The joedai warriors is a musical collaboration between me (singer-songwriter Joe Peters) and musician extraordinaire Michael Kelsey, 2004 winner of Guitar Center's National "Guitarmageddon" Competition for best unsigned guitarist in America. We first collaborated on 1998's "Given Birth," an independent CD release that features 13 of my songs that describe a variety of inner and outer experiences of life in the US and abroad. We have recently gone back into the studio to work on a follow-up album, "Rebirth," which was just released on December 11, 2004. While I play acoustic guitar and sing, Michael also sings backup and plays acoustic and electric guitars, banjo, bass, keyboards, mandolin, and percussion (to name but a few).
The collaboration between us began when I first saw Michael perform live, and quickly concludedlike one music critic put itthat Michael is an "extra-terrestrial talent." In turn, Michael was taken by my unique style of song-writing and subjects, so we went to work in Michael's digital studio to produce a thoroughly artful collection of progressive folk-rock songs with a world beat flavor, "Given Birth." After more than five years of going our separate ways, Michael pursuing his amazing musical career across the US and me pursuing my wife Dai in Southeast Asia, we reunited in November 2003 to record "Rebirth." Mixing of the album was concluded in July 2004, the album was mastered at Echo Park in Bloomington and was released on December 11, 2004.
I have yet to see anyone play dead, so yes I guess I do play live, mostly at coffee houses, pubs, open mics and special events in Lafayette and Bloomington, Indiana. I also play live in Hanoi, Vietnam with a bunch of musicians who play Celtic music, the Social Weevils (see them on SoundClick.com!). Michael on the other hand plays live all the time, all over the place (check out his live appearance schedule at www.michaelkelsey.com). I used to join Michael on stage for Tuesdays at T.A. Tom's in West Lafayette before they tore that old pub down to make way for Purdue University. Other than that, our only other appearances together were at the CD release party for "Given Birth" in September 1998, and the recent "Rebirth" CD release party at the Java Roaster in Lafayette, Indiana on December 11, 2004! I like playing live, whether solo, with the Social Weevils in Hanoi, or jamming with others at our community shelterhouse at May Creek Farm near Bloomington. Those jams often take place with friends and fellow musicians-singers-songwriters, Brent Wall and Larry Vesely (see the White River SoundClick.com website for music recorded by the three of us). Any moment with those guys, or Michael, on or off the stage, is special.
I am a child of the music of the 60s and 70s. Cat Steven's "Tea for the Tillerman" spoke directly to my heart. The Moody Blues struck a deep lost chord as well. Of course, Neil Young was my guitar hero; John Prine was my songwriting guru. Pink Floyd blew me away. And what about Mark Knopfler and Dire Straits!? Those were the early days of turning on to folk and rock, and the influences are too numerous to mention. I didn't get much out of the 80s, except the new fushion of world music with pop, especially Johnny Klegg and Savuka (formerly Jaluka) out of South Africa, well before Paul Simon made that genre popular. In the 90s someone introduced me to the ethereal music of Loreena McKennitt, and Dai already knows I want her "Dante's Prayer" played at my memorial service. Then I stumbled onto Donovan's 1996 release, "Sutras." It has done for me in my later years what "Tillerman" did for me in my earlier years. Then, of course, there's Michael's influence, and that of Brent and Larry. Oh, and I nearly forgot, there's the Irish influence. For the past four years playing with the Social Weevils here in Hanoi has taken me to Ireland twice. Not only have those musicians been a direct influence on my playing, but so has the Celtic music of Solas, John Doyle and Dougie MacLean.
Michael plays Taylor guitars; thus, so do I.
My wife Dai and I support the work of The Human Kindness Foundation. The Human Kindness Foundation (HKF), founded by Bo and Sita Lozoff, is a non-profit organization which stresses a way of life based upon three common principles taught by the great sages of all religions: Simple living, a dedication to service, and a commitment to personal spiritual practice.
"The cause of all our personal problems and nearly all the problems of the world can be summed up in a single sentence: Human life is very deep, and our modern dominant lifestyle is not."
--Bo Lozoff, Human Kindness Foundation