodie Guthrie dont il a d'ailleurs repris la plupart du répertoire il y a quelques années. Ancien chanteur engagé (il a prÔné l'usage de la marijuana comme plante médicinale), Joel Rafael est venu dans le studio des Nocturnes pour nous présenter son nouvel album "Baladista". Très proche de Graham Nash et de Jackson Browne, Joel Rafael répond aux questions de Georges Lang. Cette interview, vous pouvez l'écouter dans les Nocturnes cette nuit, ainsi que la session acoustique qui a été captée dans le studio de RTL. . . .Read more
Joel Rafael has led a storied life, his new album Baladista paints the picture. Tales of lost loves and ubiquitous hardships that come with living. Many of the songs deal with a woman leaving, about to leave, or is already gone. 'She Had to Go' hits particularly close to home, with how 'She' never comes to see our protagonist play any longer, and is a reminder of what we lose when someone vanishes from our lives. . .Read more
Our ration of folk music was served by the utterly likeable and sincere Joel Rafael. He sang of sitting in jail in 1960s Portland (street cred!). His ties to Woody Guthrie were on bright display during the Okemah, OK setting of "Sticks & Stones." It was extraordinary to have Greg Leisz, a past AMA instrumental winner and icon of the pedal steel backing Joel up with sparkling strings.... . .Read more
...and Valley Center's Joel Rafael agrees, finally plays a hometown show
In 1972, folkie Joel Rafael planted roots in Valley Center, where he built a home studio, Lilac Sound. In 2000, he signed to Jackson Browne's Inside Recordings label, which in April of this year released his ninth album, Baladista.
Rafael has opened shows for Browne, Emmylou Harris, Sheryl Crow, and Crosby, Stills & Nash. He's been invited to appear September 17 at the 16th annual Americana Music Festival and conference near Nashville, along with Loretta Lynn and Steve Earle. . .Read more
The dictionary defines a maverick as "an unorthodox or independent-minded person" with synonyms including individualist, nonconformist, dissident and free spirit.
AMA suggested the West Coast songwriter Joel Rafael for our show, and that one sent me to the bookshelf. What a story! An early artist at the legendary folk clubs The Ash Grove and The Troubadour, Rafael became fully swept up in the tumult of the 1960s counterculture and anti-war movement, staying one step ahead of the draft and making music where he could while plying other trades...Read more
Performing at Americana Music Festival; nominated for San Diego Music Awards "Best Americana Album"
Critically acclaimed California songwriter and seminal folk artist Joel Rafael will be featured on SiriusXM' s The Village this week in support of his new album, Baladista, which was nominated for "Best Americana Album" by the San Diego Music Awards. The special is available on demand for two weeks at www.siriusxm.com/ondemand under "The Village," and will air on the following dates on Channel 741 online in the United States and on Satellite in Canada...Read more \
A magnificent achievement, like a love-letter to the traditions of beautifully etched narrative songwriting. Like fine wine and few other things on this planet, the music of Joel Rafael seems to only grow richer over the years.
After a career of many fine albums, he's created his best one yet. Long revered on the folk circuit of our country and beyond, and with good reason, he's a seasoned and serious songwriter, and a singer of great authority...Read more
Joel will perform live on SiriusXM's "The Village Folk Show" on The Bridge, SiriusXM ch32 and on the SiriusXM App at 6 am-10 am ET/3 am-7 am PT, Aug. 30th at approximately 9am.
This show will rebroadcast on SiriusXM The Village ch 741 online in the USA and on satellite in Canada all week.Read more
Saturday, September 19, 2015
12:00 Noon - 10:00 PM
A FULL Day Music Festival
with Performances in the magical setting of the lavender farm!
Spend a day at the farm, bring a picnic and enjoy the sunset and warm Summer evenings
with a few and GREAT music!
In essence, it is one man with his guitar and harmonica and it could have been made any time during the last 50 years but it doesn't matter: this is a very good record...Read more
Folkal Point is broadcast simultaneously (Thursdays, 10pm - midnight) across the Uists and Benbecula by An Reidio on 105.2 FM, and to the Cowal Peninsula by Dunoon Community Radio on 97.4 FM and online. Folkal Point also has a Saturday night slot (10pm-midight) on HBS, Glasgow. The programme is re-transmitted globally online three times a week by Blues and Roots Radio from Canada, and is also soon to return to the schedules of Siar FM, community radio serving Barra and Vatersay. Folkal Point is produced in Glasgow at the Wellington Street studios of HBS...Read more
The acoustic style of American singer-songwriter Joel Rafael harkens back to the halcyon days of the 60s when artists armed only with a guitar and harmonica regularly made the charts. Rafael is himself a survivor of those exciting but turbulent times and a devotee...Read more
Listen to the BBC Merseyside interview with BBC's Billy Butler and Joel Rafael...Read more
LONDON: One of Joel Rafael's major musical influences is a folk anthology called "Hard-Hitting Songs for Hard-Hit People". Judging by his latest set of compositions, it's an inspiration that he has taken to heart.
In the intimate setting of London's Green Note folk club, Rafael performs songs based on experiences, from his own run-in with the law in Portland to those of the Bracero" labourers on Californian farms during World War Two.
"To me, art is all about what's going on, and how it's affecting people," Chicago-born Rafael told Reuters in an interview before the gig.
"Expression of the news, like the bard or the troubadour, is more my job than just being a pure entertainer."
The set is sprinkled with personal anecdotes, with the singer's affection for folk legend Woody Guthrie shining through...Read more
Joel Rafael started his UK tour with a 40 minute support slot to Jarrod Dickenson, at Brighton's Green Door Store. As the show started, people came in from the adjoining bar and were immediately enraptured by Rafael's words and music. Such an attentive audience, formed of a wide age range, in a room with a great sound (thanks to Matt on sound - he's one of Brighton's best sound guys and when you walk into the venue, spot him, doing his stuff, you just know all will be well that night)...Read more
Op de foto die aan de binnenkant staat van het cd-hoesje van het album "Baladista" van Joel Rafael, staat de Amerikaanse singer-songwriter afgebeeld terwijl hij met zijn akoestische gitaar een liedje lijkt te spelen voor zijn hond. Helemaal links op de foto staat een bordje met de tekst 'Hippies: use side door'. We denken dat Joel Rafael vaak door die zijdeur is moeten binnen gaan, want deze 66-jarige folkzanger uit San Diego County, Californië heeft er blijkbaar al een goed gevorderd leventje als hippie en als muzikant opzitten...Read more
A folk music mainstay, Joel Rafael, helps keep the genre alive.
