Under a Mackerel Sky by Joe Strell comprises thirteen acoustic tracks that span a range of tempo and style, yet share a gentle mood that wraps around the listener with the graceful ease of a slide guitar slipping into a note or the gentle trill of a distant mandolin.
Strell deftly wields melody and metaphor to unveil the turbulent realms of human emotion, relationships, and existence. His songs combine traditional folk technique with an alternative sensibility to deliver a message with wit and sensitivity. The music soothes while the lyrical imagery strikes deep, complementing the cool depths of the musical seascape with personal revelation that evokes the universal.
"Mackerel sky is a metaphor for change. In terms of the weather, a mackerel sky indicates deteriorating conditions. For me, these songs explore the question of what it means to accept the world as it is when it won't stay that way for very long." -- Joe Strell
A longtime member of the alternative music scene and no stranger to independent record labels, Joe Strell is yet another alumni of the new wave / art rock band Ack-Ack, whose members included Lynn Canfield (Area, Moon Seven Times, Shot Gun Wedding), Henry Frayne (Area, Moon Seven Times, Lanterna), and Brendan Gamble (Sylvia Darling, Poster Children, Stark, Moon Seven Times, Shotgun Wedding), as well as the avant garde masters Tim Stephens and Brian Reedy (Lonely Trailer). In addition to his work on Split Heavens, a studio project with a number of releases on independent labels, and Sylvia Darling, his collaboration with Brendan Gamble, Strell has worked with many of his former alumni on their respective musical efforts over the years.