Ballads of Joe Hill

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"A folk song is what's wrong and how to fix it or it could be
who's hungry and where their mouth is or
who's out of work and where the job is or
who's broke and where the money is or
who's carrying a gun and where the peace is.”

"The commercial music is the sign where our world I headin' right now, an' our world is headin' towards hell"


Why this name?

My name is Joe Hill, a name inherited from my father, he died when I was very young so I don't remember much of him. My mother always told me that he was an ol' drunk and I should not think of him. Well he did leave me an old broken guitar that I started t play. And that's how my story began.

I left my home when I was very young, 'bout 15 or somethin'. Since then my only goal has been to travel 'round the country writin' songs. I know some people all 'round the country so I won't ever be without any roof.

I write simple songs, workhorse songs 'bout the world, the world that I picture. Even thou I haven't seen the true nature of the world yet. My final goal is to travel 'round Ireland, meetin' people and seein' things.

I play my own songs and other unknown songs made by voices a long time ago. So this is the "Ballads of Joe Hill". Just some songs I’ve come up with during my time.

Do you play live?

I play 'round on corners of the streets in some of the big towns in Sweden, also hang 'round on many of the bars. Actually the music I play is not preferred, 'caus it's not commercial music. I ain't got nothin' agains' commercial music so I don't know why the commercial music got something against me, it's like commercial music is committing some kind of eradication of non commercial artists.

How, do you think, does the internet (or mp3) change the music industry?

The internet sure is a great tool and I got nothin' against it. With internet people can now access long lost songs. Illegal downloading is a real killer for the commercial music, that’s why they are tryin' to destroy it. I don't really care 'bout it thou. The music I play is too traditional to be killed, it's to stuck in traditions to be taken away completely.

Would you sign a record contract with a major label?
Sure I would if someone asked me to. I'm not writing music for someone else than myself. The songs I write are conversation between me and myself. I'm just happy if people will listen to them, caus' I think there might be something that people can learn from these songs I play.

Band History:
"Hobos are people who move around looking for work, tramps are people who move around but don't look for work, and bums are people who don't move and don't work. I've been all three."

Grew up kinda rough, met a lot of rats and roaches during my childhood. Now when I’m older I still meet alot of rats and roaches, but this time they are friendly.

Your influences?

Woody Guthrie and the way he could write songs 'bout anything, and they would always touch you spirit and speak to you like no other song can.

Ramblin' Jack Elliot and the way he could share the songs he learned from Woody in a magical way, singin' and playin' like the king of folk.

Pete Seeger for singin' and writin' beautiful songs, and for bein' blacklisted in 60:s but still keepin' to his beliefs.

Bob Dylan for bein' a great genius writing amazin' songs, and for stickin' to his dream.

Phil Ochs a great Folk singer who always had to live in the shadow of Bob Dylan.

Leonard Cohen For writin' otherwordly amazingly poetical lyrics

Cornelis Vreesvijk for bein' one of the best lyrical entertainers since Bellman
Favorite spot?

My favourite spot is nowhere, somewhere where nature still is untouched, where the sky still roam free. Where the word money still means nothin'

Equipment used:

An old 47 Gibson J-45 accompanied by singing and a harmonica played with a homemade harmonica rack.