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San Diego Troubadour - Review: Joel Rafael: Baladista

Joel Rafael - Baldista

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...

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