Ever’body might be just one big soul,/Well it looks that a-way to me.
Those are Woody Guthrie’s words from “Tom Joad,” a ballad he wrote based on the main character in “The Grapes of Wrath.” And that one lyric might just perfectly encompass folk music in general. One big soul, everyone talking about things that shake their inner self, of things that either need to change or remain the same.Read more
Joel Rafael is a disappearing breed: a Guthrie-Dylan-Llewyn Davis-style folk singer and Vietnam draft-dodger armed with a harmonica rack
When Joel Rafael started writing music 50 years ago, there was a war abroad, civil unrest here at home - with clashes between police and people of color, and blue-collar folk balladeers singing protest songs following the templates established by patron saints Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger. Looking around, the century may have changed, but little else. Now that Rafael is an established presence on the folk scene with nine albums released since 1994, two have featured Guthrie's tunes and his other music is permeated with statements about social issues, mixed with personal memoirs. The songs on his latest, Baladista, are no exception...Read more
With a warm, sandy voice that sounds far younger than his 66 years, the Chicago-born folk singer-songwriter's has been making music for over half a century, often as an interpreter of Woody Guthrie, releasing two albums of his music, as well as his own material, not to mention collaborating with John Steibeck for a radio version of The Grapes of Wrath. This is his ninth album, a 10-song collection of which eight are self-penned, the others being the lovely Jack Tempchin co-write Love's First Lesson and a fine cover of Hedy West's lonesome train song classic 500 Miles featuring electric guitar from John Inmon and Terry Ware...Read more
Those are Woody Guthrie’s words from “Tom Joad,” a ballad he wrote based on the main character in “The Grapes of Wrath.” And that one lyric might just perfectly encompass folk music in general. One big soul, everyone talking about things that shake their inner self, things that either need change, or need to remain the same.
Joel Rafael has his own description, one that you just might hear Guthrie saying himself.
“(Folk music’s) kinda like a stream that runs along,” Rafael told me from his home in California. “It gets drier in some places along the way, you’ll see a creek bed, you don’t see any water, but the creek bed is there, and maybe the water is down under the water table somewhere under the ground, and then further down the creek bed all of a sudden it pops out of a little spring somewhere, and there’s a flow and it gets bigger, goes down the hill, picks up speed. That’s how I see folk music down through time.”.......Read more
For fifty years the American folk scene with the aim of keeping alive the memory of Woody Guthrie is reinterpreting his songs either by writing their own inspiration to his music, with "Baladista" Joel Rafael reaches its ninth album, published by the Inside Recordings , record label owned by Jackson Browne that since 2000 has included the artist in its stable. Originally from Chicago but soon transfer agents in Los Angeles, the United States Joel Rafael, with awards of prestige and especially the support of major artists including David Crosby and Graham Nash. His most famous and 'connected to the two chapters "Woodeye: Songs of Woody Guthrie" (2003) and "Woodyboye: Songs Of Woody Guthrie And Tales Worth Telling, Vol. 2" (2005), collections of songs of Woody Guthrie, several of which are new, made with the participation of special guests such as the Jackson Browne, Jimmy LaFave and Van Dyke Parks, to name only the more 'known.......Read more
Critically acclaimed, California songwriter and seminal folk artist Joel Rafael releases his ninth album today, Baladista, on Inside Recordings. Inside Recordings, a label created by Jackson Browne and his management team, is distributed worldwide by Alternative Distribution Alliance.
"Joel Rafael's songs are filled with passion and compassion," says Jackson Browne. "Passion for social justice, and compassion - for those among us who have to struggle for a place at the table of American prosperity. His voice is unmistakably his own, big, warm and strong, and a conductor for the human emotions that connect us all..."....Read more
Joel Rafael is a disappearing breed: a Guthrie-Dylan-Llewyn Davis-style folk singer and Vietnam draft-dodger armed with a harmonica rack and acoustic guitar, who sings tales of love and history flickering with ache and political outrage. His ninth LP is unfussy and modestly heroic, drawn in clean fingerpicking laced with Greg Leisz's laidback pedal steel. Rafael has a weathered, fragile survivor's voice that fits his material; lyrics are plainspoken, sometimes to a fault. . .....Read more
Hear a new song from the voice that Jackson Browne describes as "a conductor for the human emotions that connect us all"....Read more
Conosciuto in modo particolare grazie alla serie "Songs of Woody Guthrie", due progetti/ tributo al grande padre del folk americano, pubblicati a partire dal 2003 (rispettivamente Woodeye e Woodyboye), il californiano Joel Rafael è in realtà un autore in pista dalla metà degli anni settanta, rispettato da colleghi assai piú famosi e ben introdotto nella scena locale di L.A. e San Diego. Non è un caso se le sue incisioni hanno trovato casa presso la Inside recordings fondata da Jackson Browne, amico di vecchia data, così come tutto il giro del Laurel Canyon e della West Coast che conta. I primi riconoscimenti sono arrivati però con l'esordio discografico della Joel Rafael Band nel 1994, seguito da un'imposizione al prestigioso festival di Kerrville: da allora Rafael è uno dei nomi di punta del movimento folk, che va a toccare oggi i territori dell'Americana e in generale di tutta la canzone d'autore legata alla tradizione.....Read more
An heir to Woody Guthrie's throne, Joel Rafael sings not only of social change and injustice, but of love and loss. Baladista, his ninth and most personal album, speaks more of his own personal history than humanity's transgressions, although he does include "El Bracero," a true tale of unheralded Mexican migrant workers who helped feed our country while American men went off to fight World War II.....Read more
Joel Rafael, a former Teamster and critically acclaimed songwriter and folk artist, is again striking the right cord with his latest album, Baladista, released earlier this month.
