Joel's on air interview on The KDKA Morning Show
By Scott Tady, Times Online (March 2021)
The true artist that he is, Joel Lindsey continues to achieve a perfectly measured emotional tone and timely message with his music.
The London-born, former Brighton Township-ite last week released "Take Some Love and Pass It On," a single reflecting on how positive minds and compassionate hearts have carried us through the pandemic.
The accompanying music video, filmed in Gateway Center in Pittsburgh, features Lindsey and his two bandmates performing for small groups of masked, socially distanced people enjoying the open air, as children frolic and give flowers to each other.
“So how did we pull through this dreadful year? It might sound cliché, but I think that the answer is Love," Lindsey says in a press release, spelling "love" with a capital L.
"We reached out to one another more than ever before. We entertained each other from near and far with jokes, music or a simple phone call just to check in. We were compassionate, considerate and concerned because we knew that our neighbors were enduring the same things that we were.
"This was the inspiration for the song. It was the will to care for one another in spite of our own hardships and differences. By sending out love, we as a community endured.”
Landing somewhere in the indie-pop/singer-songwriter realms, "Take Some Love and Pass It On" recognizes these past 13 months have been filled with frustration and fears. Some days, getting out of bed seemed to be an overwhelming task. Neighbors heatedly took sides on the best course for recovery, but Lindsey's lyrics suggest the key is finding common ground in between.
"Don't tell each other how to live, because you'll only forget how to forgive," Lindsey sagely sings.
Available at joellindseymusic.bandcamp.com, "Take Some Love and Pass It On" arrives one year after Lindsey’s song "The World Will Heal in Time," inspired by the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
Due to social-distancing limitations, Lindsay and his mates — Tim College and James Kurasch, on drums and bass — recorded their individual "Take Some Love and Pass It On" parts in their respective homes.
Unable to perform in bars in 2020 like so many other musicians across the globe, Lindsey regularly streamed solo performances from his Pittsburgh house for audiences on both sides of The Atlantic. He made the most of the experience, engaging fans in a new, virtual way.
“Initially, performing online was a daunting new medium. But I grew into it once I got past the oddity of standing alone singing into a webcam in my living room. The virtual gigs gave me a musical workout, plus the ability to watch these live performances back led me to become more critical of my intonation, dynamics and audience engagement," Lindsey said. "Listeners responded particularly well to original music, so I found myself songwriting again — a welcome escape from the day-to-day worries.”
In non-pandemic years, Lindsey operates an event company, Joel Lindsey Entertainment, specializing in weddings. To make his new music video, Lindsey reached out to a wedding videography company, Light Motion Studios, run by James Palanza of Pittsburgh.
“James’ film work is amazing, but he hadn’t shot a music video before," Lindsey said. "I told him it would be just like shooting a wedding, just without the cookie table."
The hopeful video points to brighter days.
“Just as Spring 2020 was stomped out by the start of the pandemic, Spring 2021 brings something we’ve missed — Hope. Resurgence. A glimpse into a possible future where we can return to who we once were," Lindsey said.
When the pandemic hit in March 2020, Joel Lindsey was quick to react with “The World Will Heal in Time,” a song and video that welcomed spring with a lonely, melancholy tone and cautiously hopeful message.
What a difference a year makes.
With “Take Some Love and Pass It On,” the British-born Pittsburgh singer-songwriter sets up in Gateway Center, Downtown, on a sunny day for a video with small children playing with balls, balloons and flowers.
He is accompanied by drummer Tim College and bassist James Kurasch, who recorded their parts to the lovely and catchy acoustic ballad remotely from their homes.
The clip was shot by James Palanza, of Light Motion Studios a wedding videography company, his first music video.
“James’ film work is amazing,” Lindsey noted in a statement, “but he hadn’t shot a music video before. I told him it would be just like shooting a wedding, just without the cookie table.”
Of the song, he said, “Just as Spring 2020 was stomped out by the start of the pandemic, Spring 2021 brings something we’ve missed: hope, resurgence, a glimpse into a possible future where we can return to who we once were.”
A full album from Lindsey is due this summer.
Articles on 'The World Will Heal in Time'
Pittsburgh musician’s new song to remind others ‘the world will heal in time’
Quarantine and creativity come together in Joel Lindsey's backyard.
