Joe Rathburn

Joe Rathburn

 San Diego, California, USA

Somewhere between folk and pop, somewhere between James Taylor and David Wilcox, somewhere over the rainbow, there you'll find Joe Rathburn.


A picture is worth a thousand words, a video is thousands of pictures strung together, so, for the full story on Joe click the link at the bottom of this page to see and hear him in performance. Keep in mind that the video may open in another tab or window, and may be hidden behind this EPK page. Once you're on the video page, look to the right side for the word Playlist and you'll see Autoplay/Play Next buttons and you'll have your choice of how to view the videos. Enjoy.

By all means, read on if you're so inclined.

Singer/songwriter/guitarist Joe Rathburn is a lifetime/full time musician, haling from San Diego, California.

Since October of 2006 he has hosted a weekly songwriter showcase in San Diego called Joe Rathburn's Folkey Monkey. It has garnered a reputation for being one of the best regular acoustic shows in town.

Joe won 1st place, Best Traditional Folk Song category, in the 2004 Just Plain Folks Music Awards for his light hearted song, The Dad I Had. It was picked out of 140,000 entries.

He's been nominated 3 times in the San Diego Music Awards as a performer and for his 2 recordings: Little Suns, and Rockwells and Picassos.

In December of 2005 he released his third cd, Would You Please Welcome: Joe Rathburn, Live at Dark Thirty, a double disc set containing concert performances of 10 previously released Joe tunes, and 11 previously un-released songs.

Joe has gained recognition for his deft guitar work, emotive voice, as well as his fine song writing abilities and wry sense of humor.

He has represented Taylor Guitars at two Folk Alliance Conferences, the 2003 Winter NAMM Convention, and on the Taylor produced Expression System Pickup DVD.

He was included on the history making MP3 compilation CD put out by Music Match and The Best of Independent American Music. At the time of it’s release it was the most songs ever commercially released on one CD (152) including other great artists as: Chuck Brodsky, Jack Williams, Dana Cooper, Janis Ian, Buddy Mondlock, and Tom Prasada-Rao.

He performs continuously and his vast stage experience includes: festivals, arenas, clubs, churches, and coffeehouses, headlining his own shows as well as opening shows for others. He has opened for Ellis Paul, Susan Werner, Dave Van Ronk and a list of others as diverse as Chuck Berry, The Guess Who, Ray Charles, and Kiss.

Joe's music can be placed in the genre called Positive Music. His tunes have purpose, and carry with them more than just changes and grooves and catchy melodies, and hooks for the sake of their cool factor. They speak to the heart and mind of the listener directly. They uplift the soul in an instantly tangible way, while remaining fun, interesting, and non-preachy.

Joe’s music can also be likened to the singer/songwriters of the 1960s and ‘70s: the Paul Simon, James Taylor, Cat Stevens variety, yet his has a quality all his own which, though paying homage, never copies.


Solo full length CDs:
Little Suns - CD - all songs stream at
Rockwells and Picassos - CD - all songs stream at
Would You Please Welcome... Joe Rathburn Live at Dark Thirty - CD - all songs stream at

Compilation Joe Appears on:
Life After Debt
Thongs in the Key of Life Vol. II
Flamingo Gringo (The Artists of Cheeseburger in Caseville 2003)

Set List

Joe typically plays 2 sets, first being about 45-50 minutes, second being 1 hour. He can however play 2 hrs straight w/o any problem at all. It depends on the venue, audience, and other factors.

His set list is original material with an occasional cover arrangement.

To check out Joe's material go to