Joe Lapinski is an interdisciplinary artist who has been performing, writing, and producing music in St.Catharines Ontario Canada for the past 18 years. On top of performing and recording actively as a solo artist, you may know him as a member of The Woodshed Orchestra, Bronx Cheerleader, Whitney Pea, The Regards, and SOUND SOUND (Jeff Luciani - The Dears). You may also know him as a producer for the likes of Creature Speak, The Bends, Paper Bag Palace, Brodie Lodge, Cold Pines, Bronx Cheerleader, Jude Vadala, and many more.
He is the founder and chief of Yummy Recordings, and is a co-founder of the In the Soil Arts Festival, all based in St. Catharines. He has also composed scores and designed sound for the likes of The Shaw Festival Theatre and Suitcase In Point Theatre Company.
Joe is proud to announce the release of his 3rd album, The Beauty Beyond. Co-produced by Joe and Dave Clark (Gord Downie, The Dinner Is Ruined, The Woodshed Orchestra, Rheostatics), the album goes to new heights with song writing and arrangements. Deciding to take a “less-is-more” approach with this release, the compositions are inspired by 70’s recordings from Neil Young, and more recent recordings from Wilco and Dirty Projectors. Lyrical themes touch on “letting go”, “letting in”, “doing the dishes”, “feeding the cats”, with touches of love and friendship in there too.
You can view all my press in my PRESS SECTION, or you can see a few of the most recent press articles below.
Exclaim! Reviews "The Beauty Beyond"
By Thierry Côté
Let’s get something out of the way: Joe Lapinski sounds a lot like Martin Tielli. In fact, he often sounds so much like Tielli — particularly two minutes into the opening song, when he breaks into an arresting falsetto — that you could easily mistake The Beauty Beyond for a new effort by that idiosyncratic vocalist, one that blends the unconventional art-pop of the Rheostatics’ Melville or Whale Music with the jaunty Americana of latter-day Wilco. Lapinski does not shy away from his influences, either: former Rheostatics drummer Dave Clark assists on production duties, and “Kite Meets Blu Skye” recalls the pastoral folk-rock of Sky Blue Sky in both title and sound.
It would be easy to dismiss The Beauty Beyond as the work of a gifted mimic if it weren’t for the quality of the songs, which are at once structurally complex and effortlessly melodic. The title track, “I Will Stay” and “You!” are all multipart suites bursting with subtle hooks, while “Rock/Mountain,” featuring Whitney Peterson and Laurel Minnes (Whitney Pea) on harmonies, climaxes with a wistful, cinematic back-and-forth between Lapinski’s accordion and Jason Kennemy’s piano. Lapinski is also an evocative and inventive guitarist, capable of delivering a fluid solo in sharp contrast with the jarringly distorted chords that open “Find Your Home,” or adding colour to the delicate instrumental closer “Morning” with dreamy pedal steel fills.
To sound like one of Canada’s finest singers is no bad thing, particularly if you can produce a work that stands on its own merits, which The Beauty Beyond certainly does.
Published: February 4, 2014
Written by: Steve Nadon
There is perhaps no better example of a modern artistic renaissance man than Joe Lapinski, who has strongly made his presence felt in the St. Catharines arts scene over the past several years. This solo musician, group member, songwriter, producer and composer has just recently released his new solo album, The Beauty Beyond.
Lapinski’s third solo album was just recently released and features the hauntingly beautiful and soothing melodies Lapinski is known for. Self defined as "progressive indie Canadian-folk", his unique song structures and use of traditional instruments create unique listening experience.
Known around St. Catharines for more than just his luscious moustache, Lapinski is also highly dedicated to the Niagara artistic community. Most notably, Lapinski is the co-founder of the In the Soil Arts Festival — which is essentially a three-day explosion of creativity on the streets of downtown St. Catharines. Many forms of artistic experiences are represented from music, theatre dance to out-of-the-box performance installations.
"With this year’s In the Soil Arts Festival, I was shocked at how many NEW music acts applied", said Lapinski. "It made be very happy and excited to be part of this growing community. There are so many hard working bands in this area, and new ones are sprouting up all the time. This shows me that musicians in St. Catharines and Niagara are excited to be here and being part of the community. Lots of folks are helping each other out, whether its recording an album, or putting on a show. I’m also seeing a couple new music venues pop up in town. This is always a sign that there is a demand for more live music."
His dedication to the City of St. Catharines doesn’t end with community involvement however, he also represents his home through musical enterprises. In fact, The Beauty Beyond carries heavy inspiration from personal and historical experiences in the region.
"I think every song writer composes from what they know; my surroundings here in Niagara are always something I’m trying to learn more about. I see a lot of growth and change in St. Catharines these days, which lends to some of the uplifting and energetic sounds of my new album," said Lapinski. "The downtown arts landscape is really going to change. There are lots of artists taking risks."