By ADAM REINHERZ, April 29, 2020,
Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle: LINK
Pandemic-generated sadness may provide lyrical material, but it’s not necessarily paying a songwriter’s bills. For Joel Lindsey, a British-born Pittsburgh-based professional musician, there are almost two simultaneous tracks playing. Quarantined at home with his wife, Amy, and their 2-year-old son, Levi, Lindsey, in just 10 days, composed, recorded and filmed “The World Will Heal in Time,” a reflective, doleful number pairing lines like “This is the saddest spring the world has ever known” with “I can’t find a smile and watch the tulips grow.”
Unfortunately, at the same time his creativity is thriving, nearly all of Lindsey’s professional gigs have dried up due to cancellations and reschedulings.
The situation is “difficult,” but “I don’t want to feel sorry for myself,” he said. “I know that I’m not alone. We’re all in the same boat, whether you’re a musician or an artist or anything like that. So many people are suffering right now.”
As someone who makes his living from music, his earnings are derived in two ways, he explained: “A lot of my bread and butter was playing in bars, restaurants, casinos, country clubs, all those kinds of things, and all of that’s completely gone.”
There’s also Joel Lindsey Entertainment, a “multifaceted company” he and his wife founded that provides various services, including lighting, videography, a wedding officiant (Amy), a DJ, emcee, singer and/or guitar player (Joel) for private events.
“We normally do around 50 to 60 weddings a year,” he said, but apart from the “two or three” in January and February 2020, there’s been nothing.
“Every single day I’m dealing with another postponement or cancellation,” he said. “It’s pretty stressful. I’m just trying to figure out what I’m going to do next.”
Even so, Lindsey is optimistic about the future.
“Things are gonna get better, maybe not tomorrow, but we’ve all got to keep hope that the world is going to heal in time and is going to bounce back,” he said.
Such sentiment is evident in Lindsey’s newest single.
“The darkness stole our light and left us feeling numb/ The best thing that we can do is dream of the life to come/ ’cause the world will heal in time,” he sings.
Amy, Levi and Joel Lindsey at home on the North Side. Photo by Amy Lindsey
Several factors led to Lindsey’s recent composition. For one, he’s at home these days, spending time on the phone largely with brides, handling cancellations and reschedulings, and not out performing private events. And secondly, a few weeks ago he saw his son plucking mint in the family’s yard.
That observation immediately gave rise to the line “This is the saddest spring,” because “for most people it’s an invigorating time. There’s something refreshing about seeing everything come back to life, seeing all the things in your backyard growing again — not just the pretty stuff, but the grass, and the weeds and the bushes and the leaves on the trees.” Yet all of the growth has been “juxtaposed with this awful thing that’s happening in the world right now.”
Noticing his son carefully tear mint leaves from a flourishing bush that the family planted one year earlier reminded Lindsey of the present state of childhood and parenting.
“These are the loneliest days the children have ever known. You can’t explain to them that we all have to be alone,” he sings.
“At that moment, just watching my son pulling up mint,” the idea for the song continued to sprout, and within a week and a half, Lindsey had composed the lyrics, recorded the song and with his wife, Amy, filmed a music video, he said. Such rapidity is “completely unheard of for me.”
With its message that nature will take its course and restore life in a future season, Lindsey, a former Southeast London denizen and current Congregation Beth Shalom member, hopes that his creative efforts are encouraging.
“I think people can share this song and realize that they’re not alone but we’re all experiencing the same feelings and emotions,” he said.
He stressed it’s not about furthering sadness.
“I didn’t want to exploit the situation and write something just to ride on people’s emotions. I wanted to give people something positive. And while the song may have a somber vibe, this is a somber time. When the chorus hits, hopefully you’ll realize that my aim is to shed some hope and bring people up rather than bring them down.”
As he longingly notes, “The world will heal in time.” PJC
Adam Reinherz can be reached at email@example.com
NORTHSIDE SINGER-SONGWRITER TURNS THE ‘SADDEST SPRING’ INTO SONG
BY KATIA FAROUN
Northside Chronicle: LINK
As the world spent the spring season inside consumed by the news of the novel coronavirus infections, musician and resident of Marshall-Shadeland Joel Lindsey spent it watching the tulips grow and his son playing in the mint in their backyard. Instead of dwelling on the numbers, he decided to write a song.
