Angela Josephine
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Angela Josephine

Traverse City, Michigan, United States | SELF

Traverse City, Michigan, United States | SELF
Band Folk Acoustic

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"Indie Artist Review"

"plenty of originality, soul and musical quintessence..."

Come meet an acoustic folk artist with plenty of originality, soul and musical quintessence, Angela Josephine through her debut CD release, a restful sense of URGENCY.

Throw all your pop-star inhibitions out the window ‘cause this CD is full of real, raw and intimate music from a true artist in the every sense of the word – she’s more than just a musical artist; an incredible painter and graphic artist to boot. If you’re looking for something different than the typical run of the mill CCM or Rock artists with the same music in different wrapping paper, then please pause a moment to hear some of the most creative musical expressions deviating from the norm.

Going against the grain of pop culture, Angela’s voice and lyrics are innovative in every way. With raw and intimate vocals full of flavorful expression that grace such novel artists as Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Maria McKee of Lone Justice, Linda Ronstadt, Tori Amos, and with just a touch of Sara McLachlan, this is a CD that stands out in the midst of the typical musical cliché.

With both acoustic guitar and piano leading the way, Angela is a diamond in the rough and will take listeners into paths that commercialized music won’t.
The CD starts out with a 70’s hippy guitar feel song “Flutterby Butterfly” then moves on to a slight southwestern flavor/Old El Paso and plenty of acoustic guitar strumming on “The Strength of One”. With recognizable Sara McLachlan/Cranberries vocal flip flops on “I Got My Jesus”, Angela spills her guts with lyrics that bare the lowest places a human soul can get:

“I got myself in a mess…
I hear there’s a God in heaven
who’ll hang with the likes of me,
I only wish that He’d make an appearance
and maybe I’d see how…
I got myself in this mess
And find some other excuse to fill this emptiness,
I hear there’s a man named Jesus
who’ll hang with the likes of me
And I hear that He’ll make an appearance
if I just ask him to,
ask him to set me free.
Take me as I am, …well I’m no great prize,
but take me if you’ll have me
I’m not satisfied, depending on my own strength,
so take me if you’ll have me,
take and make me yours…
I got my Jesus"

You can expect honesty in all these songs along with a very raw but inviting vocal expression. You’ll receive an intimate performance and feel like you’re in a small coffeehouse venue sitting just steps away. The production is rugged, but that’s the vibe of this artist and over-producing this would take away from the diamond in the rough essence of Angela’s music. The real summit of Angela’s creativity comes out as the CD progresses in songs like “How Good You Are” which is exclusively the most unique reflection of this folkstress - a beatnick with bongos and a toy guitar – listen, you’ll enjoy the moment and feel like putting on your shades and saying “cool daddio”. “Nothing is Worth More Than Today” adds beautiful mandolin accents with a grassroots acoustic feel that is found on most of the album.

If you’re looking for something completely fresh and different from the run-of-the-mill popcorn diet the big wigs keep feeding us, then dig into the music of Angela Josephine for something more substantial and satisfying.
- Sonia Vannest - The Spirit Radio


"Jam Rag, Detroit’s Music Magazine"

"Rich Mullins, Glenn Kaiser, and a few other kindred spirits..."

A few months ago, I stopped in a local Christian bookstore to pick up two of Larry Norman’s (considered to be the father of Jesus music) landmark albums from the early 70’s (ONLY VISITING THIS PLANET and IN ANOTHER LAND) that had recently been released on CD format.

The clerk looked at me like I was from another planet and asked me if I listened to any “new” Christian music. I said, "With the exception of Rich Mullins, Glenn Kaiser, and a few other kindred spirits, No, because I find most of what passes for Christian music to be boring. Most of it simply mimics what the rest of the music world is doing. It’s formulaic, cookie-cutter music.

That was before I had heard of singer songwriter Angela Josephine. Now I would include her on my list of kindred spirits.

Angela is an acoustic folk-rock artist from Traverse City who has drawn comparisons to Laura Nyro, Maria McKee and Joni Mitchell. Her originality is evident, as her music pours out through soulful vocals, with powerful guitar, piano and dulcimer arrangements. With her introspective yet demanding lyrics, Angela comes across with the conviction of a preacher colliding with the spirit of an artist, which of course she is.

Sonia Vannest of The Spirit Radio said Angela is an artist “who stands out in the midst of the typical music cliche.”

A RESTFUL SENSE OF URGENCY is her self-released debut album, and features12 tracks that combine her strong vocals with her sometimes edgy lyrics (she’s been accused of not being Christian or spiritual enough) that come across with a freshness I find missing in most of what passes as “Christian” music.

