Joe Kile
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Joe Kile

New Orleans, Louisiana, United States | SELF

New Orleans, Louisiana, United States | SELF
Band Folk Singer/Songwriter

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Getting pinned as a "singer-songwriter" can be either a blessing or a curse. To most people means denim shirt wearing Mr. Softee's like James Taylor and Dan Fogelberg. It's a pleasant and pretty and doesn't scare off grandmothers and little kids. And of YOU KNOW they're singing from their heart because you can hear their voice that doesn't ever crack clearly it in the big soft comforter production. Of course those in that camp music is remedy to fall asleep that is just effective as a couple shots of NyQuil PM with Wild Turkey chaser is beside the point. After all "Just listen to their self confessional sensitivity.
Then there's the other camp. The one that has Townes Van Zandt, Gene Clark, Daniel Johnston (well, in his "True Love Will Find You In The End" period at least) and Uncle Lou Reed during the last couple Velvet Underground albums. While all the first camp sounds like they're wearing cable knit sweaters in front of some cozy fireplace in a Colorado mountain cabin or staring at a mountain of blow in some Laurel Canyon hideaway and in either setting a blonde with with ironed straight hair-the second sounds dressed in faded and frayed clothes and playing for tips in some broken down coffee house or a dive bar that's usual clientele is there not to hear some songs but because the place has the cheapest cheap draft beer and well whiskey prices in town. They'll listen to the sorrow as they drown their own. The person giving the six string accompanied confessionals love probably works behind the bar but she isn't there tonight and isn't answering her phone either. That's the camp New Orleans based Joe Kile has set up tent in.
Owning a voice that sounds like old wax paper, a surface that is smooth but sports some discoloration from age and somewhat brittle & will crackle Joe Kile's songs sounds as if they were recorded at 4am and as hushed as he could be as to not wake the others dwelling around a pay by the week efficiency apartment and to be listened by those nursing a very melancholy Sunday morning hangover. Accompanied mostly by a weather beaten guitar save for the occasional second guitar, some pump organ sounding wheezes and a couple drinking buddies supplying a few seconds of call and response the songs touches on loves losts, lusts wanted, bad luck and many mentions of winter. They all sound as if they could fade off into distance at any given moment so they're songs that are made to be listened close as they could just disappear. When doing so there's slight rays of light trying to fight their ways out of the overcast. - Smashin' Transistors


Given a little extra crackle, you'd almost think Joe Kile's new LP on Chris Burney's upstart Eastern Watts label was some ancient artifact. But Kile, the New Orleans songwriter who lived in Columbus for a spell last decade, is a contemporary with a sepia tint.
"Southern Beauty Queen" offers simple folk songs unfettered by production flourishes and grandiose concepts, which could be a snooze if not for Kile's captivating songwriter's touch. He's an affecting Townes Van Zandt disciple, turning simple chord changes and understated twang into an intimate look inside a weary heart.
Supposedly this album was inspired by Guided by Voices, hence the occasional song fragments that stitch together Kile's more fully formed works. But other lo-fi luminaries like the Microphones come to mind when Kile gets experimental on side B, awash in droning organ like an itinerant folkie trapped in Area 51. It's the most unexpected turn on a record full of subtle surprises.
- Columbus Alive Weekly Magazine


To all aspiring singer-songwriters out there, especially those who have gummed up their proverbial works with GarageBand’s additive processes, and the concepts of grandeur as big sound/big lineup/loads of instruments and geegaws: how do your songs stand up on their own? It certainly feels like there’s a lot of self-consciousness and hiding of the source amidst a lot of that kind of crap pap. Not so with Joe Kile, a New Orleans singer-songwriter who’s stripped his second album down to the bone – cracking Southern drawl to his vocals, and a shimmering austerity in his acoustic guitar, but apart from the occasional violin overdub, it’s just Kile and the wind. Even in this skeletal approach, you’ll be surprised by how much sentimentality he wrings from this collection of short songs, somewhere in between the dusty pathos of Simon Joyner and the lonesome crush of Townes Van Zandt or NYC’s own Zachary Cale. There are a few song fragments here that seem kind of slight, but they add to the sketchbook qualities of the music within, and are bolstered by even-handed playing and Kile’s winsomely hangdog singing. Overall it’s a really beautiful record with nothing to show but its own strengths, which in this case are plenty. In the old days, something like this would be considered “private press folk”; now, in an era where artists like Kile drown digitally in a sea of anonymity, the boutique pressing of 100 copies, in plain disco sleeves with a color insert, are as close as we can get to extending the traditions of obscure record collectors past. Totally recommended. (http://easternwattsrecords.com)
(Doug Mosurock) - Still Single/Dusted Magazine


Discography

- Kings Avenue CD (2005)
- Southern Beauty Queen LP (2010)

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Please visit www.easternwattsrecords.com for more info and music/videos.

Band Members