Already called "the must have Americana album of 2015," (Boomerocity.com), and "an album overflowing with gentle, melodic grace," (No Depression), Baladista delivers 10 ballads that embrace and celebrate the human spirit and reflect the half-century journey of an American songwriter.....Read more
... Rafael has been known to be political but most of the songs here are about life, from She Had to Go: "She used to come to see me play / But now she never does / I can't spend my life this way / Thinking about how it was." That lyric illustrates the simplicity of Rafael's words in telling a good story.......Read more
"500 Miles" est extrait du nouvel album de Joel RAFAEL "Baladista", disponible cette semaine. Et c'est une libre reprise du titre créé par Hedy WEST, et adapté en français en 1962 par Richard ANTHONY "J'entends siffler le train", qui a été choisie en guise de locomotive. "Baladista" est le neuvième album de Joel RAFAEL, digne successeur de "America Come Home" paru en 2012. Il offre dix ballades essentiels qui embrassent et célèbrent l'esprit humain et reflètent le voyage d'un demi-siècle d'un auteur-compositeur américain.......Read more
Album includes co-write with Eagles Songwriter Jack Tempchin
Critically acclaimed, California songwriter and seminal folk artist Joel Rafael releases his ninth album today, Baladista, on Inside Recordings. Inside Recordings, a label created by Jackson Browne and his management team, is distributed worldwide by Alternative Distribution Alliance. Baladista is available today at all normal retail outlets, including Amazon and iTunes.......Read more
Intervista al singer/songwriter californiano per parlare del suo nuovo album "Baladista" e...
"Amo il titolo che ho scelto per il mio nuovo album perché è semplice. è una parola spagnola che significa solamente cantante di ballate o trovatore, ma ha un bel suono, e può essere compresa anche da chi parla diverse lingue. Negli ultimi tre anni inoltre ho viaggiato in Spagna parecchie volte, quindi sembrava davvero il titolo giusto al momento giusto". è con voce estremamente calma e gentile che Joel Rafael ci racconta al telefono del suo nuovo disco, Baladista. In uscita oggi, 14 aprile, il nono album del singer/songwriter californiano vorrebbe rappresentare una sintesi del suo percorso, un viaggio artistico lungo mezzo secolo. . . .....Read more
Singer/songwriter californiano fa il punto su quasi cinquant'anni di carriera
Baladista, il cantore di ballate. Titolo estremamente calzante nella sua sinteticità per descrivere il nuovo album di Joel Rafael, nel quale il singer/songwriter californiano fa il punto su quasi cinquant'anni di carriera.
Il suo è stato infatti un lungo cammino, percorso raccontando storie. Quelle dei grandi folk singer degli anni '60 che cantava alla high school accompagnandosi con la sei corde, i brani del suo maestro spirituale Woody Guthrie che ha proposto per anni in lungo e in largo per gli Stati Uniti e infine, ovviamente, anche i pezzi scritti di suo pugno. . .....Read more
L' acclamato compositore californiano e artista fondamentale della musica folk, Joel Rafael pubblicherà domani 14 aprile il suo nono album in studio dal titolo "Baladista" su etichetta Inside Recordings (creata da Jackson Browne e dal suo management).
Il primo singolo dell'album "Old Portland Town" è un brano che racconta l'esperienza vissuta da Rafael a Portland, arrestato durante una retata selvaggia nei sobborghi della città. Rafael era migrato a Portland da Los Angeles con un gruppo di fuorilegge, artisti, scrittori e mistici nel tentati di evitare l'imminente leva militare. . .....Read more
Dans la lignée des singers / songwriters étatsuniens, Joel Rafael est l'un des plus discrets et subtils esthètes, disciple avoué du grand Woody Guthrie. "Baladista," son neuvième album, vient tout juste de sortir en France.
Joel Rafael Pochette - Joel Rafael? Connais pas ... - Il est vrai qu'en France, où l'on a parfois du mal à faire la différence entre l'authentique et le frelaté, les folksters subtils de la trempe de Rafael n'ont pas toujours droit de cité (comme disait le grand philosophe Coluche, - Danyel Gérard avait le choix entre le chapeau de Bob Dylan et le talent de Bob Dylan. Il a pris le chapeau -). . .....Read more
Despite only ever having spoken once before with singer-songwriter Joel Rafael, our phone conversation on April 2, 2015 felt as comfortable as catching up with an old friend. Signed to Jackson Browne's Inside Recordings in 2000, Rafael has played an integral role in the folk music community, serving on the Board of the Folk Alliance for several terms. A Woody Guthrie devotee, Rafael was the featured performer at a Guthrie tribute held in 2012 at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. During the course of his career, Rafael has shared the stage with the likes of Joan Baez, John Trudell, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Sheryl Crow, Laura Nyro, Taj Mahal, Emmylou Harris, and John Lee Hooker. The California-based artist is about to release his ninth solo album on April 14th and is heading to New York City for an April 13th performance with Tom Chapin at City Winery.....Read more
Baladista, an album overflowing with gentle, melodic grace.
Baladista is Chicago born, Southern California based Rafael's ninth recording and his third consecutive release on Jackson Browne's imprint Inside Recordings. This ten-song set was recorded and mixed by Joel in his home studio and co-produced with wife Lauren. Joel (vocals, acoustic guitar, piano, harmonica) is supported on this occasion by Greg Leisz (electric guitars, dobro, pedal steel) and James 'Hutch' Hutchinson (bass). By the way, the Spanish male/female noun Baladista translates as singer/writer of songs. If the jacket fits . . .....Read more
Artist? Activist? Audio anthropologist? Singer? Songwriter? Storyteller? As it relates to musician Joel Rafael, the answer to all of those questions is a resounding "Yes!" Rafael, whose latest collection of hauntingly heartfelt tunes, Baladista, arrives on April 14, has been penning his sometimes painfully honest and often thought-provoking mini musical movies since his early 20’s.....Read more
Singer-songwriter and folk musician Joel Rafael has been writing and performing for over 50 years, beginning as a drummer with his first band, a jazz combo, in the 6th grade. After transitioning from jazz to surf music in junior high, Rafael soon found himself swept up by the rise of folk music in the early sixties. He began learning chords on a cheap guitar he picked up in Tijuana, until he was able to afford a more respectable instrument by selling an expensive rifle he’d been given. He soon became the resident folk musician of his high school, performing in hootenannies, benefit shows, and on open stages, polishing his style. He began incorporating his own lyrics and melodies into the folk format, and by his senior year he was gigging in clubs his classmates were too young to enter.Read more
Joel Rafael's ninth album, Baladista, recorded in his studio at his ranch in North San Diego County, California, accompanied by Greg Leisz, James "Hutch" Hutchinson, John Inmon and Terry "Buffalo" Ware, delivers ten essential ballads that embrace and celebrate the human spirit and reflect the half-century journey of an American Songwriter.......Read more
