Joel Morelli-Local Musician Profile
June 7, 2007
Joel Morelli was born into the Owen Sound music scene. His father played in many local acts, and little baby Joel was steeped in local musical culture from an early age. His father owned a music store that was located on top of Fulford’s Hardware through the 1980’s. Joel started playing the violin at the age of 7. Though he was chomping at the bit, it wasn’t until he turned 13 that his parents allowed him to play the guitar. Even this early a start would make many instrumentalists envious, and his relaxed smooth approach with the guitar must surely be the result of his juvenile experience and his constant dedication to practice and improvement. Growing up in Owen Sound he played the coffee houses, open stages and battle of the bands. His first collaborative project was a band called Icthus. Early venues that supported his development included the Bean Cellar (Hurray for Kay!) and the now defunct Rainbow Room.
Joel attributes his growth of musical chops and teeth to time spent as a member of the host band for Ted’s Range Road Diner jams on Wednesday nights with local greats Beaker and Tyler Wagler. One night he had a big break while playing a small coffee house gig in Flesherton where one Sandi Hogg offered to sponsor Joel to enter the Last Chance Saloon. At that point in this suffering artist’s career he simply didn’t have the $25 dollars needed to enter the competition for Summerfolk’s precious last spot. Needless to say he won the Last Chance Saloon and was honoured to be able to play Owen Sound’s great and famous folk festival. As many of you will recall, he was so beloved by the fans that he was voted to be one of two returning acts for the next year.
Joel then moved to Toronto to play guitar for a band called Blue Orange, filling in for Pete Devlin on guitar for a few years. Eventually Joel and Pete would collaborate with Rob Elder, another amazing local songwriter and musician from Chesley. This trio went through many incarnations as an electric ensemble and finally went acoustic, becoming “The Hungry Life”. With this project Joel again won the Last Chance Saloon and The Hungry Life was off to play the main stage at Summerfolk in August of 2006. The Hungry Life recorded an album featuring some of Joel’s strongest songs, including local favorite, “Mary”.
Always busy with music, Joel was simultaneously jamming with The Hungry Life and with old friends Scott E. Farmer, Pete Devlin, and Adam Reese. With the addition of Morelli the band dubbed themselves FDR&M and made waves in the area gigging at Jazzmyn’s and the Uptowne Piano Bar (may she rest in peace).
Joel has released two CD’s of his own: “Rumbleseat” and “Live at the Roxy”. A CD of FDR&M’s music was recorded at the end of the summer of 2006 with Joel featured on mandolin, bass, and soul-shaking four-part harmonies. All of these CD’s are still available. To get your hands on one, click on the link to Joel’s myspace, and send him a request for a disk. His “Live at the Roxy” CD is still available at Randy’s Records on 8th Street East.
Joel is currently a full-time music teacher in Waterloo. He and long-time collaborator Adam Reese will be in the area many times this summer gigging at Jazzmyn’s, Norma Jeans, Greenhorns in Sauble Beach and Harbour Nights at the Marine and Rail Museum. He will also be appearing with FDR&M at Owen Sound’s 150th anniversary Homecoming celebrations at the Meet & Greet Tent at the Bayshore Community Centre. This will be a shared gig with another great local band, Backwoods Justice. Joel and Adam’s gigs can be found by visiting theOwen.com Live Music Listings, along with most other musical happenings around the area.
Listen to Joel’s Tunes
Track 1: Mary
Track 2: They Say
Joel lists amoungst his influences Michael Hedges, Jimi Hendrix, Don Ross, Michael Hedges, Andy Mckee, Michael Heges, Eric Mongrain, Preston Reed, Michael Hedges, Kaki King, Michael Hedges, Larry Jensen, Michael Hedges, Ani Difranco, Michael Hedges, Prince, and last but certainly not least, Michael Hedges.
Throughout time Joel has and still does love to jam with Wade Robson, Adam Reese, Chris Rutan, Curtis Welland, Trevor and Tara Mckenzie, Katie Gleiser, Brian Moniz, Beaker, Tyler Wagler, Pete Devlin, Scott E. Farmer,
Josh Richardson, Paul Danard, Rod Ramsay and (of course) Larry Jensen. We here at theOwen.com know that he has jammed with many more folks then this, and apologize on his behalf to anyone who’s name may have been excluded from this list. The man is a jammin’ machine!
Joel’s Upcoming Local Shows (So Far)
Joel’s contacts and links
Thanks Joel for lending us your tunes and information, and a word out to all you musicians and music appreciators, it’s easy to find more local musicians or create profiles at theOwen.com!!
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