New Album From Ceili Rain Hymns & Hers

I met Joe on a Syracuse Stage production of "Big River" in which I was the harmonica player. Joe made it immediately clear there was a fiddle answer for me in my hometown! He subbed for Buddy frequently starting in March 2006, and when Buddy decided to take the full-time offer he got from Eileen Ivers, I asked Joe D if he would take over Buddy's slot in the band. Joe's reply was: "Lemme think about it- OK!" Years of music to my ears! Joe is a fantastic guy to work with who doesn't personalize the creative process, he just takes things in and gives you his best version of what you're after. A true pleasure to be involved with, he has a sneaky sense of humor that mightn’t be immediately evident.

Not a lot of fiddlers are also former power-lifters! In one of his previous lives, Joe could dead-lift 665 lbs! It's better if you don't even think about it, too scary. Good news- he is sweet as a pie. His other notable life saw him as a scholarship tennis player at DePaul University. Lots of talents for one guy! Combine it with the fact that he lives 4 miles from my house, and we've got a ballgame! And yes, he DOES root for the Yankees!

Joe has played fiddle and mandolin on the last three CDs: “I Made Lemonade,” "Manuka Honey” and “Hymns & Hers.” He has other great miscellaneous musical endeavors going, and he always has his own CDs and fiddle-teaching book available for sale at our shows. Some of the Ceili band members call him "Crazy Joe" (or CJ) after the Seinfeld character "Crazy Joe Davola." I just call him my pal who is a great guy with a terrific talent.

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