However, the second single/video, is, by far, Boomerocity's favorite and we're exclusively featuring it TODAY for the entire world to hear and see. The song is is "Love's First Lesson," a co-write with Eagles songwriter Jack Tempchin. The two have been friends since the 1970s when they met while performing at the Blue Ridge Guitar Shop in Encinitas.....Read more
Singer songwriter Joel Rafael, who is known for his 5-decade folk career of original folk music as well as for being a natural interpreter of Woody Guthrie's lyrics and songs, premieres a new music video for his song, "Baladista," exclusively here on Music News Nashville (and the other Music News group sites).....Read more
Singer-songwriter Joel Rafael, die samenwerkte met grootheden als Crosby & Nash en bij het label van Jackson Browne zit, brengt in april zijn nieuwe album Baladista uit. Beluister hieronder alvast het nummer Thanks For The Smiles.....Read more
Joel Rafael, Jackson Browne & Jack Tempchin Announce Circle Of Friends Benefit Concert For Cheyne Johnston Recovery
California Center For The Arts, Escondido On Thursday, April 9, 2015....Read more
The saying is - the best writing comes from writing what you know, and based on Joel Rafael's life experiences and 50 or so years of making music, he has a deep well from which to draw.....Read more
Like the best of England, The Cornbury Music Festival is eccentric, charming and irresistible - a homespun melting pot where music-lovers share pies and a glass of champagne with superstars, toffs, rockers, crooners, Morris dancers, farmers, urbanites, fashionistas, gourmet chefs and the little old ladies who make exceptional cakes.....Read more
"Baladista", nono album in carriera per il cantautore Joel Rafael, sarà disponibile dal prossimo 14 aprile.....Read more
"This is a true story about an incident from a couple of years ago that really haunted me until I could get it down in words. It's about the power of words, and how they can be used to defile or redeem." - Joel Rafael....Read more
Rolling Stone Germany - Joel Rafael auf Deutschlandkurs: Erste Single "Old Portland Town" exklusiv im Streamans of Woody Guthrie's Joel Rafael a term - for the great of the Americana scene before he opened concerts. Now he wants to make a name in here with the new album "Baladista". ....Read more
Critically Acclaimed Songwriter Joel Rafael To Release New Album, "Baladista," On April 14 On Inside RecordingsCritically acclaimed, California songwriter and seminal folk artist Joel Rafael will release his ninth album, Baladista, on April 14 (April 10 International) on Inside Recordings. Inside Recordings, a label created by Jackson Browne and his management team, is distributed worldwide by Alternative Distribution Alliance. The album will be available for preorder beginning today, February 17. Ticket Information Here
In the late '60s, Joel Rafael migrated from Los Angeles to Portland, Oregon with a group of politically motivated writers and artists in an effort to avoid being drafted into the Vietnam War. During a city-wide sweep of the youth underground, Rafael was arrested and spent 14 days in a Portland jail, an experience the acclaimed singer-songwriter recounts in the wistful folk ballad Old Portland Town, which MusicRadar is premiering . . .
"Tras los pasos de Woody Guthrie. 'No tengo dinero, llevo canciones en el corazón', escribió Jack Tempchin en su primeros tiempos con Funky Kings y que cantó Joel Rafael en su penúltimo disco. Canciones son sueños, ilusiones, historias que nos conmueven de este trovador ambulante de San Diego, California, aunque nacido en Chicago. Joel Rafael, discípulo aventajado del legado y de las enseñanzas de Woody Guthrie, nos visita como parte de su amplia gira española. Rescatado por Jackson Browne en su sello Inside Recordings, Rafael había sido invitado en 2003 al Endless Sky Tribute en honor a Woody Guthrie, y desde entonces su nombre, su música se consideran fundamentales en la última regeneración del folk estadounidense. Figuras ilustres como David Crosby y Graham Nash, Van Dyke Parks, Jennifer Warnes, Arlo Guthrie o el propio Browne intervienen en sus discos recientes. Escuchemos. Sigamos la senda de Woody... el año que perdimos a Pete Seeger.
"David Amram's 84th Birthday Concert - Remembering Pete Seeger": The Greatest Folk Concert Long Island Has Witnessed In Decades! Come Celebrate David Amram's 84th Birthday And The Legacy Of Pete Seeger
Old Brookville, NY (September 29, 2014) - On November 20, 2014 at 7pm, Producer Jason Samel of Movement Music Records in association with Love Revolution and Gold Coast Arts Center presents "David Amram's 84th Birthday Concert: Remembering Pete Seeger" at The Hillwood Recital Hall At Tilles Center on campus at LIU Post, 720 Northern Blvd, Brookville, NY 11548. Net proceeds will benefit the 501 (c)(3) not for profit Gold Coast Arts Center, a not for profit organization dedicated to supporting and promoting the arts through education, exhibition, performance and outreach.
Keynote speaker Graham Nash echoed Brewer & Shipley's sentiments in an engaging talk and Q& A with Folk Alliance board member Joel Rafael. Invoking a line from his pal David Crosby's famous song, "Almost Cut My Hair," Nash said he brought greetings from bandmates Crosby, Stephen Stills and Neil Young, and pronounced, "Long may our freak flag fly." . . .
Appearing at Northern Arizona University, Ashurst Hall
A Community Tribute to Pete Seeger Recorded Live From The Freight & Salvage - February 3, 2014
Listen to the live broadcast from the Freight & Salvage. The evening was hosted by Holly Near, and featured Ronnie Gilbert, Barbara Dane, Johnny Harper, Country Joe McDonald, Wavy Gravy, Vicki Randle, Lichi Fuentes, Fernando Fena Torres, Joel Rafael, Evie Ladin, Keith Terry, Erik Pearson, Gerry Tenney, Bill Amanteek, Robin Flower, Barbara Higbie, Shelley Doty, Roy Zimmerman, Blame Sally and more.
Celebrated Music Festival Headed West To LA's Iconic Santa Monica Pier on October 5-6, 2013
Featuring Performances by Joel Rafael, Newport Folk Alumni Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes, Neko Case, Brett Dennen, First Aid Kit, Shovels & Rope, Justin Townes Earle, Calexico and more
Singer-Songwriter Joel Rafael to Perform at McCabes Guitar Shop in Santa Monica on November 3rd and Freight and Salvage in Berkeley on November 7th
California songwriter and seminal folk artist Joel Rafael will be playing two California shows the first week of November. Joel will perform at McCabe's Guitar Shop in Santa Monica on November 3rd and at Freight and Salvage in Berkeley on November 7th. Rafael will play original songs, some of his Woody Guthrie co-writes and other covers of American folk classics. Tickets are $20 for McCabe's and $18.50 for Freight and Salvage with a reduced rate for Freight members. To purchase tickets visit-
Joel Rafael performed during the dedication ceremony of the Bracero Memorial Highway at the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas, California on Saturday September 14, 2013. The memorial acknowledges three tragedies: Jan 28, 1948 plane wreck at Los Gatos, June 17, 1958 bus explosion at Soledad, and Sept 17, 1963 train and makeshift bus collision at Chualar. A newspaper article about the 1948 plane wreck inspired Woody Guthrie's song, "Plane Wreck At Los Gatos (Deportees)."
