13 March, 2018
Joel features on the cover of the current ‘Hear Ye’, maybe not as prestigious as the cover of the “Rolling Stone” however a real kudos statement for our club. Joel certainly met the challenge with his performance on Sunday night.
This was his third time visiting Christchurch and having been at all three of these local concerts I unequivocally state that this was the best of the three. In 2010 Joel added vocals to his performance; prior to this it had been instrumentals only. The vocal techniques that he generously gave the audience belied the relatively short six years of honing this craft as the timbre of his voice was solid, rich and unfaltering, matching the guitar playing underneath the melody with equally strong and rhythmic finger picking with accentuating licks of slide thrown in.
The achievement looked even more remarkable as the majority of Joel’s left hand work was done with slide on his finger which meant the other fingers were making the chordal changes in lightning speed. The night gave us variety, a mix of Joel’s own storytelling that gave us the reasons for his set choices, his own song and instrumentals, including ‘The Mosquito Buzz’ inspired by the Saskatchewan mosquito reported to be calculated at 25 bites per minute as a timing measurement. Some tried and trusted blues interspersed among some spine chilling gospel created a well-rounded night that was enjoyed and evoked a rousing request from the audience.
It was with irony that Joel as a Canadian with a Gaelic heritage played on the stage bedecked with the remnants of the decorations celebrating the previous day’s St Patrick’s Day commemorations. Not that we noticed this at all as Jowl was on stage to present his creativity and that he did with fine musicianship. Music creates relationships, both with the music itself and with those that it touches. Friendships have arisen and continued from Joel’s previous visits to Christchurch, a very special acknowledgement of the connection that our club offers and to see those supporters in the audience heart-warming. There were also supporters of Joel’s wife Megan, also on this tour, who as a student spent time studying at Canterbury’s University Fine Arts programme. Creative collaborations abound in this family as Megan’s artwork features on the CD covers, an amalgamation fostering creativity well matched.
I look forward to the next concert that Joel brings back to us, and as one audience members shared with me Joel has the makings to be a big star. Deservedly so I reiterate.
By Judi Smitheram, Secretary