News & Reviews


ChannelNews Asia Interview: Troubadour Joel Rafael harks back to Guthrie with new tunes

Joel Rafael - Baldista

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...


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