Bij het grote publiek is hij niet erg bekend. Maar dat zou wel moeten! Want als je gespeeld hebt met Jackson Browne, David Crosby en Graham Nash, Emmy Lou Harris, Kris Kristofferson, John Lee Hooker en Taj Mahal, dan moet je wel wat kunnen.
California songwriter and seminal folk artist Joel Rafael has been nominated for his album America Come Home in the "Best Americana Album" category of the 2013 San Diego Music Awards. The event first took place in 1991, as a way to recognize the achievements of San Diego's local music community and benefits the "Guitars for Schools" program, sponsored by Taylor Guitars. The 23rd annual awards will be announced Wednesday, October 9th.
A major highlight is the mini-suite of songs thematically connected by imagery of the open road and the hobo, with contemporary folksinger Joel Rafael's harmonica-accompanied "Ramblin' Reckless Hobo" (for which he set Guthrie's lyrics to his own music), Jimmy LaFave's "Hard Travelin'," Donovan's "Riding in My Car" and Rosanne Cash's "I Ain't Got No Home." Listening to Rafael, it's hard not to hear a Bob Dylan influence, or more precisely, how Guthrie influenced Dylan and in turn, Rafael.
Joel Rafael ensures that, for the first day of the summer, has brought to Lugo 'a little bit of the California sun-no' of San Diego, his city. It is your first stay in Calicia, the second in the Peninsula, and both he and his wife.
WOODY GUTHRIE AT 100! LIVE AT THE KENNEDY CENTER pays homage to the artistry of American folk musician Woody Guthrie. The all-star concert staged in his honor last October in Washington, DC. Featuring performances from Jackson Browne, Joel Rafael, Rosanne Cash, Judy Collins and many others will be aired on PBS stations across the nation in June.
Singer-songwriter Joel Rafael To Appear In "Woody Guthrie At 100! Live At Kennedy Center" PBS Special And On CD And DVD Being Released June 11th
Singer-songwriter and noted Woody Guthrie interpreter Joel Rafael spent much of 2012 participating in the "Woody At 100" events - a series of concerts, readings and festivities surrounding the centennial anniversary of Woody Guthrie's birth. The year of events concluded with a concert at Washington D.C.'s Kennedy Center and featured Rafael along with Rosanne Cash, John Mellencamp, Jackson Browne, Judy Collins and many more. Now on June 11th Sony Legacy will release Woody Guthrie at 100! Live At The Kennedy Center both as a CD and DVD. The release date will coincide with a PBS airing of the live concert event.
Woody Guthrie At 100! Live At The Kennedy Center All-star Historic Concert To Be Released As Deluxe CD+DVD Package
WOODY GUTHRIE AT 100! LIVE AT THE KENNEDY CENTER pays homage to the artistry of American folk musician Woody Guthrie. This new CD+DVD commemorative package captures the historic all-star concert staged in his honor last October inWashington, DC. Featuring performances from Jackson Browne, Rosanne Cash, Judy Collins, Jeff Daniels (reading a letter, not singing), Ani DiFranco, Donovan, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, John Mellencamp, Tom Morello, Old Crow Medicine Show, Lucinda Williams, and many others, the set will be available June 11, 2013 through Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music Entertainment.
"In case you were wondering what instrument I'm playing . . .it's an acoustic guitar," chuckled Joel Rafael as he took the Harbor stage early on Sunday. "It's a daring choice for a festival like this." Rafael is credited to be the leader in interpreting the work of Woody Guthrie, the famed folk singer whom recently celebrated his 100th birthday. Rafael has been touring since the early nineties and is on the rise in the national folk festival scene.
The set this afternoon was simple and relaxed; it truly showcased Rafael's showmanship, as he held his own with just his guitar. His vocals really showed his decades of experience, the seasoned pipes filled the tent with deep tenor and conviction. Stand out tracks included "Way Over Yonder In the Minor Key" and "Don't Kill My Baby and My Son".
Last year Asturias premiered in concerts in small halls Gijon, Aviles and Oviedo, and this year, the musician Joel Rafael repeat trip, this time to Gijon, their folk to sound more authentic in the Botanical Garden (25 June, 21 hours) just on the eve of Bruce Springsteen concert in El Molinon. He will be accompanied by Stormy Mondays. It will be a very special live event, with the Botanical themed for the occasion, and heavily involved in the environment 'Springsteen', and with a capacity for 500 people. The space chosen will be known as Molin of Rionda. Both Joel Rafael and Stormy, have to do with the musician from New Jersey who will star the next day.
You can gauge the storytelling talents of Guthrie by listening to a re-release of two tribute albums by Californian songwriter and performer Joel Rafael. The first album, Woodeye, featuring backing vocals by Jennifer Warnes and Van Dyke Parks, was originally released on Rafael's own label Inside Recordings in 2003. Woodyboye followed two years later and on one track, Stepstone, Rafael is joined by Woody's son Arlo and Jackson Browne.
Joel Rafael is one of today's best interpreters of Woody Guthrie's songs. He has recorded two fine albums with songs of Guthrie, "Woodeye" and "Woodyboye". On the first one of these we find "Don't Kill My Baby and My Son", a song about the lynching in Okemah in 1911 of Laura Nelson and her fifteen year old son Lawrence. It's believed that Woody Guthrie's father, who was a Democrat as well as a segregationist, could have participated in the lynching.
Joel Rafael found the lyrics to the song in a dusty collection and performed it on a Guthrie festival in Okemah in 1998. Not even Arlo Guthrie knew about it.
Singer-Songwriter Joel Rafael wins Top Prize in Folk Category at the International Acoustic Music Awards
California songwriter and seminal folk artist Joel Rafael was awarded the top prize in Folk/Americana/Roots at 2013's International Acoustic Music Awards for his recording of "Dance Around My Atom Fire," a song he co-wrote with Woody Guthrie. The 9th Annual IAMA's were announced on Monday, February 4th. Judging is based on excellence in music performance, songwriting, composition, song choice, music production, originality and artistry.