As a record producer, Lapinski is the founder and chief of Yummy Records and also runs Midtown Studios. His positions expose him to a lot of new, local artists that are beginning their careers in the music industry.
"I love working with new artists," said Lapinski. "There are often no expectations in the studio with young and upcoming musicians and song writers, which leaves us a "blank slate" to work with. The energy is exciting and creative ideas flow freely. I try and approach all artists like this, treating their project as if it was their first."
Lapinski has an upcoming sold-out show in Virgil at the SilverSmith brewery on Feb. 7 at 8:00 p.m. If you didn’t get a chance to reserve your ticket early, you can find Lapinski instead at Mahtay Cafe on Mar. 14 at 8:00 p.m. Looking further ahead, In the Soil Arts Festival will run from April 25 until April 27, for more information check out the web site: inthesoil.on.ca.
DiSC of the WEEK: Joe Lapinski The Beauty Beyond
Posted Monday 06 January 2014
From its opening plinky-plonking piano notes, “The Beauty Beyond” sets the tone for Joe Lapinski‘s The Beauty Beyond: a bold, confident, wide-eyed treasury of songs inspired by some classic folk rock recordings. Lapinski tips his cap to the likes of Neil Young and Wilco, but pulls a wholly original hat trick out of his pocket on the opening triptych of “the Beauty Beyond”, “Rock / Mountain” (the album’s first official single), and “If You Want To”, a sit-up-and-take-notice moment if there ever were to be one on this record.
Produced by long-time friend and collaborator Dave Clark (former Rheostatic and leader of The Woodshed Orchestra, of which Lapinski is a touring member), The Beauty Beyond has all the charm of Clark’s former band’s Melville and Whale Music albums, only with less cheek and more sincerity. It is a record of refined sounds, engaging arrangements and memorable moments. Lapinski is as comfortable playing solo guitar as he is fronting a full band, and can make a joyful noise like album centrepiece “You!” sound as intimate and personal as the acoustic gem “I Will Stay”.
What I find most alluring about The Beauty Beyond is the atmosphere Lapinski and Clark create. Whether flexing his guitar chops with the heavy riffing “Find Your Home” or wafting on the gently rolling melody of instrumental “Morning” at the record’s close, The Beauty Beyond is a mellifluous, cozy place to be.
Beyond the beauty of these 10 songs is talent in spades, a testament to what’s been going on here in Niagara. Lapinski has long been held in high regard for his support of the arts community in St. Catharines and Niagara. With The Beauty Beyond, the accolades should start coming in from all over.
The Beauty Beyond was officially released on December 14, 2013 through Yummy Recordings. You can buy directly from Joe Lapinski here.
Review – “The Beauty Beyond” – Joe Lapinski
Posted on January 15, 2014
by Michael Thomas
Sometimes it’s good to step out from behind a band name. Joe Lapinski has been at the music game for some time, most notably in Bronx Cheerleader and Woodshed Orchestra. But for this outing, Lapinski has gone solo, and he’s proven to be quite the instrumentalist at the very least, given the long list after his name on his Bandcamp page.
Lapinski doesn’t go to this completely alone, of course. He’s got a healthy list of supporting players, but they complement him well; it feels like work orchestrated by one man, which it is. He also doesn’t limit himself to a specific genre, though the record certainly leans heavily toward folk.
The opener, which is also the title track, acts like an overture for what to come. The song takes many left turns, starting with a throwback 60s vibe before and ending with some very tasty electric guitar work. It also introduces three of the star musicians on this album. First there’s Dave Clark, who is also Lapinski’s Woodshed Orchestra bandmate, on drums and percussion. There’s also a great pair of backup vocalists in Laurel Minnes and Whitney Peterson.
From “Rock/Mountain” up to “Kite Meets Blu Skye,” The Beauty Beyond sounds like a folk record, though with interesting surprises along the way. The beginning of the folk chunk, “Rock/Mountain,” is exceedingly catchy thanks to the vocal call-and-response between Lapinski on one side and Minnes and Peterson on the other. “Go Drive off the Pier” shows off Lapinski’s interesting lyricism, such as this pair of lines: “From nowhere but somewhere I ride on waves/Blue sky above pillowed by puppy greys.” It sounds like something straight out of Lewis Carroll.
And just when the album is in danger of getting too comfortable in its mellow folk vibes, an electric guitar greets the opening of the excellent “Find Your Home” to bring some much-needed energy back into the fold. The song is a little reminiscent of Joel Plaskett, but with a lot more pedal steel.
“‘Round and ‘Round” continues the celebratory atmosphere of the previous song, and “Morning” wraps up everything in a bow nicely with its pleasant instrumental tones.
Lapinski is an interesting musician thanks to his wide range of pursuits, as well as just the simple fact that you don’t hear too many men who sing in upper register. He and Paul Linklater would probably have much to talk about. In fact, they should just go form a duo right now, it would rule.
Top Tracks: “Rock/Mountain”; “Find Your Home”
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)