WHAT WE'RE LISTENING TO:
by Sam Gabel
“When I write in a flurry like that, it’s hard to see a thread. It feels more like a purge than a considered attempt at art but in the end I seem to get to stuff that I can’t get to when I’m thinking too hard.
So here is the ‘recorded during a massive snow storm at Jackpot Studios’ record. ‘There was a lot of blood, it was pretty weird,’ I don’t even know where that came from, scribbled on something, and turned into a uncomfortable song.”
The prolific writer has released more than 30 records and has a catalog of over 250 original songs and counting. Joseph has always stayed busy on the road, not only touring the US but also far-flung, under-explored locales. In the past couple years he has traveled to war-torn regions to bring supplies and teach and share music. Last Spring, he brought guitars and supplies and taught and performed for the residents of a permanent refugee camp in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. In 2015, he volunteered to bring instruments and taught at an underground co-ed rock school in Kabul, Afghanistan.
“For me, it was pretty profound. There were these teenage girls learning to play, Syrian Kurds. I wonder sometimes about the power or magic of music, but we certainly attach a lot to it. I think that there are these moments that I’ve found where music does make a difference. Showing these kids how to play a few guitar chords or teaching them ‘Three Little Birds’ by Bob Marley and teaching them about empowerment. It doesn’t matter if it’s clay or dance shoes, no one can take it away from you. They can take the guitar or the paint, but they can’t take your creative thinking. A lot of these kids and adults feel isolated and alone, and you go, ‘Here [hand them a guitar and a social media account], You’re not alone. You’re part of something beautiful and bigger.’”
Weird Blood is available now on itunes and cosmosexschool.com
To help make a difference for the holidays, please help contribute to Jerry Joseph’s international charitable endeavors by visiting:
For a complete visit list of his tour, visit jerryjoseph.com/tour
photo by Michael Schoenfeld