Joel Eckels and the Wreckards
Gig Seeker Pro

Joel Eckels and the Wreckards

Los Angeles, California, United States | INDIE

Los Angeles, California, United States | INDIE
Band Blues Soul


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Joel Eckels - The Joy, the Pain"

Video Interview/Performance clip: - By The Poolside

"Joel Eckels & Paper Sun at Room 5 Lounge - April 28 2009"

JOEL ECKELS & PAPER SUN return to the stage as they conclude their TUESDAY APRIL RESIDENCY at ROOM 5 LOUNGE. Joel is an outstanding singer/songwriter with bluesy funk rock south and a soulfully raspy voice. Joel started the Paper Sun project in early 2000 as a vehicle to express his musical inspiration. At the end of that year, he moved to Los Angeles intent on forming a band. What transpired over the course of the next 8 years was that PAPER SUN became an open-book biography of Eckels' life and experiences. The musicians who joined Eckels not only contributed to the musical growth of the band but also contributed to those stories Eckels now sings about that tell of life, love, loss and soul. Today the band includes Joel Eckels (guitar, vocals) Babyhead (bass, uprightbass) Chris Lovejoy (drums, percussion) Carson Cohen (keys, bass) Deron Johnson (keys) and Dawn Thomas (backing vocals). You can check them out at and There will also be sets by Jason Damato ( and Joe Greene ( Doors open at 7:00pm with a $6 cover. Room 5 is a great Hollywood lounge featuring a great food and drink menu and although it’s off the major trendy Hollywood scene strips it is definitely worth checking out. Room 5 is located at 143 N. La Brea Ave. on the second floor in Hollywood and online at - Weekly LA Scene

"Jake Allen, Annaliese, Joel Eckel | Lestat’s West | San Diego, CA | July 3, 2009"

Without much of a prelude, guitar man Joel Eckels took front-and-center stage in place of Kori Withers who was supposed to perform that night. Due to an unprecedented cold, Withers had to leave the spotlight to her guitarist, also frontman for L.A.-based Papersun. Eckels’ bluesy, addictive, jazzy tunes were no disappointment at all.

Donning a fedora hat, gray T-shirt and jeans, his casual attire spelled chillax. And the crowd proceeded to do so, nodding and bobbing their heads to the rhythm wafting through the room like a cool, summer breeze. Eckels’ two-faced voice, at once soft and rough, surged through the atmospheric terrain inhabited by audience members. Listeners grooved, swaying and nodding in place, noting the pain evident in every song that detailed the songwriter’s experiences.

The masterful storytelling that night didn’t stop with the end to each song. In between songs and tuning his guitar, Eckel spoke to the rapt crowd below. For example, we learned his guitar, a 1957 Harmony, wasn’t supposed to be a good guitar when they first made it. Now the price he has to pay for it is tuning it up every time he plays. Before another of his songs, he explains that the “ex” is actually his wife.

One of the closers to the one man act,“45,” was a sexy, groovy force that cleared away all inhibitions between performer and audience member. The crowd was definitely in-sync with what Eckel was talking about that night. “Let’s get pop back to the people / you’re the groove I’m the needle / Wanna play you like a 45 record /why don’t cha get up.”

Following Joel Eckel’s impenetrable performance was Annaliese on guitar - Performer Magazine

"Show Report, 10/1: Welcome to Oktober"

The Wreckards at Patton Alley Pub. Joel Eckels rolls out the full version of his band’s show, the preview of which you might have seen Thursday night at the High Life. Watch for this room to be packed. - Tag Springfield

"Paper Sun to perform on two stages this weekend"

SPRINGFIELD, MO- This weekend local music fans will have a chance to hear Paper Sun, a band whose songs they may recognize, despite never hearing the band itself.

Paper Sun is a Los Angeles-based quartet that mixes catchy, melodic rock with the vocal harmonies and rhythmic grooves of soul and R&B. After a packed-house performance Monday at Ebbets Field, Paper Sun plays tonight at the Bar Next Door and will open for Speakeasy on Saturday at the Outland Ballroom.

Although the group's home base is on the West Coast, some of its music has already made inroads in this region thanks to a family connection.

Paper Sun began several years ago in Atlanta as a solo project of guitarist, singer and songwriter Joel Eckels.

Eckels, 29, is the older brother of Speakeasy guitarist Shawn Eckels. Shawn and his band mates are genuine Paper Sun fans and have been playing the occasional PS song at their live shows. Speakeasy members Eckels and Marcus Chatman regularly play Paper Sun's "Good Things" and "Caravan" during their Sunday night acoustic sets at Ebbets Field.

So when Paper Sun performed there Monday, Joel Eckels was stoked to see listeners singing some of his lyrics.
"Our bass player the other night was noticing people singing on a couple of songs and was just amazed," he says. "It's really kind of a cool thing."

There's a reason why the local folks were singing along: Paper Sun has a great approach to music and writes memorable songs.

What I hear on "Humanity" are original songs layered for the listener.
Eckels' guitar grooves and bassist Carson Cohen's fluid underpinnings create a sound that is easy for first-time listeners to dive into, and perfect for the dance-addicted jam band crowd.
But there's also a rich layer of tasty harmonics and rhythm going on beneath that. The vocals, a hefty dose of keyboards and drummer Adam Marcello's rhythmic cues are a step beyond the norms of guitar and jam rock.