The CD insert includes some of her original artwork and poetry, and has this interesting quote from St. Augustine: “Thou movest us to delight in praising Thee, for Thou hast made us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee.”

From start to finish, I loved the entire project, but my favorite tracks are “I Got My Jesus” (it’s not as preachy as you might think), “Boy Blue,” “Nothing Is Worth More Than Today,” “My Help,” and “Road to Jerusalem.” Highly recommended for the thinking music fan.

Angela is currently in Nashville, recording her new album that should be out this summer. For info go to www.angelajosephine.com.
- by Mark Clark


"Cross Rhythms - UK"

"a voice that echoes Joni Mitchell, Tori Amos and Laura Nyro..."

If you travel around America’s Midwest you might well come across a gig by this talented singer/songwriter from Traverse City. It would clearly be worth a visit. With a voice that echoes Joni Mitchell, Tori Amos and Laura Nyro but remains very much her own and songs intensely sung over her own punchy acoustic, Angela Josephine shows herself to be a poetic songwriter able to pen songs that get under the shield of the post modern muse with power and poignancy. There are a set of well played accompaniments here featuring everything from lilting dulcimers to elegant piano. This fine release warrants investigation and we can only hope that the talented lady makes it to these shores one day.

9 out of 10
- Tony Cummings


"AJ Testimonials"

"Angela is the kind of artist that pulls from multiple worlds - musical, visual, and poetic. In this way, she is comfortable being different, comfortable being who and what God is making her to be.”
- John Pisciotta, Producer, Paradiso Music, Nashville, TN

“With a voice that echoes Joni Mitchell, Tori Amos and Laura Nyro but remains very much her own… Angela Josephine shows herself to be a poetic songwriter able to pen songs that get under the shield of the post modern muse with power and poignancy.”
-Tony Cummings, Cross Rhythms Magazine, UK

“Could this be the ‘Laura Nyro’ of modern-day Christian music? I love this CD! Josephine’s commitment is evident and her music is fresh and new.”
- Nicole Philibosian, Voice Instructor to Jewel

“Come meet an acoustic folk artist with plenty of originality, soul and musical quintessence. …Going against the grain of pop culture, Angela’s voice and lyrics are innovative in every way. With raw and intimate vocals full of flavorful expression that grace such novel artists as Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Maria McKee of Lone Justice, Linda Ronstadt, Tori Amos, and with just a touch of Sarah McLachlan, this is a CD that stands out in the midst of the typical musical cliché.
- Sonia Vannest, 2006 Christian Artist of the Year, Independent Music Awards

“Her writing and production are literally an art form. Angela varies in style and this album deserves a close listen. …Angela’s God-given voice combined with intelligent lyrics and catchy hooks augurs well for her musical future.”
- Paul Gentry, Sockspider.com

“I stopped in a local Christian bookstore to pick up two of Larry Norman’s landmark albums from the early 70’s (ONLY VISITING THIS PLANET and IN ANOTHER LAND). The clerk looked at me like I was from another planet and asked me if I listened to any “new” Christian music. I said – with the exception of Rich Mullins, Glenn Kaiser, and a few other kindred spirits – no, because I find most of what passes for Christian music to be boring. Most of it simply mimics what the rest of the music world is doing. It’s formulaic, cookie-cutter music. That was before I had heard of singer songwriter Angela Josephine. Now I would include her on my list of kindred spirits.”
– John Clark, Jam Rag Magazine, Detroit, MI

"I can't thank you enough for offering your ministry so freely and for being such a winsome example of God's love to our youth and our congregation. What a memorable weekend!"
-Clark Cothern, Author & Pastor, Living Water Community, Ypsilanti, MI

“We received lots of great feedback on both your music and the paintings. I would love to have you back again.”
- Kevin Newton, President & Founder, Unity Christian Music Festival, Muskegon, MI

“Angela artfully melds her faith with culturally relevant expressions that will speak to believers and non-believers. She is as much a minister of the gospel as a musician.”
- Randy Bremmer, Senior Pastor and Founder, The ARK Church, Borculo, MI

"Thanks so much for your music. It was a high point in worship that will be remembered here for many years!"
- Dr. Mike Becker, Pastor – First Presbyterian Church, Portage, IN

“I just wanted to thank you again for the amazing performance Saturday night for our retreat! It was awesome! I hope to see you again in concert...”
- Jackie Kiel, Student, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Tomah, WI

"Angela's ministry is soothing and ethereal, yet down to Earth, meeting people where they are and helping them connect with the heart of God. I highly recommend her for any venue, large or intimate."
- Joey "O" - Copey's Christian Coffeehouse, Easton, PA