Veteran Singer-Songwriter Joel Rafael to Walk for Huntington's Disease in Honor of Woody Guthrie in Phoenix, AZ on November 17th
California songwriter and seminal folk artist Joel Rafael will be participating in Huntington's Disease Society of America Inc. Pacific Southwest Region's Team Hope Walk on November 17th. Rafael, a foremost Woody Guthrie interpreter will be walking with Guthrie's first wife Mary, who is now 95. Both Guthrie and his two daughters with Mary died from Huntington's Disease. The walk will commence at 10AM. At 10:30 AM Rafael will play a live set of songs at the event.
On October 12, 2012, Border Songs--a new compilation album to benefit the southern Arizona humanitarian group No More Deaths - was released to a capacity crowd in Flagstaff, AZ. The purpose of the album is to raise awareness and provide aid to migrants who suffer and die in Sonoran desert. Joel Rafael contributed his song "Sierra Blanca Massacre" to this album.
Former Teamster Joel Rafael wowed a sold-out audience at the Kennedy Center Sunday night with a stirring performance of Woody Guthrie's "Ramblin' Reckless Hobo." Rafael once worked as a Teamster concert grunt at the San Diego Wild Animal Park. Last night in the nation's capital he shared the stage with Jackson Browne, John Mellencamp, Roseanne Cash, Lucinda Williams, Ramblin' Jack Elliot, Ry Cooder, Judy Collins, Donovan and Guthrie's daughter Nora. It was a grand celebration of Guthrie's 100th birthday. And it was a reminder that working people share the same longings and face the same trials now that they did during the Dust Bowl.
Folks like Jimmy LaVave and Joel Rafel, both acknowledged Guthrie experts and followers and singers, sang things like "Reckless Hobo" and "Hard Traveling," the music of the folks Guthrie had eulogized, celebrated and bled for, being one of them to his holy shoes full of holes. More and more instruments came, the guys with the harmonica hooked to the guitar, the accordions and their endless rolling sounds and the wonder of the c-note, the ukulele.
California-based folk musician Joel Rafael performed at the inaugural Woody Guthrie Folk Festival in 1998 and has played at the festival every year since. He toured with the Guthrie tribute show "Ribbon of Highway, Endless Skyway" and has released two albums of Guthrie's songs.
Joel Rafael - a noted Guthrie historian and musician who has recorded several albums of the artist's music and is performing at the Kennedy Center show - says that Guthrie's songs have endured not just because they are singable tunes about critical issues, but also because Guthrie wasn't an armchair pundit. He lived his life in the field - even at the expense of his relationship with his family.
Woody Guthrie has been having a blowout of a 100th birthday party, and it's lasted all year long. Forty-five years after his death in 1967, you can suddenly hear him everywhere.
...Not that it's always easy to embrace Guthrie. Joel Rafael, who has released two fine albums of Guthrie songs, observed, "There's an element to Woody that takes study. You have to apply yourself." Rafael describes Guthrie as a "Zen hobo." But hobos are complex figures in the American tradition. On the one hand, a hobo is a rebel who lives a life of adventure. On the other, a hobo is a bum, even if he's sometimes, as a well-known Guthrie refrain goes, a "great historical bum."
Old and brand spanking new, original or cover, here is a magnificent song bag.
In the final verse of the already familiar Joel Rafael/Woody Guthrie co-write Dance Around My Atom Fire, this California based musician sings with conviction: 'Warfare is not the settlement; bloodshed is not the element; shake hands and work together; dance around the atom fire.' 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of Guthrie's birth and the song previously graced Rafael's Oklahoman troubadour tribute WOODYBOYE (2005).
The Red Dirt Rangers have performed at every festival, as have Joel Rafael, a leading authority on Guthrie, Don Conoscenti, a highly respected multiinstrumentalist and regular headliner, Jimmy LaFave. Rafael included seven Guthrie songs in his set. With a newly released album AMERICA COME HOME Rafael played just one self-penned song from it Meanwhile The Rain. That gives you a measure of his respect for Guthrie's legacy - how many musicians, playing in front of thousands, would rather have promoted their own material?
Joel Rafael Appearing on SiriusXM's Folk Alliance part One from the New Music Seminar at the Living Room
September 18th at 12pm
September 23rd at 7pm
and September 25th at 12pm
Featured Artists Include:
Joel Rafael, Stray Birds, Grant Peeples, Deering & Down, Brother Sun, Ellis, Michael Fracasso, Tracy Grammer, Chuck Mead, John Flynn, Sam Doores, Nels Andrews, Ariana Gillis, Eric Brace & Peter Cooper, Mare Winningham
For more information:
SiriusXM's The Living Room
Un’annotazione. Joel Rafael muove debutta come cantautore in piccoli club di Los Angeles, a San Diego e nella Baja California. Nel 1978 forma un duo con la folk singer di San Diego, Rosie Flores. Subito dopo i promoter locali lo notano e Rafael comincia a suonare in apertura ai concerti di Rick Danko , Emmy Lou Harris, John Lee Hooker, John Stewart, Laura Nyro e Taj Majal. Nel 1981 è in tour per tutto il sud ovest degli Stati Uniti con Jesse Colin Young e incide l’album d’esordio Dharma Bums.
SFS is pleased to present a very special celebration and tribute to the life of one of the most influential people in the world of Folk Music...Woody Guthrie. Join Northwest duo "The Wanderers" and recording artist-Guthrie expert Joel Rafael as they raise the roof in Seattle to celebrate Woody Guthrie's 100th birthday. This show will have plenty of Guthrie history and singing! Songs from the obscure to the internationally renowned. Imagine, a whole night of Woody Guthrie!
I've packed my clothes, gear and guitar for my annual journey to Okema, Oklahoma, a small town of about 3,000 people located some 70 miles east of Oklahoma City on Interstate 40. I've made the trip to the birthplace of Woodrow Wilson Guthrie and the home of the Woody Guthrie Free Folk Festival 14 times before.
"America Come Home", is California songwriter Joel Rafael's eighth album. The album provides 12 tracks of Rafael's unique brand of American Power Folk. "Dance Around My Atom Fire," is a Woody Guthrie-Joel Rafael co-write, which opens the album and sets the tone of social consciousness that permeates Rafael's writing. "America Come Home", the album's title track performed with David Crosby and Graham Nash, is a wonderful request to restore the American Dream"
Every summer, in the long ago, we would travel south to visit family in Tulsa and I'd go fishing in the crystal clear water of Spavinaw Creek with my grandfather while my grandmother would talk about barite roses, the best way to fry a chicken, and Oklahoma's favorite sons, humorist Will Rogers and folk singer Woody Guthrie.
