Joel will often simply "tickle" a note, where you otherwise might expect it to be "slammed", and it has the same impact. One might go to see Joel Cage in a restaurant or bar, people gathered in separate groups, happily chatting amongst themselves showing little perceivable notice that there is a musician performing. Joel will sit and play, adding the perfect counterpoint to their energy, both rhythmically and melodically. His presence, neither demanding nor ignored, is accepted like another participant in the conversation.

People, on occasion, individually, will stop talking, and, their attention drawn over to Joel, will watch intently for a brief moment, in appreciation, admiration even, perhaps a bit stunned, or otherwise perplexed, not being sure whether they are witnessing that which they are indeed witnessing, for in this environment of anonymity, how can this guy be so good? Contemplation being beyond their inclination in the instant, each will return to their comrades, with an echo of some unidentifiable concept, a conundrum maybe, not worthy of deep consideration in the given circumstance.

Meanwhile, Joel continues to play, oblivious to these undefined gestures of notice and respect, riding the energy that is “these people in this place at this moment” like a champion surfer rides an incoming wave.

One might then go and see Joel Cage in a concert setting, a hush-hush crowd, a darkened room, a stage, theater lighting ... where Joel will sit and do the exact same thing, and one will be mesmerized, awestruck, exhilarated and all the other things that are evoked by the performance of a master at his trade.

Equally counterpuntral to the “rhythm of the room” as Joel likes to say, but now without the distractions, one has leave to take notice the intricacies of Joel’s incredible virtuosity, the loveliness of his tunes and the uplifting wisdom contained within his lyrics. One can feel a tangible sense of the space, not necessarily the individuals within, but the actual space of the room being lifted to a higher plane of existence, and you are faced with the choice - do you let go and allow this lift to carry you along, or do you cling to earthly-bound thoughts and remain anchored in your own personal present-tense.

While the latter may be preferable to most who may fear the adventure of a journey into someone else’s universe, to which Joel’s music will offer the same subliminal counterpoint, the former, coming from one who has taken the journey and retuned to now report on it, is a musical, artistic experience second only to the creation of art itself.

Joel Cage’s delivery is on so personal a level as to instill the desire to turn something, anything you may have at your disposal, into an artistic endeavor. This kind of inspiration, so subjective while equally objective, does not come around often in the sphere of the creative community in general. Perhaps there are many in the proverbial woods of society who capture their own selves this complete, but in this reviewers experience, such people keep it to themselves, and rightfully so.

That Joel Cage is this that good is good enough. That he chooses to share his well perceived perspective, well thought out wisdom and well crafted music is truly our good fortune.

Not to be missed is an understatement Let us leave it at that.
Description
Joel will often simply "tickle" a note, where you otherwise might expect it to be "slammed", and it has the same impact.

http://www.joelcage.com/
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Bruce Cockburn, Stephen Stills

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