Joe Ebel
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Joe Ebel


Band Folk Acoustic


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"Assisted by some highly talented accompanists (in particular, Tony Creasman on drums, Eliot Wadopian on bass, and Don Porterfield on fretless bass), Joe Ebel's Primebel reveals that he is not only a first class violinist, but an excellent acoustic guitarist as well. The music on Primebel covers a lot of ground, from upbeat and cheery rhythm-laced numbers (such as the delightful opening track, First Snow) to more somber fare, like the haunting The Calling (featuring some well-done Tibetan singing bowl tones at the start), followed by the beautiful but sad Broken Lullaby. There are also some tracks that defy categorization yet are oh so cool, notably The Caper, which Joe describes in the liner notes as being "My soundtrack for the Spy vs. Spy cartoon in Mad magazine." The Caper is a true breath of fresh air song, with its shuffling beat, its slinky melody and its air of skulking around in back alleys - I couldn't get enough of it!"

"At times while listening to Primebel, I thought back to all the fantastic acoustic music (which featured violin in a prominent role) that emerged in the 80s from Windham Hill, e.g. Shadowfax, Nightnoise, and recordings from Darrol Anger. There was a genteel aspect to this music, even when tempos were fast and the songs were high energy. That same vibe runs throughout Primebel, and it's obviously due to Ebel's talents in both composing and playing music. His violin work is outstanding, as I stated above. However, being mostly aware of him from his violin playing on collaborations with guitarist Ken Bonfield, I was unprepared for how talented he was on guitar as well. He never resorts to histrionics on either instrument, always knowing when to add fire and when to douse the flame and light the song with subtle nuance instead."

"Truthfully, there isn't a weak cut on the whole album. There is the gentle soaring of Freefall, the rocking good-time of The Joezone Layer (referred to in the liner notes as "musical whimsy"), the put-the-top-down-and-cruise title cut and the laid-back tropical cheer of Island Daydream. Joe closes out the album with a beaut, the soft solo acoustic guitar ballad Annie's Garden. Besides the tracks on the CD, there are also some mp3s, playable on your computer too (besides solo work, there are a few featuring Joe playing with Ken Bonfield, as well as four folk songs tracks from Annie Lalley who posesses a wonderful voice, by the way)."

"Primebel is one of those rare recordings that just keeps getting better the more you play it. Yet it's also instantly accessible and likable from the start. Throw in excellent liner notes, bonus CD-ROM features (mp3s, photos, a bio of Joe) and you have the certifiable "total package." Unpretentious yet richly rewarding, sincere with nary a hint of overwrought emotion, the CD is one of the best acoustic instrumental albums of the past year. I recommend it to fans of the genre with no reservations whatsoever, but it will hold special appeal for those out there who, like me, remember the birth of this genre in the 1980s." - Wind and Wire ezine

" Besides Joe's outstanding playing, writing and production, Primebel features a cast of first rate players including: keyboardist/percussionist/producer Chris Rosser, acoustic bassist Eliot Wadopian, drummer Tony Creasman, fretless bassist Don Porterfield, vocalist/executive producer Annie Lalley, soprano saxophonist Stuart Reinhardt and percussionist Bryon Hedgepeth. When you add to the mix fretless bassist Michael Manring and then have Grammy Award winner David Glasser master the album, you know you have a real winner."
-- Jamie Bonk, Toronto -

Primebel has been selected for three "Best Of..." lists for 2003:

Named one of the TOP 25 ESSENTIAL CDs OF 2003 by the staff of Echoes, PRI syndicated radio show
One of the TOP 10 CDs OF 2003 selected by Grammy Award Winning Producer/Musician David Holt
One of the TOP 10 BEST NEW AGE AND ACOUSTIC INSTRUMENTAL RECORDINGS OF 2003 as selected by Bill Binkelman of Wind and Wire
- Various


Bonfield and Ebel, Kadotume, 1997, Ivy Lane Music
Bonfield and Ebel, Dancing With Shadows, 2002, Ivy Lane Music


Feeling a bit camera shy


Joe Ebel, is a working songwriter who uses acoustic steel string guitar and five-string violin to create heartfelt instrumental pieces with emotional content and lasting melodies. He has released two CDs, Kadotume and Dancing With Shadows, with noted guitarist Ken Bonfield, and most recently, his critically acclaimed debut instrumental CD, Primebel. Primebel has been selected to three "Best of 2003" lists including the Top 25 Essential CDs of 2003 as selected by the staff of Echoes, the PRI syndicated radio show heard on over 150 stations, the Top Ten CDs of 2003 as selected by Grammy Award Winning Producer/Musician and TV Personality David Holt, and the Top Ten New Age and Acoustic Instrumental CDs of 2003 as selected by Bill Binkelman of Wind and Wire.