For more than a decade, Joey English has written passionately spare and resonant folk accentuated by husky vocals and poetic lyrics. His no-frills acoustic songwriting has evolved from his West Coast origins to his hometown of Knoxville in the foothills of Appalachia. English’s live performance is at the heart of his craft, brushing up against soul, distancing us from illusion.
English’s style grew out of the songsters and balladeers of America's past. His songs take on a skin of their own, leaving a trail of breadcrumbs back to our unkempt gardens, and to our shared ghosts. He finds inspiration in the valley dwellers and in the power lines, in the cosmos and in the backyards, in the water wheel, in the perennial narrative of love
Joey English (born December 27, 1982) is from Irvine, CA. He learned the guitar and began writing songs as a teenager. His ears were groomed by his Father's love of Neil Young, Jackson Brown and Bob Dylan. English has won multiple singer-songwriter competitions and has opened for bands such as Delta Spirit and Cold War Kids.
- Ghost Write
Why I Sing
The creative spirit in me will not die. I have many times tried to kill it, usually by chasing dollars, or by attempting to live someone else's life -- one that seems more comfortable. But in the end, the artist inside raises from the dead.
Art allows us to see beyond, to understand the heart of whatever we're stuck in (be it personal or cultural). In our fragments of society art often feels like one of the few remaining rituals that connects us to the sacred. Poetry, in particular, gave me this experience. It began of course with great suffering, which gave me the gift of desparation. In these dark hours of defeat and surrender, I remember sitting between a million trees reading a poem by Kahlil Gibran. Something happened. A flash of lo I am with you. I dissapeared into nothingness. A fluid freedom that science can only call madness. I came to a Knowing. And not a knowing that knows, but one that breathes. Not a knowing that proves anything, but rather frees everything. At minimum I realized that art was something much bigger than a "career path."
You should know I've spent decades in fear -- wearing masks, comparing myself, disliking myself, hiding my true self (hardly knowing him!). It has grabbed my attention this past year that no man is an island -- that the nature of Love is relationship. My rudimentary understanding of this is that calling my Mother matters, that saying yes matters, that recycling for the rainforest matters, that listening to the other side matters, that being vulnerable with you matters, that relationship rooted in Love holds the power to unify. So this is kind of a starting place for me. A place to open up, to share my experience, to give out what has been given me.
This is why I sing.