Joel McKerrow and the Mysterious Few are pioneering a unique fusion of artistic forms through an explosion of poetic verse, impassioned performance, soaring vocals and intricate musicality. The songs/poems (or pongs for short) are inspiring and moving, attention grabbing and thoughtful, articulate and powerful, in-your-face and under-your-skin. They are the breath before the storm and the bellow of thunder. Not merely poetry dressed up with a thin veneer of music, this is music powerfully and intentionally woven with spoken word. In short, Joel and the band are redefining what poetry is, how we engage with it, making it accessible even for those who gave up on poetry when high school English class sadly killed it for them. They will convert you, that is their mission, you will like poetry once more.
Lyrically the album begins with the title track, Welcome Home, an open-arm invitation for the wandering creative. A place of belonging and inspiration for those who feel they do not belong. The title track sets the scene for where we go to from here as the album then draws heavily on themes of story, journey, wandering, hurting, hope and homecoming. Again and again the comfortable listener shall be afflicted and the afflicted listener shall be comforted. The words hold well this tension. Always soothing, always challenging.
Frontman Joel McKerrow is one of Australia’s most successful performance poets having toured extensively throughout Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, the UK and Europe as well as releasing two previous studio albums, two live albums and two published books. He is the Artist Ambassador for the aid and development organisation ‘TEAR Australia’, was the third ever Australian representative at the Individual World Poetry Slam Championships in the USA (2012), has been invited to perform at the Sydney Opera House, the Melbourne Arts Centre, the Victorian Parliament House, the Nuyorican Poets Cafe (NYC) and he is a TEDx speaker and performer. He has been commended by Canadian performance poet Shane Koyczan as, ‘an exceptional spoken word artist…fiercely political and humane’. And by the Australian National Poetry Slam Champion, Luka Lesson, as, ‘a true leader in Australia’s performance poetry scene…A man who can tear a roof down with his performances and bring tears with his subtle eloquence’.
Accompanying the lyricism of this profound poet is a host of musicians at the top of their game. Joel is joined by Melbourne musicians Josh Fuhrmeister (production, guitars, keys), Richelle Boer (vocals and guitars), Jhana Allan (Violin) and Leah Scholes (Percussion).