“It never ceases to amaze me how the common bond with Christ made our families so comfortable together. Although we had just met I felt as though we had all known each other for many years. You have been blessed with many gifts and are using them for the glory of God. I admire that greatly.”
- Barry Trantham, Flushing United Methodist Church, Flushing, MI


“I would just like to personally *THANK YOU* for your wonderful talents at the U.P. Christian Fest!!!! You did a wonderful job and we are blessed to have had your beautiful voice at the fest. God Bless and keep singing for the Lord!! You are a blessing!”
- Sharon Bodenus, President, U.P. Christian Music Fest, Marquette, MI


“Thank you so much for your beautiful gift of music to House of Hope yesterday. It really was terrific. The kids enjoyed their "duet" with you, too. It's a neat way to get the residents actively involved. You are so creative to think of that! The day was great all the way round and your set was the ideal icing on the cake.”
- Craig O’Connor, Board of Directors, House of Hope, Traverse City, MI


“The first annual Family Life Expo is now over. What a great day! Thank you SO much for sharing your gifts with us. I heard SO many wonderful comments, not only about your music, but about your overall spirit. What a testimony to God’s work in your life.”
-Susan Schnerer, Admissions and Corporate Relations, Spring Arbor University, Traverse City, MI


"As a Folk/Contemporary Christian musician and songwriter, her songs cut straight to the heart and soul. Her music calms the cries of the lost, rejoices with the joyful and brings courage to the fearful."
- Andrea Sutton, The Upper Room Newsletter, Boyne City, MI


"This is the kind of stuff that deserves to be heard by a wider audience… uplifting and truly inspirational!"
- Tom Ledermann, 4th Street Productions, Royal Oak, MI


"My daughter said, "I wish Angela could be our Sunday School teacher all the time." She clearly got the message God gave you to share with them, and she spoke with enthusiasm about the story you shared, how you tied it into Scripture, even how God gave you the feather when you were seeking something from Him before you came. It was clearly from Him, and it made a deep impression."
-Anonymous


“I saw an ad for your CD in CCM. The short description led me to the indie website. I'm listening to the CD right now. IT IS AWESOME!!! Your talent is amazing! I can't wait to share it with my friends. ”
- Beth, New Orleans


"The spirit of the Lord was with you in such a powerful way that night. Because of your surrender,
obedience and faithfulness to Christ, my family and our lives have been deeply touched. Thank you for
being an inspiration and positive, powerful Christian witness to my kids."
- Jerry DeRousse, Audience Member


- Pastors, Reviewers, Fans, Etc.


"Cross Rhythms.com - Grace Exhaled Review 10/10"

"rich music, shining with heart-baring honesty and real faith..."

There are few things more worrying for the record reviewer than to be confronted with the second album by an artist when you went overboard about its predecessor and a bit of your rave review has been quoted in the artist's press material. What do you say to your colleagues or indeed the artist herself if the new album is a stiff? So it's with some relief that I can report that this folk roots singer from America's Mid West now delivers an album which completely fulfills the potential of her 'A Restful Sense Of Urgency' set. Whether you're looking for poetic songs of devotion ("House Of Hope": "Our house is a house of hope/Building jewel-bedecked castles of our hearts/Where your truth shines bright as sapphire/Against the diamond of your love"), haunting instrumentals (the title track), a beautiful reading of a Joni Mitchell classic ("Slouching Towards Bethlehem") or a deceptively simple paean of praise ("Glory Lord!") with a mountain dulcimer arrangement sounding like it was plucked straight from the Folkways Records archives, you'll find fine music in abundance. My current favourites are the wistfully enigmatic "On A January" and a dark-honed exploration of Psalm 142:3-7 with its stark images of being ensnared in our sin ("And now she hears, she hears an angel calling/With wings that whisper, whisper of being free/She's alone, she's forsaken/In the hell of her own making"). Throughout this rich music, shining with heart-baring honesty and real faith is brought out by vibrant arrangements from producer John Pisciotta. And if all this wasn't enough, 'Grace Exhaled' is superbly packaged with paintings from Angela. A final note to the producer: what IS that fragment of jazz pop classic incorporated into the arrangement of "Live And Breathe"? It's driving me bananas!

STYLE: MOR / Soft Pop
RATING 10
- Tony Cummings


"Sockspider.com - Grace Exhaled Review"

"writing and production are literally an art form..."

Grace Exhaled is the sophomore album from Angela Josephine. Her writing and production are literally an art form. Angela varies in style and this album deserves a close listen as you may not completely get it all at first, but after a few plays, you’re hooked!

