Somewhere It's True
Here's what people are saying about 'Somewhere It's True'... There is a startling completeness in Brian Joseph's songwriting. His elegant acoustic guitar fingerstylings, warm, velvety vocal phrasing, melodic ear, and knack for gracefully weaving wit, sensitivity, and insight into his lyrics, converge to yield a rich, fresh, fully formed musical document. The fact that it's Joseph's debut release is downright scary. Joseph took up piano at age five, followed by clarinet, bassoon, and singing. In high school he picked up guitar, inspired by Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Joan Baez, and the setting of the Colorado Rockies, where he spent his teens. The jazz of Miles Davis, Charlie Parker and Art Tatum further widened his musical palette. In college, Joseph majored in acting, and after earning his degree from CalArts in 1992, launched a successful acting career that led to several awards, including a Shellie in 1998 for Best Supporting Actor. His theater background has helped him hone his stage presence and charm audiences as a performing songwriter. Somewhere It's True finds Joseph fanning his refined songwriting talents across stylistic boundaries, blending fingerstyle folk with jazzy chord voicings, and navigating his songs with an intuitive ear for pop melody. 'Strawberry Smoothie' sways with a pensive playfulness as Joseph finds another way to drown his sorrows. On the spare, moving ballad, 'My Father's Son,' Joseph's fluid, mellow fingering gently cradles his voice. 'Nottingham' has a deceptively sweet, Randy Newmanesque bite. 'Slam Dunk' swings with jazzy sass and sexy dynamics, finding a seedy nightclub groove cut by acoustic bass, Reuben Maness's piano, brush-on-snare texture, and Joseph's slinky vocals. 'Western Sky' is a shimmering folk yearning for a reunion with one's love with pure vocal harmonies that would make Art Garfunkel nod approvingly. The whole way, Joseph evades cliches and proves himself to be a fresh new voice hopefully with many albums ahead of him. -Taylor Guitars Somewhere it's...the debut album of American actor and singer-songwriter Brian Joseph. Brian calls folkies like Joni Mitchell and Paul Simon, as well as jazz musicians like Miles Davis and Charlie Parker as his influences. And this sets the tone, blending folk and blues with jazz and pop. The sound is casual and easy going, the opening track 'Campfire' could be Top-Ten-able. Brian's warm, soul comforting voice and his lyrical fingerstyle guitar touches all strings of human emotions. Some of the tracks are cautiously arranged with backing piano, bass and drums. However, Brian's strongest moments are when he's left all alone...true! -Walkin' T:-)m,Folkworld 'Brian Joseph - Somewhere It's True' Acoustic picker with a penchant for jazz flavoured melodies. Some are so seductively soft and dreamlike that it is hard resist that drifting sensation. Worth investigating. -Folk Roots Intricate arrangements and the rare ability to move the booty without sounding so...um...white, propel this major dude to the top of the list of New Folk debutantes. A textured, sexy voice and startling agility with words are just the beginning. Well-placed overdubs uncover an ultra-modern, hip sensibility and a sharp sense of humor. He even employs the Paul Simon Rite of African Backing Vocals. You can almost smell the approach of big money. - Mike M., listen.com Locals know Brian Joseph best as an actor who most frequently appears in Center Repertory Company productions in Walnut Creek. But before long, Joseph will have a legion of fans who will know him more for his music than his acting. Joseph's first CD has just been released and proves that this talented actor is an equally talented singer/songwriter. A folk singer heavily influenced by pop music, Joseph writes sweet, often funny, songs about small moments with big meaning. In 'Campfire,' this 10-song set's opener, Joseph sings about what he calls 'love at first converstion.' He falls for a girl who shares his affection for the Beatles, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and 'Truly, Madly, Deeply.' Or in 'Slam Dunk,' a jazzy romp featuring Reuben Maness on piano, the singer muses on learning Portuguese and the meaning of life with the following conclusion: 'Six pack of one, half dozen of the other.' Producer Joe Rajeski wisely keeps the focus on Joseph's warm, amiable vocals and guitar playing. But the singer does get some fine support from Devin Hoff on bass, Derrek C. Phillips on percussion and Sue Hunter-Cutrona on back-up vocals. Joseph's theatrical backround comes shining through on 'Double Act' with references to 'Waiting for Godot' and on 'World With No Art,' a strong candidate for the National Endowment for the Arts theme song should that embattled institution survive. A troubador in the classic sense, Joseph is an actor, singer and songwriter of the first order. This auspicious debut bodes well for future projects - perhaps a stage musical based on the life of James Taylor? -Chad Jones, The Oakland Tribune.