The latest single from Jerry Joseph is seven minutes of controlled aggression and a charged political assessment of the world around him. It is, as he sings, “…a rubber ball full of rage.” Patterson Hood of the Drive-By Truckers, again performing as Joseph’s band, says, “It might be the most punk rock song I’ve heard in twenty years (or more). As a founding member of Drive-By Truckers, I place this track among my favourite moments of this band’s discography and the rest of them are in unanimous agreement with me about that.” That’s some statement but it is hard to disagree. It’s a track that stays with you, particularly the raw emotion, long after listening.
Joseph explains something of the story behind the song and video: “In 2010 my friend Justin Benoliel presented an idea to make a documentary about me. My stipulation was that we travel to film it, so on Justin’s dime, we did tours of Southeast Asia – Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand and then the Middle East – Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine and Israel and somewhere in there we fit in Europe, Mexico and the US. While playing shows in Tel Aviv, the first Hamas rockets hit the city but we went ahead with our shows. That decision resulted in my being asked to come to Kabul to teach at a co-ed underground rock school. I raised significant monies for instruments to bring with me for the students and thus that was the beginning of my NOMAD Music Foundation, which has since brought me to Kurdish Iraq twice to teach guitar to kids in the refugee camps.”
Joseph certainly brings all these experiences to this politically-charged song, which is the third single from his upcoming new album. ‘The Beautiful Madness’ is due out on 21st August and promises to be one of the most engaging, forceful albums this year. Jerry Joseph is known for powerful live performances; look out for tour dates with The Delines and
Drive-By Truckers in 2021. In the meantime, check out the video for ‘Sugar Smacks’.