Joedai Warriors | Given Birth

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Folk: Modern Folk Rock: Folk Rock Moods: Featuring Guitar
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Given Birth

by Joedai Warriors

Singer-songwriter Joe Peters, a seeker of truth on a spiritual journey, teams up with Hoosier musical genius, Michael Kelsey, winner of the 2004 Guitar Center’s National “Guitarmageddon” competition for best unsigned guitarist in America.
Genre: Folk: Modern Folk
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Malagasy Memories
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3:28 $0.99
2. A Tear and a Smile
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6:13 $0.99
3. Sorrow of War
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5:11 $0.99
4. The Tao of Healing
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4:26 $0.99
5. Tree of Life
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5:29 $0.99
6. Healing Hands
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6:35 $0.99
7. World's Greatest Game
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5:45 $0.99
8. Just a Happy Song
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5:02 $0.99
9. Burning Building
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4:43 $0.99
10. Driving Indonesian
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6:02 $0.99
11. The Rain and I
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5:27 $0.99
12. Son of Man
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5:02 $0.99
13. Sunrise at Bromo
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8:24 $0.99
Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.


Album Notes
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, The Moody Blues, Neil Young 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 independent CD release, “JOEDAI WARRIORS/”Given Birth,” a 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!

“Given Birth,” like the follow-up "Rebirth," tread 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 both albums Michael plays acoustic, electric and bass guitars, banjo, mandolin, keyboards, and percussion, and sings harmony vocals. He also engineered and mixed the entire productions.

The CD opener, “Malagasy Memories,” chronicles two years of life with villagers in the rainforests of Madagascar while helping to establish a new national park. This song is influenced by the rhythms of South African pop music by artists like Johnny Clegg. “The Sorrow of War” is a lament about the Vietnam War written from the Vietnamese perspective of civil war, and ends with a refrain from Neil Young’s “Ohio” (Joe and Dai lived in Vietnam for nearly eight years, where they pursued their life’s work trying to help villagers improve their livelihoods). The rock anthem-like “Sunrise at Bromo,” which closes the CD, describes a midnight trek to the top of an active volcano on the island of Java while living in Indonesia. The comical “Driving Indonesian” needs no explanation, except that encounters with the diversity of life and situations around the globe are often amusing, sometimes tragic, and nearly always engaging.


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georgia bruce cirese

Given Birth
WOW......what an inspirational songwriter and musician. RETOUCHED my SOUL like it did 30 years ago!

Tammy Childs, CyberCity Magazine Music Reviewer

Compositions passionate and alive; music inspirational and most of all, motivati
Joe Peters has put together 13 original songs. He has joined his writing talents with the musical talents of Michael Kelsey. Kelsey is a guitarist extraordinaire. He also engineered and mixed the entire production. The Joedai Warriors are adventurers in the musical realm. They have found music in all things. They extract musical notes from the water, chords from the air, rhythms from the earth, lyrics from humankind. They use the power, the energy, the forces around them to influence and invigorate their music.

"Malagasy Memories" is a pretty piece of music and begins our experience with this duo. Joe takes the vocals and Michael does the acoustic guitar, bass and percussion. It is beautifully written and performed equally well.

"A Tear and a Smile" has an exceptional beat with a haunting background. Were the Golden Rule the law of the land, we would know that it is "better to give than take. . .all around the world we can lend a hand". Unfortunately, life is not that easy nor that giving. When I asked Joe what influenced the writing of this song he related an experience his wife had with a young man in Hanoi, Vietnam. The teenager rode an old bicycle through the neighborhoods selling hot bread for a dime a loaf. For most, this everyday, all day from sun-up to long past midnight task would seem almost unbearable. But to him, it was a way of life. When Dai looked into his eyes, he responded with a big smile. Joe states, "the second verse is directed toward an American audience that, like Vietnam, has some problems to deal with in terms of the lessons of life and love."

Michael Kelsey performs on the Spanish guitar, which just happens to be one of my favorite instruments, on "The Tao of Healing". He does exceptional work. Once again, the lyrics are superb and provoke the conscience -

"life is the teacher of wisdom it's true
confronted with suffering what will you do
will you reach out a hand to your brother in need
or just turn away while his soul starts to bleed."

Joe challenges us to expend ourselves on the part of another, to "invite love in".

"Just a Happy Song" is, indeed, jubilant. It celebrates the good things in life; singing in the rain and dancing in the nude. It is a particularly clever song and does bring on a happy mood. The six-string banjoes and whistles attribute to its jovial nature. "Make the best of circumstance" it says. This too, is often easier said than done. However, this tune can definitely energize you to try. So put on your smile, "take a little chance, go ahead and dance."

"Sunrise at Bromo" concludes our musical tour. Kelsey and Dennis Leas add their talents on the didjeridu and an already interesting piece of music is enhanced. This unusual instrument promotes the mysterious feel of the song. This particular tune was the first written by Peters. Again, Joe drew on his personal experiences. Mt. Bromo is an active volcano in the eastern highlands of the island of Java, Indonesia. Joe and a friend hiked into the Bromo area in 1996 and stayed in a little town on the edge of the large crater. Peters states, "I felt like a pilgrim on a spiritual journey". Thus, the inspiration for the song.

It is difficult to categorize this music. In fact, it is impossible. It would appeal to almost any listener and is much too diverse to fit into a specific genre. If there was a category entitled "marvelous", that is where I would list this CD. This group's music has captivated me. This is a truly outstanding collection of music. Peters builds very creative and expressive music out of personal experiences through his travels. While Joe's vocals are pleasant, the songs' true strength lies within the lyrics and in the music itself. I admire this man's ability to make music that not only speaks to your heart and your conscience with important life-lessons and messages, but also fulfills a need to be entertained. His lyrical writings are very honest, even brave at times, and extremely powerful in content and style. His musical compositions are passionate and alive. The music of The Joedai Warriors is inspirational and most of all, motivational.

I anxiously look forward to hearing their next collaboration.