Article Contributed by Jensen Communi… | Published on Friday, September 6, 2019

California singer songwriter Joel Rafael released his tenth album, Rose Avenue, on June 21, 2019 worldwide on Inside Recordings. Rose Avenue gracefully defines Rafael and his contribution to the American canon. The ten-song masterpiece includes nine originals that reflect the honest accounting of a man in his 70th year. The album is available now on Inside Recordings, a label created by Jackson Browne and his management team that is distributed by Alternative Distribution Alliance.

Purchase and Streaming:

Recorded and mixed by multi-instrumentalist Marty Rifkin in his Santa Monica studio, Rose Avenue is fresh, and radiates warmth and significance.  Rafael does not stray from his roots in the songs he selected for this release, or in his choice of musical accompaniment, playing acoustic guitar and harmonica.

Social change has always been a topic prevalent in Joel Rafael’s writing, and two beautiful examples found their way into the mix of Rose Avenue. The album’s first single “Strong (feat. Jason Mraz) ,” written by Rafael with Jason Mraz and Michael Natter, brings a message of solidarity. It was originally written and performed for the Water Protectors at Standing Rock, ND in 2016. “Glory Bound,” references the shocking story of Emmett Till and his tragic murder.  In the spirit of Woody Guthrie, Rafael has given the 1955 death of a fourteen-year-old boy its deserved respect and consideration. Rafael plays harmonica on both anthems.

The opening track of the album, and the only cover, is a version of Dick Holler’s 1968 ballad, “Abraham, Martin and John.” Joined by Eliza Gilkyson, the song radiates a lifetime’s longing and concern for social justice. 

Jason Mraz joins Rafael on a second track, also a co-write, “Under Our Skin.”

“I love Joel. He’s a passionate and informed songwriter,” says Mraz. “You can hear the miles he’s traveled in the tone of his tenor. He creates with purpose, and it’s a real honor to be included.“

Joel Rafael has been writing and performing since 1974 and over the past decades has released a stunning collection of nine Americana albums, including a two-disc Woody Guthrie collection with five Guthrie/Rafael co-writes. As a solo performer and with his band, he opened shows and shared stages with Arlo Guthrie, Bonnie Raitt, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Dar Williams, Emmylou Harris, Jackson Browne, Joan Baez, John Lee Hooker, John Trudell, Kris Kristofferson, Laura Nyro, Odetta, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, and Taj Mahal. On Rose Avenue, Rafael’s perception reflects a lifetime’s insight into the songs he writes; as well as a full measure of gratitude for what has been, and what lies ahead.

For more information, please visit