Paper Sun could be equally at home in a bar filled with dancing crowds or a jazz club where listeners sit back and take in the music song by song.

"We really have a lot of soul R&B influences that we like to incorporate, and I'm big into jazz, so we'll throw that in there," Eckels says. "But at the same time, we're very much about the songs."

The songs are driven by lead vocalists Eckels and his wife, Sally Smithwick. The couple met in Atlanta and married before they ever began writing songs and performing together. They began working together as Paper Sun took shape, and you'll be glad they did when you hear the end result.
Smithwick is a knockout singer, subtle and silky at times, but downright bluesy and gritty at others. The bottom line is this band can sing.

"We're big about harmonies," Eckels says. "Everybody in the band sings. That's a pretty important thing we feel strongly about."

Eckels cites the Brand New Heavies as one of his band's musical influences and Ani DiFranco as a lyrical influence. There's little of the anger that marked DiFranco's early career in Paper Sun's music, though. Songs like "Humanity" evoke a content, laid-back vibe. Artists as diverse as the Black Crowes and Aretha Franklin are also on Paper Sun's list of faves.
Paper Sun recently downsized after keyboard player Krister Axel left the group. Smithwick is now playing keys for the band.

"We're really liking the four-piece thing," Eckels says. "It opens a little more space, and we've all had to step up a little bit more."

Step up and check out some of Paper Sun's songs for yourself at, or better yet, see them downtown this week.

Contact Michael A. Brothers at 836-1210 or at

- Springfield News-Leader, Springfield, MO

"GOOD THINGS album review"

Like a Salvador Dali painting set to motion with a broken back beat and easy laid back vibe. That is how I would describe L.A. based groovers, Paper Sun. Where the '60s had a fair amount of great blue-eyed soul, in the new millennium , Paper Sun are here to, not only re-introduce the genre, but to re invent it. If you are open-minded and appreciate originality, I know you will love Paper Sun. These guys put forth the most amazing array of jazz/soul/rock you can imagine. From the moment you hit play until the moment the disc player coasts to a stop, everything else vanishes. From Sally Jaye's powerful vocal dynamics ala Beth Hart, as she soulfully charms her way into your heart with, "Never Alone" and "Sweet Thing", where Joel Eckels' vocal styling charms you and reminded me of a cross between a smooth blend of Citizen Cope and Ben Harper on tracks like, the rock and soul mover "Los Angeles" and the groove laden, "Do Ya". Sally Jaye and Joel Eckels have such great chemisty and are two individuals whose vocals ranges have no boundaries. While the rhythm section of drummer Adam Marcello and bassist Carson Cohen, make sure that your groove is kept in check. The songs are so catchy and different at the same time, they are smooth jazz and funky rock and danceable beats. It's music to soothe whatever savage beast you might have lurking inside. With all these talents thrown into a mix, you get a stew that not only tastes good the first time, but rather is actually worth keeping so when it comes time for leftovers, you got something worthwhile. Paper Sun's music is all about the movin' and groovin' of your soul. Let me tell you, it did mine. If you could only have a few CDs on a desert island,'Good Things' by Paper Sun should be one of them.

- Tony Sison, All
Access Magazine

Highly Recommended



The Joy, The Pain EP (2010)
What's To Come...EP (2011)



The WRECKARDS dropped in the fall of 2010 after living in the same Hollywood apartment building for the previous two years. Frontman, Joel Eckels and bassist, Mark "Babyhead" Corben parted ways with their old drummer and neighbor in 2009 to discover that the drummer down the hall, Tamir Barzilay, would be the perfect replacement and missing link to the band's sound and personality.

The first rehearsals with the new group began at Bill Withers house in the Hollywood Hills. Eckels had become friends with the legendary singer/songwriter when he began playing guitar for Withers' daughter Kori. Bill Withers expressed an interest in Eckels songs and agreed to work with the band as a mentor in late 2009.

The band spent the next year writing, arranging and recording material for the EP, The Joy, the Pain with producer, Dan Rothchild and engineer, Brandon Duncan. The release was a defining moment in the band's sound and personality as a result of the lessons learned through Withers.

After a long treacherous search for a fitting band name, THE WRECKARDS had arrived!!

In late 2010, the band went right back to work in the studio to take the writing, arranging and recording to the next level. This time, they decided to fully incorporate Joel's brother, Shawn Eckels, as the missing 4th member on keys, lead guitar the infamous "chink" chords. They decided not to rely on outside production help and to use only full live takes. The new EP. "What's to Come..." was recorded in the band's Van Nuys rehearsal space, engineered by Corben. It captures the sound that they had been searching for all along and proved that they can trust their own direction and choices to make for a full, in-house operation.

In 2011, the WRECKARDS will be busy making their presence known. Look for a late September 2011 Midwest tour, more shows in hometown Los Angeles, music videos and a new album in early 2012.

Keep your finger on the pulse and the needle on the WRECKARD. This is music to move you and groove you.

...spread the word