Lindsey released “The World Will Heal in Time” on April 11, as half a million Americans were diagnosed with COVID-19 and Allegheny County was first in the midst of an upward trend of infections. The song was inspired by the bleakness of events surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak contrasted with the rebirth and hope that comes with the spring season.
Lindsey found inspiration for the single as he was watching his two-year-old son, Levi, playing in their backyard. As he watched Levi playing in the mint that his wife, Amy, had planted the year before, he noticed how the seasons were changing.
“I started to look around us at the emergence of spring,” Lindsey said via a press release. “Lilac and white blossoms on the trees, the grass growing tall, the bush leaves thickening and the wild onions popping up. Bees, birds, life.”
Lindsey found hope in this promise of new life. While his family was experiencing “the saddest, loneliest spring [they] had ever known,” the life he found in his backyard reminded him of the certainty of restoration.
Check out the music video for Lindsey’s new single, “The World Will Heal in Time.”
Originally from London, Lindsey moved to Pittsburgh in 2007 to begin his life as a full-time musician. He’s toured throughout the U.S. and internationally in Italy and his home country in the U.K. Any other spring, Lindsey would be playing in bars, restaurants, and casinos and at weddings and birthday parties, performing solo or with his band, Boulevard of the Allies. With the shutdown of most businesses, Lindsey is facing unemployment, along with millions of Americans.
In compliance with Pittsburgh’s stay-at-home order implemented throughout April, Lindsey recorded the single in his home, completing the audio and accompanying music video of the song within 12 days of that moment in his backyard.
“Prior to this, I’ve pondered songs for months and found it hard to complete anything. But I have had a lot swirling around my mind on the subject, so in one moment this song just poured out,” Lindsey said.
Lindsey understood the dampening effect of the pandemic on artists’ motivation and encouraged fellow artists who may feel guilty about the absence of inspiration.
“These are trying times for our minds and imaginations… We’re all just trying to cope and process what is happening in our world,” Lindsey said. “Artists shouldn’t be made to feel guilt for not creating.”
Although written and released during a time of shared loss and fear throughout the world, Lindsey wanted his song to provide listeners with optimism.
“I didn’t want to make a sad song that made people feel even worse—rather, I wanted to send a message of hope to lift spirits,” Lindsey said. “I also hope that it will inspire others to bring some positivity to those around them. We all need it.”
Local Song Resonates
By Scott Tady
Times Online: LINK
National acts OneRepublic, Ben Gibbard, Randy Newman and Umphrey’s McGee have released songs inspired by the coronavirus quarantine.
I haven’t heard a better one than “The World Will Heal in Time,” by Pittsburgh singer Joel Lindsey, formerly of Brighton Township.
Viewable on YouTube, Lindsey’s honest assessment of the situation, with a hopeful message, strikes a proper emotional balance.
He wrote the song March 22, coinciding with the start of spring, a time of resurgence and new life. Lindsey found his lyrical inspiration sitting in a lawn chair watching his 2-year-old son play outdoors.
“He was pointing at what I thought were weeds but turned out to be mint,” Lindsey, a native of England, said. “My wife, Amy (a Beaver High grad), had planted a small mint plant the year before, and it had now grown along the fence. I showed Levi how to pick it and enjoy the scent of the mint under his nose. As I watched him, I started to look around us at the emergence of spring: lilac and white blossoms on the trees, the grass growing tall, the bush leaves thickening and the wild onions popping up.”
It all reminded Lindsey that even amid this strangest, saddest, loneliest spring, rebirth is inevitable.
“The song wrote itself from there,” he said.
Sample lyric: “There will be birth again/but defense is the best attack/Don’t hold your feelings back.”
Lindsey recorded the acoustic folk-rock song at home, with Amy helping shoot the video from their porch.
Shared initially on Facebook, “The World Will Heal in Time” quickly sparked an interest among those who’ve seen Lindsey perform at such places as the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center, the former Jeffries Landing in Bridgewater and premier Pittsburgh festivals including Light-Up Night.
He said, “My favorite comment was from an acquaintance who shared it to her Facebook wall and wrote, ‘You might cry when you hear this. Actually, you probably should cry. But you’ll feel better afterward, trust me.’”
Lindsey added, “I didn’t want to make a sad song that made people feel even worse. Rather, I wanted to send a message of hope to lift spirits. I also hope that it will inspire others to bring some positivity to those around them. We all need it.”
Scott Tady is the entertainment editor at The Times. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.