The album opens with More Than Today, a poppy CCM tune with an 80’s throwback feel that works well!. On the heels of the first track is Live and Breathe, a little gentler song that reminds us of why we’re here, to live and breathe and move and sing praises to the One. It has a nice hook and sets a joyful mood. Mind Over Mercy begins with a catchy and somewhat familiar piano riff. It sets the mood for a smooth and jazzy number, with the best hook of the album and excellent musicianship.

Angela takes a classic, Come Thou Font, and adapts it for the dulcimer. It’s just beautiful, with a sound of joy, longing, and hope all rolled up into one. I would have loved to have heard more than the 42 seconds! It does serve as a prime introduction to Glory, Lord. Glory has a simple and effective refrain that will have you singing along, raising your hands, and dancing before the King. It has an old-fashioned revival sound, begging listener participation. This song bears repeating, over and over again, in a chorus of praise!

House of Hope is a cute little Amy Grant-ish ditty celebrating the House of Hope, a ministry to teens. The simple acoustic guitar with Angela’s smooth voice really sets the stage for a well produced song. The instrumental title track follows, telling the story of redemption in music. It starts timidly, building and building like our lives growing through grace, to the hope and happiness in Christ Jesus. Instrumental music should paint a picture and this song does! Every listener may come away with a slightly different feeling as is the joy of a well done instrumental.

Angela has an exceptionally clear tone to her voice, and this is most apparent on On a January, a story of beginnings told in song. She then covers Joni Mitchell’s Slouching Towards Bethlehem, a definite good choice. Her voice is similar in style, and does the song true justice. The difference is that, once again, she sings with a hope and joy that are evident whereas Mitchell’s version had a doomsday feel.

I’ve never been a big fan of spoken word on a pop record, if it's going to be included, it's usually better to make the song a hidden track like an after thought because musical continuity is broken, but I don’t think Angela had that in mind. To her the music is art, so speaking was a natural thing to do. The Word is well delivered and the song is strong as well. She obviously has some theatrical training, and this track probably goes over quite well in concert.

Fierce Trust has extreme radio potential. It takes a little while to build, but has another wonderful hook that drives the song. Another keeper is Give Her Back Her Life, a song of a life redeemed. The lyrics are current and relevant to all of us. Hope is the theme of this album, and nowhere is it more evident that on this angst-filled ballad. Angela’s voice is so pure and innocent here, with a quiet strength of conviction that is full of compassion for the hurting. It leads into The Anointing, which has us reflect for a minute in another spoken word break. Angela has a real talent for conveying passion in prose. Anointing brings us down to a meditative state, changing the mood from the hurt in others to introspection at our own guilt.

The CD ends on a WOW note, with Enough, a deep and beautiful piece. It’s a quiet “wow”, said with awe and respect. All of Angela’s lyrics are scripturally based, but the lyrics here sum up the Gospel succinctly. This is a perfect closer. The cello is magnificent and sets such a wonderful mood where a bare piano shines. It is finished, that’s enough. And it’s enough to leave you reflective and on your knees. My bet is the producer wanted a passionate performance above all, and the result was masterful!

Grace Exhaled is polished and well worth adding to your CD collection. Additionally, her CD design is well thought out and another reason why we should purchase CDs and not just buy the downloadable mp3’s. Angela’s God-given voice combined with intelligent lyrics and catchy hooks augurs well for her musical future.

Artwork/Design: 10
Production: 9
Continuity: 6
Sound levels: 8
Songwriting: 8
Overall Rating: 8

Radio Tracks: 3, 5, 11
Best Track: Enough
Website: Angela Josephine
- Paul Gentry


"Artist Ovation Winner"

Angela Josephine is a winner in the 2007 Artist Ovation Contest and performed on the Lake Stage at the Unity Christian Music Festival in Muskegon Michigan. She was also featured on the front page of the Muskegon Chronicle on August 10th.

The Unity Christian Music Festival is a four day festival, focused on the best in Christian music, but also including great food, fellowship and family fun. This year the festival drew over 16,000 people.

- Press Release


"Honorable Mention in Great Lakes Songwriting Contest"

Angela Josephine received an honorable mention in the 2007 Great Lakes Songwriting Contest for the song, The Spirit of Motherhood. - Press Release


"Northern Express - CD Review"

"It’s no stretch to consider Angela the Amy Grant of Northern Michigan."

Local fans of the Christian music genre have been tuned-in to Angela Josephine for years. The Traverse City singer/songwriter has performed widely in local coffeehouses and on Christian radio and is most likely the best-known artist in her genre in Northern Michigan.

