Over four decades, Joel Rafael has chronicled his life and the world around him with songwriting rooted in folk tradition; and no influence is more obvious in his work than that of Woody Guthrie. In 1981, Joel released his debut album, Dharma Bums. His seventh album, Thirteen Stories High, was released in 2008. Rafael"s newest album, America Come Home, was released this year, on Inside Recordings.
Joel Rafael honors the songs of Woody Guthrie on two of his albums, Woodeye (2003) and Woodyboye (2006), which feature five previously unpublished Guthrie lyrics given to him by Nora Guthrie, to which he composed the music. The albums were reissued in 2009 on Inside Recordings as the two-CD collection, The Songs of Woody Guthrie, Volumes 1 and 2. This year, two of Rafael’s co-writes with Guthrie appear in Every 100 Years - The Woody Guthrie Songbook, published by the Woody Guthrie Archives in honor of Woody’s centennial year.