After a decision to make a move from Philadelphia in 2009, Nashville newbie Joel Rakes is using his new surroundings to his advantage as he breaks into the rich indie scene of the Music City. Bryson scored an interview with Joel in the midst of postproduction on his new album The Philadelphia Session, which released February 16.

JR: Before I moved on to Nashville I wanted to do a record with friends to commemorate the time we played music together. What came out of it was a raw live-in-studio album called “The Philadelphia Session.” We tracked 6 songs in 5 hours. No overdubs. What we played is what you get. So I’m going to be releasing that album on February 16th (also my birthday) as a digital release with limited edition hard-copy CDs also.

LIS: Producing a CD takes a lot of work as far as writing words and music. What are some things that inspire you? Are there places, people, words, forces that move you to create?

JR: I think I probably have an answer that a lot of us have, but extreme places of beauty in nature just slay me. Standing in the middle of the French Alps, or at Lake Saranac in the Adirondacks. Unfortunately, I don’t get to do these things as often as I’d like. So I look to the everyday, what’s going on in my life, my friend’s lives. It is amazing the things that happen everyday in our lives that can inspire… if we’re looking. And if I’m being honest, that doesn’t happen very often in my life. I wish it happened more.

I recently read Donald Miller’s new book and it’s severely affecting me at the moment. I highly recommend the book; it talks about living better “stories” in our lives. Not settling for the average or just okay, but going out of our ways to do things that matter and make a difference. Reading that book has been inspiring for sure and is a definite wakeup call also. This year, 2010, I want to live better stories in my life.

I guess for me, creating is such an open and free way to communicate. There is just something about releasing a feeling or thought through the creation of music. I can’t achieve that same outcome through speech. I just can’t. It’s this necessity that moves me to create. I’m grateful I have this outlet for release.

LIS: What cause do you support? Is there one that you work with or that you support through your music?

JR: There is a ministry I’ve been involved with for the last 4 or 5 years in different capacities called Young Life. The organization is nationwide and is for middle & high school kids. All over the world, thousands of leaders are mentoring and sharing Truth with kids.

As I’ve gotten older, and gotten a few years of perspective, I really realize how important your teen years are. These years really set you up in many ways for who you’re going to become later on. So I think it’s really great that there are so many leaders that want to help kids shape their lives for the better. This organization and their mission is something I really believe in.

You can check out Joel’s music on his website Be sure to pick up his new album The Philadelphia Session on iTunes or Joel is also an avid photographer. For the past three years he has kept a photo of the day blog and flickr page of all his photos. Very cool indeed.

Joel Rakes will be at the Love In Stereo party this March 7th at 7:00 p.m. in Henderson, TN. He is one of the incredible artists who donated songs for our upcoming release “My Heart Is In Haiti”. All proceeds from the album will go to support the SonLight Children’s Home & Nutrition Center in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Joel is a friend of Love In Stereo and we’re excited to share him with you! Show him some love.

Twitter: @joelrakes
Blog: joelrakestheleaves

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One Comment

  1. WilliamGew:

    I am so grateful for your post.Much thanks again. Want more. Sherrick

    2:45 am on June 11th, 2016

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