JOEDAI WARRIORS "Rebirth" liner notes
Everyday we meet people...some we remember and some we don't. Some simply pass through and some end up staying and changing our life. Joe Peters is one who did just that. He affected my life, mostly because of music. I'll never forget standing on a balcony overlooking Ambato, Ecuador when Joe showed me how to play a barre chord on his guitar. Any guitar player will realize the significance of this revelation. I remember being with him in Southern Indiana when Joe showed me my first few chords on the mandolin and playing somewhere in Ohio when he handed me a bass guitar for the first time. I think back to the countless campfires, living rooms, stages, jam sessions, and even a cave where we've played music together. I also will never forget popping in a cassette that I had just received from Indonesia. Joe had told me he had been working on a few songs in his spare time on a small portable 4-track recorder. What I heard blew me away. Those were some of the songs that with the help of Indiana guitar genius Michael Kelsey would become part of his first CD release "Given Birth." Joe and his wife Dai have chosen the life of travelers, living in countries throughout the world. "Given Birth" was a glimpse into their experiences as they traveled and worked in countries such as Indonesia, Madagascar, China, and Vietnam.
On this follow-up CD, "Rebirth," from the first line of the first song ("Welcome my friend, let me share my view with you, for a minute or two") we are again invited to view things from Joe's perspective. Whether that perspective be his true desire for us all to live together in peace and harmony, or the bamboo grove outside their small farmhouse in China, or a sunset over the Mekong River in Laos, or the daily struggles of poor peasant farmers, all give us a look at the world through Joe's eyes.
Joe and Dai have spent the last few years living in Hanoi, Vietnam, giving him the unique experience of viewing the Vietnam War, or the American War, as they know it, from the Vietnamese perspective. We were all somehow affected by the war, most of us only through news reports and movies. The Vietnamese people were affected in a far more tragic way, losing almost an entire generation of young men. From this point of view come several songs. "Voices From The Wall" tells the story better than any report or movie ever will. When my two young sons first heard this song, they asked, "Dad, is that true?" Wow, "friends and family, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, husbands and wives, intimate lovers and perfect strangers.... voices from the wall," indeed.
No Joe Peters music session is complete without some songs dedicated to his wife Dai. These two have been a team for many years and the love songs found here are testimonies to his dedication to her and their journey together. As Joe would say, "I am a UXORIOUS man." Once again, indeed!
Just as Joe and his music have affected my life, I hope you can say the same after experiencing this view of the world outside Joe's window. And knowing Joe, I'm sure that he would want you, if nothing else, to take with you the final song's message. "We all belong to the universe. Life's a blessing brother it is not a curse. Nothing falls through the web of life. So open up your mind and eventually you'll find. We all belong to the universe."
A friend and fan
JOEDAI WARRIORS "Rebirth" BIOGRAPHY/PRESS RELEASE
Singer/songwriter Joe Peters grew up in the American Midwest during the turbulent times of the 1960s and 70s, and his songs hearken back to a time when the youth of the planet sought the experience of peace, love and adventure and expressed this search in their music. Through his own music, Joe hopes to rekindle in others that spark of the seeker of truth on a spiritual journey that was awakened in him long ago by the songs of introspective artists like Cat Stevens, Donovan, and John Prine.
Shortly after high school, Joe was attracted to the wisdom of the oriental philosophies of Buddhism and Taoism, eventually living for a couple years in Taiwan and China. These early adventures of living overseas set him and his wife, Dai, on a life course of study, travel and work abroad, including living and working in Vietnam for the past six years. Many of these experiences surface in the songs on the new independent CD release, "JOEDAI WARRIORS/"Rebirth," a follow-up to 1998's collaboration between Joe and local musical genius, Michael Kelsey, winner of the 2004 Guitar Center's National "Guitarmageddon" competition for best unsigned guitarist in America (check it out at www.michaelkelsey.com)!
"Rebirth" treads the musical territory between folk and rock, with some tracks in the mellow mood and others in over-drive. The songs on the CD are brought to life by the musical and technical artistry of collaborator Michael Kelsey. Fellow Indiana native Kelsey is well known throughout the Hoosier state and elsewhere across the nation for his distinctive style of aggressive/progressive acoustic guitar playing. With four independent CDs of his own, and a new DVD, Michael leaves audiences spellbound wherever he plays. On "Rebirth" Michael plays acoustic, electric and bass guitars, banjo, mandolin, keyboards, and percussion, and sings harmony vocals. He also engineered and mixed the entire production.