Real music Radio is honored to have Mark Joseph as our July Artist of the Month!
Mark Joseph is a Minnesota based musician who has played over #2500 shows in his 20+ year career in the US, Mexico and Japan. Mark is the founder of the Jam Funk outfit Down Lo and is a current band leader and founder of the Mark Joseph & The American Soul. Mark also plays guitar for legendary MN band The Big WU, and has been with the band since 2010. He is a producer, musical director and songwriter and has worked with countless artists from LA based MC Deploi to co-producing the Big Wu’s new album to jamming with Rock N Roll hall of fame inductee Robby Krieger from The Doors. With early influences of gospel and jazz, Mark has performed many different genes of music and continues to study and embrace new music and ideas, such as the 2016 release of “Back 2 Basics” an acoustic hip hop EP.
This year Mark has been touring the country with The Big Wu who is celebrating 25 years as a band. 2018 will see the release of the first studio album from The Big Wu in over a decade. Mark has been instrumental in making this project possible on many different levels.
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Other Links to check out
Billboard in LA, Chicago and Salt Lake City
DJ Jedi Q & A with Mark Joseph
Tell me a little about your new release ” American Soul “
American Soul is my first full length “solo” release. I wrote these songs from 2009-2016 time frame. Its my attempt at a somewhat contemporary effort, and focus on songwriting. Before this I was in group called Down Lo, where we would write more out side of the box and unconventional songs. Experimental progressive genre melding fusion stuff. This record my goal was to write songs with structure and soul. We worked for a number of years on this record. In the past I have been restricted with tight timelines and budgets. This time I was able to take me time, and make the record I really wanted to make. No compromises. I’m pleased with it, and also very exited to be already working on my next one!!
What is the message or story your trying to tell with this release?
The message is really a story about myself. Growing up, loving, learning and giving it all I have! There are songs in here about heartbreak, growing up on my grandparents farm, discovering guitar and rock’n’roll, life, death and many other themes. Its my experience and reflections on life.
How do you feel music has played a part in your life other than being a musician?
Music is my saving grace. Its my friend for all time. Music is the sound track of my life, literally. Its rare for me to not be listening to something. Music has gotten my through the hardest time and has highlighted the best times. Music is how I connect to the the unseen world, god, spirits and communicate to the planet and universe.
What artist have you shared a stage with that you looked over and thought to yourself, I’ll never forget this moment?
I got to play with Robbie Kreiger from The Doors. That was a real treat and one of the highlights of my career. It also did not hurt that John Molo was on drums. Molo played drums on Bruce Hornsby & The Range’s first record and countless others. Both are heroes of mine. When I played with them I was blessed to be surrounded by friends and family which made it even more special.
Have you ever had stage fright and if so how did you overcome it?
I think all performers go through some form of this. Its all part of the program. Music is organic for me, so the performance is human. So I spend a lot of my time trying to remember that. Being yourself before trying to be perfect. Letting the music breathe and be natural. I have my moments, but generally speaking I feel pretty comfortable on stage.
What is the last movie you watched?
Ken Burns documentary on Vietnam. Respect to all veterans and civilians who served, died, were wounded, were MIA or who suffered from PTSD. Its a powerful piece.
What do you think of music sources like iTunes and Amazon?
Digital music distribution is an important platform to sell music. I think we have a ways to go until artists are properly compensated for the art they create. But that is a whole other conversation!
Where do you see music headed with our youth?
I think the music of the day is a reflection of the times. It will continue to grow and change. Thats only natural. I think substance can be missing, but I think the natural next step would be to seek out depth and substance in your music. I see this playing out with my daughter frequently.
Describe yourself in 3 musicians ( besides yourself )
Van Morrison / Melvin Sparks / Jeff Beck
Favorite cartoon character and why?
Fun question! I like lots of them! Space Ghost is hilarious and his sidekick Zorak. Brak is pretty good as well.
Real music Radio would like to thank Mark Joseph for being part of the RmR family