Joe Welsh grew up in the cold north woods of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and took a writing degree from Northern Michigan University in 1996. After many years of musical trials and tribulations, a near miss at a major label deal as a secular artist, and a spiritual awakening, Joe came to the realization music must honor Jesus Christ. Says Joe, “Whatever you sing about becomes your object of worship, and I only want to worship God. There are so many false idols out there. You grow up in the culture and there’s just so many ways to get lost. You can’t go wrong in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sets the atmosphere for the anointing of the Holy Spirit."
Joe’s third release, ‘Join The Living’ is truly an artist’s arrival. The title track is an exquisitely written piece full of scripture that feels like it was written a hundred years ago. The sultry and frightening ‘Blow The Trumpet’, is a harrowing commentary on the end times from Joel 2. Then there is the dynamic and beautiful ‘Cover Me’ that starts slowly and builds to a climactic finale. The first track, ‘Maranatha’,came to Joe after the great hymnologist of south east Asia, Baranabas Mamm, prayed for Joe to have divine melody and lyrics poured out from heaven. It is a piece some in the local church have claimed could become a standard of the genre. All in all, the release is extremely well written, filled with excellent lyrics, soaring organs, guitars, and soulful vocals. Mastered slightly lower than the mainstream, the record retains a dynamic not often found in today’s recordings and is refreshingly unique amongst the contemporary Christian genre.
At one point in 2001, Joe played a showcase for some major label producers in Los Angeles and drew rave reviews. Though never having a measurable success at the time, one producer who has worked with some of the biggest names in the business remarked that “Joe is the kind of guy who will not let the difficulty of the road music artists face stop him. There just isn’t any quit in a guy like that.” Indeed the struggle to build an independent label and realize a life long dream has at times been very, very difficult. “For so many years I’ve poured out every extra minute and nickel into this. There were times when I didn’t know where I would sleep at night or when my next meal would be, but God always showed up --even in the times I was dead wrong to be doing what I was doing.” Says Joe, “If you’re going to run this race, you’ve got to run it to win.”
Joe does a weekly devotional at the Grand Traverse House Of Prayer and is involved with worship teams at the Church of Philadelphia and Baypoint Community Church in Traverse City, MI.