This is her second album featuring an acoustic rock and soft pop sound. The CD is receiving great reviews from the faith-based music network. And no wonder, since the musicianship is first-class across the board and Angela’s vocals match the poetry of her sincerely-felt songs of faith. There’s also plenty of pop swing on the disc to keep the tempo up and feeling good. It’s no stretch to consider Angela the Amy Grant of Northern Michigan.

The album is superbly packaged and the liner notes come with some of Josephine’s own paintings. Clearly a great deal of thought and work went into producing “Grace Exhaled” and its musicians deserve a shout-out. They include: Moe Loughran and Greg Blankenship on background vocals; Chris Omartian on drums/percussion; Wade Jaynes on bass; Jamba Castro on piano; Shane Martin on acoustic guitar; producer John Pisciotta on electric guitar; Paul Nelson on cello; Deanne Whalin on violin and Paul Sekora on keys. - Robert Downes


Discography

2012 STONE BRIGHT SOLID (EP)
Lyrically rich and composed with a sparse, yet lush sensibility, the four-song EP Stone Bright Solid – Volume 1 marks a new direction for Angela Josephine as a refined folk artist. Josephine’s crooning brings to mind artists like Damien Rice and Glen Hansard, while her evocative whispers, together with sultry trumpet and wistful strings, give the album a feminine wisdom and charm. “Got You On My Mind” is instantly appealing, as the album’s catchy, summery anthem. “Ordinary Ways” is hushed, intimate and bittersweet. The title track, “Stone Bright Solid,” is enigmatic and haunting, while “Come To Me” both undulates and soars, a beseeching wave that closes the album on a hopeful note.

Josephine showcases her versatility, playing guitar, mandolin and piano on this album. She is backed by some great Michigan talent; Serge van der Voo on double bass (Orpheum Bell), Ross Huff on trumpet and Griffin Bastian on drums (The Macpodz), Davey Jones on banjo (Frontier Ruckus), Michelle Brosius on violin (Sacred Strays), and Micah Ling on cello. Producer Chris Bathgate also lends his talent with electric guitar, classical guitar and percussion.

2007 THE SPIRIT OF MOTHERHOOD (SINGLE)
An honorable mention in the 2007 Great Lakes Songwriting Competition, "The Spirit of Motherhood" is a gorgeous lullaby written and recorded for inclusion in a stunning photographic journal of pregnancy by Kansas City photographer Misty Woodward.

2005 GRACE EXHALED
Angela’s sophomore effort brings her artistry to the forefront, defining her sound in a unique and intelligent way with a thoughtful weaving of spoken poetry, original music and the title track showcasing Angela's latest instrument, the hammered dulcimer. Produced in Nashville by John Pisciotta of Paradiso Music.

2002 A RESTFUL SENSE OF URGENCY
Angela’s self-produced debut CD is a raw and intimate portrait that meshes her riveting vocals with upbeat guitar driven tunes, introspective ballads and her sometimes-edgy lyrics for an eclectic blend made complete by an insert that includes original poetry and art. Produced by Angela Josephine and Scott Zylstra at Frontier Recordings in Copemish, MI

Photos

Bio

ANGELA JOSEPHINE grew up in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in the small town of Munising overlooking a beautiful bay. Her Dad was a watchman at the local paper mill and her mother stayed at home to raise six children of which Angela is the youngest. Angela spent her childhood outdoors, making up games and stories, gazing at the Milky Way (the galaxy, not the candy bar) and generally finding some amount of mischief to be had with her fellow Diaper Alley brats. (Her childhood buddies get a nod in the naming of her label, “Diaper Alley Brat Music”.) Her love of nature and community has kept her solidly a Michigander and – “once a Yooper, always a Yooper.”

Angela has graced the stage of countless festivals and venues, while coffee houses across the Midwest have warmed to the soulful brew of her music. In 2006 Josephine’s album “Grace Exhaled” was a finalist in the Detroit Music Awards and in 2007 she was an Artist Ovation Contest Winner for Unity Festival in Muskegon, MI and her song “Spirit of Motherhood” received an honorable mention in the Great Lakes Songwriting Competition. In 2011 she again was a finalist for the Detroit Music Awards in the category of Best Instrumentalist for hammered dulcimer. She has also participated in ArtPrize, performing for “Jukebox” (2011) and “The Looking Box” (2012) by artists Royce Deans (Traverse City) and Tali Farchi (Amsterdam) who interpret music with paint. Angela often incorporates her original paintings in performances along with facilitating community canvases at various events.

Angela supports numerous causes, both locally and globally, and her faith is constantly being whittled by a carpenter from Galilee (or honed by a stone mason, depending on who you talk to). Angela has three grown boys who have recently flown the coop and lives with her husband in Northern Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.