News & Reviews


March 6, 2012

Songwriter Joel Rafael Brings His Woody Guthrie Insight to South by Southwest

Joel Rafael Appearing at 2012 SXSW

Southern California based songwriter Joel Rafael began his career in the 70's touring extensively as an opener for acts including Emmylou Harris, John Lee Hooker, Taj Mahal and more. Rafael's signature style - troubadour eloquence and timeless folk phrasing mixed with astute political observation - has always been heavily influenced by the life and work of Woody Guthrie. This simpatico sensibility paired with his vast knowledge of the Guthrie body of work has made him one of the foremost interpreters of the Woody Guthrie songbook.

Rafael has recorded two Guthrie tribute records, Woodeye ('02) and Woodyboye ('05), reissued in 2009 by Inside Recordings as The Songs of Woody Guthrie, Volumes 1 and 2. Together, they present Rafael's essential take on twenty-four Guthrie-and two Guthrie-inspired-compositions. Five songs feature music Rafael composed for previously unpublished Woody Guthrie lyrics, given to him by Nora Guthrie, who directs the Woody Guthrie Archives and oversees her father's legacy.

Now 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.

Thursday, March 15th

1:30 PM
Woody Guthrie at 100
Austin Convention Center Rm 18ABC
500 East Cesar Chavez St
Austin, TX 78701
*SXSW Badge only event

8:00 PM
Woody Guthrie Memorial Tribute
St. David's Church
301 East 8th St
Austin, TX 78701
*Official SXSW event

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