"People think of Woody Guthrie as just a wordsmith, but he had very strong melodies," says singer-songwriter and guitarist Joel Rafael. "I think he was very calculated in the way he wrote his melodies. He might have based them on traditional songs he'd heard before, but they were very bold – you can remember them. I try to do the same thing with my songs and anything I write to his lyrics, any of the collaborations. I want my melodies to strike a familiar place with people. That's how a song really hits home."
A respected folk artist in the vein of Woody Guthrie, Joel Rafael has crafted another winning album in "America Come Home." Whether co-writing a tune with the late Guthrie ("Dance Around My Atom Fire") or being joined by icons David Crosby and Graham Nash (title track), Rafael has delivered a thought-provoking - yet always entertaining - collection of twelve tunes.
The term "traditional folk music" brings to mind coffeehouses, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and maybe Bob Dylan with an axe in his hand, but much of folk was, and still is, based on political beliefs, and no one voiced his beliefs better than Woody Guthrie. Troubadour and gentle activist Joel Rafael has written a personal view of Guthrie for the upcoming Elmore, outlining Guthrie's impact on society and his up-and-down relationship with his fellow Americans.
Joel Rafael first began performing in showcases and small clubs around Los Angeles, San Diego and the Inland Empire in California. He formed a duo with San Diego-based Rosie Flores in 1978, enjoying standing-room-only crowds during their nine-month collaboration. Soon after, local promoters sought him as an opener for national touring acts from Rick Danko to Emmy Lou Harris, including John Lee Hooker, John Stewart, Laura Nyro, and Taj Majal. In 1981, Rafael toured the southwest with Jesse Colin Young, and released a debut album, Dharma Bums.
Joel Rafael featured on the Artist Line up for This Land is Your Land - The Woody Guthrie Centennial Celebration Concert
A lineup of renowned artists including Jackson Browne, Rosanne Cash, Judy Collins, Ry Cooder, Del McCoury Band with Tim O'Brien, Ani DiFranco, Donovan, Dropkick Murphys, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Arlo Guthrie, Jimmy LaFave, John Mellencamp, Tom Morello, Old Crow Medicine Show, Joel Rafael, and Rob Wasserman will salute folk music legend Woody Guthrie as the Kennedy Center, in collaboration with the GRAMMY Museum®, presents This Land is Your Land - The Woody Guthrie Centennial Celebration Concert on Sunday October 14, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. in the Concert Hall. The evening will celebrate the life and work of folk singer Woody Guthrie, whose songs have inspired change throughout the nation and the world. The performance is part of the Songs of Conscience concert series. Artists are subject to change.
Newport Folk Festival was the cutting edge during the '60s folk heyday. But after the event's resurrection in 1985, it struggled to survive financially and at times only tread water artistically until Jay Sweet took over as producer. Last year under Sweet's leadership, it sold out in advance for the first time in its over-50-year history. This year, except for Friday's Wilco/Megafaun/Blitzen Trapper concert, the July 27-29 event sold out months in advance, with a mix of generations assembling at Newport, Rhode Island's historic Fort Adams State Park on the Narragansett Bay. The main stage (of the four) was between the 19th-century fort and the water. Another stage was on the quad inside the fort itself.
A grey fog had descended and it had started to drizzle on My Morning Jacket's set at the Newport Folk Festival Saturday night, when frontman Jim James invited Alabama Shakes frontwoman Brittany Howard onstage. "This one's for Levon," James said, kicking into the Band's "Makes No Difference" and gorgeously replicating Rick Danko's tearful delivery, while Howard belted her verses eyes-closed, threw her up her arms and twirled furiously as the band jammed.
"In case you were wondering what instrument I'm playing ... it's an acoustic guitar," chuckled Joel Rafael as he took the Harbor stage early on Sunday. "It's a daring choice for a festival like this." Rafael is credited to be the leader in interpreting the work of Woody Guthrie, the famed folk singer whom recently celebrated his 100th birthday. Rafael has been touring since the early nineties and is on the rise in the national folk festival scene.
Michael Fracasso sang 'I'm going back to Oklahoma . . . and that's exactly what thousands of people did to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Woody Guthrie's birth. This annual festival is free apart from the opening night concert at the historic Crystal Theatre, which this year featured Guthrie's son Arlo. A sold out audience also enjoyed the opening act, Gretchen Peters, whose latest album HELLO CRUEL WORLD has been critically and commercially acclaimed as her best yet. That speaks volumes for a woman who has penned many hits for mainstream country stars.
On a beautiful late spring evening in NYC, I was lucky enough to find a parking spot on the street in the Village, and made it down to the Living Room for the 2012 Folk Alliance New Music Showcase, featuring a spellbinding live set from California-based singer/songwriter Joel Rafael performing songs from his newest album, America Come Home (with a surprise walk-on by Graham Nash). I had a chance to speak with Joel outside the venue after his performance. Read on and enjoy!
Who needs Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber when you can hear Judy Collins sing Bob Dylan, while celebrating Woody Guthrie's 100th birthday?
It began last Wednesday with a special concert by Woody's 65-year-old son, Arlo Guthrie (remember "Alice's Restaurant"?) and singer-songwriter Gretchen Peters, one of Nashville’s most gifted lyricists and singers. Peters has written a bunch of big hits for name performers, including "Independence Day" for Martina McBride. But I prefer Gretchen singing her own songs. Her new album, “Hello Cruel World,” is one of her best. She and Arlo performed at the newly restored Crystal Theatre in downtown Okemah, where the boyish Woody went to movies in the 1920s.
The first songs that singer-songwriter Joel Rafael learned on guitar were Woody Guthrie’s – the standards of the ’60s folk revival scene, like “This Land Is Your Land.” Rafael never really got over them, and has spent his entire career paying tribute to Guthrie.
Woody Guthrie wrote songs that became not only the sound-track of an era, but permanent fixtures of our American Identity. Guthrie's more than 3,000 songs covering countless subjects and appealing to all ages represented the pulse of hard-hit people in times of economic depression and war. On Saturday July 14th, KPFK 90.7FM - Los Angeles celebrates Woody Guthrie's 100th Birthday with special programming from 12 Noon to 6pm.
Many think folk music is on the way out," Rafael says. "But it isn't. It's on the way in. It's the music of the people. It may seep underground at times, but it's alive and flourishing." Most of Guthrie's recordings are field recordings of lesser quality -- rife with crackle and scratch and poor fidelity. Rafael wants people today to be able to listen, clearly listen to Guthrie's words that tell such amazing stories of people and events that shaped America, he says.
