The first time I heard a Joey Kneiser song was when I found a video of Lucero‘s Ben Nichols singing his rendition of the song ‘Bruised Ribs’ off of Joey’s first record, The All Night Bedroom Revival back in 2010. I fell in love instantly with the honesty and self revelation of the song, so I checked out the whole album and was just as pleasantly surprised. Joey, who is known for his band Glossary, knows how to bring out the feels in even the hardest of hearts.
Fast forward to yesterday when I got to finally view the long awaited release of The Wildness and I was floored again. You see, Joey has a knack for writing all the lyrics you and I wish we could think up and pairing them with quirky lead guitar parts and steady beats with a tinge of country influence. I mean he is from Tennessee so it’s not a huge surprise. While I’m sure we can all agree that good country took a turn for the worst a long time ago, Joey’s music takes all the best parts from that old style country we all enjoyed so much growing up. In my own opinion it is a very hard part to infuse with a mostly indie and soft singer song writer style.
I think if I had to describe the style of Joey’s music to someone who may not have heard it I would have to say it’s a bittersweet fusion of Lucero and the like Chuck Ragan but with the classic style of artists like Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen- but Joey puts a beautiful spin on the vocals. I am not sure I’ve heard a more velvet yet powerful voice aside from maybe Noah Gundersen. If the sheer honesty of Joey Kneiser’s work doesn’t draw you in at first listen take a minute and listen to the intricate guitar parts and the dynamic hooks in each and every song. There is not a bad song on any album he’s made and that is rare as hell. He does not make hit or miss records.
The video for “The Wildness” is a very interesting idea which I would assume is some one traveling alone on their own path of restlessness, he explains that in order to start something new you usually have to give something up. In finding old parts of himself he had to bury another part of himself. Until reading his bio I wasn’t even sure what to call the wandering feeling inside of likely every musician and artist but this video definitely captures those feelings.
In his Facebook bio Joey explains that, in an Elliott Smith like realization, without a band he would have to record this new record alone hit him. He orchestrated all parts of it himself except for Kelly’s vocals. He stated he “does not like hearing his voice without hers beside it.” That is a very heavy and endearing fact considering they were once married, but they have always sung together and the respect that takes as musicians is jaw dropping.
If this video is any indication of How rest of the album will sound I will be sitting here holding my breath waiting for an amazing new record, by a man who the beasts feel truly can ‘con a flood into thinking that it needed rain’. Listen to his video premier on American Songwriter Magazine now!