"Occupy This Album," this homage to the Occupy Wall Street movement, is thick with troubadours and an eye toward social justice.
On May 15th, "Occupy This Album" - a 99-track compilation featuring Morello, David Crosby, Graham Nash, Jackson Browne, Joel Rafael, Yoko Ono and many more - goes on sale to raise funds for Occupy. "That's how we'll push this movement forward and keep income disparity on people's minds," says activist-singer Jason Samel, who organized the album. "By putting it on a record."
Some shows you go in knowing how they will end before they even begin. Take the Woody Guthrie Centennial Concert. You know that was going to end with the various performers coming out and leading the audience in a rendition of "This Land Is Your Land." Even though the finale was a foregone conclusion, it still wound up being a very moving moment (more on that later) and the show that preceded it was far from a predictable concert experience.
Woody Guthrie would have been 100 years old this year, and there was a BIG old party for him last night at the Club Nokia in Los Angeles. Because it was Los Angeles, we dealt with the usual trifecta of traffic, long lines and confused box office workers, so we were late to the show, but were in good company as Steve Earle and Tim Robbins straggled in with us too, and seemed just as excited to get in. I learned a lot about Woody Guthrie from my friend, Tom Morello, so was most excited to see him be a part of such an epic show.
Making Moves for Heroes: KPFK Moves the 2nd Annual Hero Awards to Club Nokia! The Hero Awards is a benefit series for the Los Angeles-based Pacifica Radio station
North Hollywood - KPFK 90.7 announces its honorees for the 2nd Annual Hero Awards and Tribute. The Hero Awards is a benefit series for the Los Angeles-based Pacifica Radio station. The event honors icons of our time who have left an impact on music and community. This year's honoree is musician and political poet Gil Scott-Heron, with special awards to Jazz bassist and activist Charlie Haden, music educator Fernando Pullum; and a Lifetime Achievement Award to Pete Seeger, American folk singer and activist. The 2nd Annual KPFK Hero Awards and Tribute will take place Sunday, May 6th, 2012 at Club Nokia, 800 West Olympic Blvd, 3rd floor at the fabulous L.A. Live. The event starts with a VIP reception and silent auction from 5 pm to 7 pm and the show starts at 8 pm. The line-up will feature a host of prolific and poetic artists. The invited list of performers and guest speakers include Ben Harper, Stevie Wonder, Jackson Browne, Jill Scott, Tim Robbins, Ledisi, Nas, Nailah Porter, Mos Def, Saul Williams, Ravi Coltrane and Flying Lotus. Brian Jackson, long-time collaborator with Gil Scott-Heron, will be on hand as Music Director.
"Occupy This Album: a compilation of music by, for and inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement and the 99% OUT MAY 15TH
The City Winery in New York to Host Occupy This Album Record Release Party May 8th, 2012
The City Winery in New York to Host Occupy This Album
Record Release Party May 8th, 2012
Occupy This Album Embeddable Digital Sampler Available Now
Album Features Fan Favorite and Never Before Released Tracks From Ani DiFranco, UNKLE, David Amram, Joan Baez, Tom Chapin, Willie Nelson, Rain Phoenix, Patti Smith, Anti Flag, Girls Against Boys, Garland Jeffreys, New Party Systems Featuring Kyp Malone, Yoko Ono, Amanda Palmer, Dar Williams, The Mammals Featuring Pete Seeger, David Crosby & Graham Nash, George Martinez & The Global Block Collective, Jackson Browne, Yo La Tengo, The Guthrie Family, Matt Pless, Filmmaker Michael Moore, Mogwai and More!
Public On-Sale Tomorrow 4/17 - There are only 170 tickets available so reserve now before they go public tomorrow and sell out fast.
Join City Winery and Music for Occupy on May 8th to inspire and celebrate through music the Occupy Wall Street movement and the 99% who've been adversely affected by the economic corruption that has permeated our Democracy, created a near insurmountable disparity in wealth, and hindered life, liberty, justice and the pursuit of an honest living for all.
he Woody Guthrie centennial celebration landed in Los Angeles for a weekend of scholarly discussions and a sold-out, 3-1/2 hour concert that ended with a most unlikely sight -- more than 2,000 people pogo-ing while singing Guthrie's best-known song, "This Land is Your Land."
Jackson Browne, David Crosby & Graham Nash, Dawes, John Doe, Richie Furay, Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion, Kris Kristofferson, Tom Morello, Joel Rafael, Rob Wasserman and More To Perform At L.A.'s This Land is Your Land ~ The Woody Guthrie Centennial Celebration Concert
Tickets To Go On Sale Saturday, March 17 at 10 a.m. PST
Rafael will bring his unique interpretations to the world-renowned South By Southwest Music Conference taking place next week. On Thursday, March 15th at 1:30 PM Joel Rafael will join Jimmy LaFave, Douglas Brinkley, Dave Marsh, and Nora Guthrie for a panel on "Woody Guthrie at 100." The discussion will take place at the Austin Convention Center- Room 18ABC. Later that evening, he will perform at the "GRAMMY Museum's Woody Guthrie Memorial Tribute" at St. David's Church beginning at 8PM. This all-star tribute will feature Rafael alongside Ray Wylie Hubbard, Ruthie Foster, David Garza, Carrie Rodriquez, Jimmy LaFave and more.
Joel Rafael to Present His "Woody Guthrie's American Road" Program on the Lyceum State at San Diego Repertory on January 20
Rafael Also to Play Acoustic Concert Live at Rock Valley in San Diego on Jan. 21
As Woody Guthrie's centennial year begins, singer-songwriter Joel Rafael will present his program "Woody Guthrie's American Road" before the Friday, January 20 performance of the world premiere workshop production of A Hammer, A Bell, and a Song To Sing at San Diego Repertory (Jan. 10-29, www.sdrep.org). Rafael, known for his interpretations of Guthrie's work, takes the stage at 7PM, to paint a vivid portrait of the American folk icon through live musical performance, photographic images, and readings of Guthrie's prose. "Woody Guthrie's American Road" evokes the timelessness of Guthrie's musical and literary contributions, and the relevance of his overall body of work
Crosby and Nash, Third Eye Blind, Devo, Jackson Browne, Ladytron, Lloyd Cole, The Guthrie Family, Joel Rafael and filmmaker and activist Michael Moore are coming together to contribute their voices and talents to Occupy This Album, a compilation record inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement that will be released in winter 2011-2012