Posted on May 2, 2014 by Jordy Yack
Joe Lapinski returns to Toronto as a stripped-down trio and he’s more than ready to keep tugging on your heartstrings. He’s fresh off the trail from this past weekend’s In the Soil Arts Festival in St. Catharines.
Lapinski and his band collaborated with Brittany Brooks (visual artist/projectionist/musician) for a one-time project called “The Beauty Beyond: Luminous Lines.” The collaboration featured a warm and gorgeous set from the Joe Lapinski Band and an old school light performance from Brooks. The visuals were completely analog and tactile, no computers or digital tools were used in the process.
Back in February, Lapinski collaborated with Adam CK Vollick to create this spontaneous perfomance video at the Silversmith Brewing Company in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Vollick has previously worked with Neil Young and Daniel Lanois, so Lapinski jumped on the opportunity to make something really special. “These 3 songs represent some of the magic that happened that night, captured beautifully by Adam. There is an energy in this band (who was only just formed 4 months ago) that seems to be born from the exploration of something new,” muses Lapinski.
The Beauty Beyond is Joe’s third solo album, released late last year. It’s a gorgeous drive through the back country in a vintage convertible, staring at clouds that look like animals. And when you shout over to the passenger seat to point out that fluffly cloud that looks like your childhood dog, your passenger is pointing to that exact same cloud. The Beauty Beyond is passionate, lush, and full of adventure. It’s the kind of record where you’re rewarded with joyous gifts with every subsequent listen. You might have missed hearing a bassline that last time, or that ‘ha’ on “‘Round and ‘Round” or Dave Clark’s emphatic and expressive drumming on “Go Drive Off the Pier.”
Stream The Beauty Beyond here:
Joe Lapinski plays with Heavy On The Willie, (Paul Kolinski’s tribute to Willie Nelson and his contemporaries) @ Gerrard Art Space. 1390 Gerrard St. E (a few blocks east of Greenwood). The show is hosted by Jason Kenemy’s East Side Boom!
Saturday May 3, 8pm. $10/PWYC.
By Scott Rosts
ST. CATHARINES — You could call him a “Joe of all trades”, but deep in his heart it all revolves around his passion for music.
Joe Lapinski has dabbled into theatre, film, education and music production, but his roots start with music performance, dating back to about 1999.
“It’s been a passion that has really helped evolve into so many different things,” said Lapinski. “At the heart of it, though, it’s all about enjoying music and performing.”
Lapinski has performed, written and produced music with a wide variety of groups and artists. You can find his name tied to the Woodshed Orchestra, Bronx Cheerleader, Palooka, The Woodchoppers Association, The Regards, Whitney Pea … the list goes on.
For the past several months, however, Lapinski has been continuing to focus on promotion of “The Beauty Beyond”, the third album released for his own group, The Joe Lapinski Band.
“I’m always inspired by the the people I’m working with, but it’s also nice to work on my own stuff,” said Lapinski. “I like being able to go in my own creative direction with my music and do what I want with the performances.”
Co-produced by drummer Dave Clark, the album delves into what Lapinski describes as “folksy/rocky roots.” Lyrical themes touch on “letting go”, “letting in”, “doing the dishes”, “feeding the cats”, with touches of love and friendship in there too.
It was three years in the making when he released the album last December, and the response has been a positive one. The new album has not only charted nationally in the top 50 on campus and community radio, but has been praised by CBC Radio, Quick Before It Melts, and Exclaim! Magazine. Lyrical themes touch on “letting go”, “letting in”, “doing the dishes”, “feeding the cats”, with touches of love and friendship in there too.
Lapinski will be performing some of the music from “The Beauty Beyond” at Mahtay Cafe, 241 St. Paul St.. in St. Catharines, on Friday, March 14, alongside Whitney Pea. Doors open at 7 p.m., and the show begins at 8. Tickets are $10, and available in advance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or at the door.
For those who can’t catch him this weekend, he encourages them to mark their calendars for the In The Soil Festival — which he helped co-found — April 25-27 in downtown St. Catharines. The band, he said, will be performing as part of the three-day celebration of the arts.
For more information on Joe Lapinski and his work, visit www.joelapinski.ca.
>> READ ONLINE
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.
>> READ ONLINE
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.
The first email I read this morning told me that The Beauty Beyond was reviewed by Grayowl Point, Canadian Music Blog. The second thing I read was the review. Thanks to Michael for doing it up, and saying some very kind thoughtful things about my latest release. He even gave me a “Strong Hoot” rating! Awesome.
The FIRST review of The Beauty Beyond is in! Quick Before It Melts (a Canadian music blog based out of Niagara Falls) was kind enough to make the album it’s first “Disc of the Week” for 2014! It’s a great read, and it’s got me pretty excited for the year ahead!
Local artist on Big Ticket
By: Chris Illich
Right now is an exciting time for local singer/songwriter Joe Lapinski. He recently won the Trillium Arts “Emerging Artist of the year” from the City of St. Catharines, and he has been awarded the opportunity to play a high profile gig at St. Catharines’ Grape and Wine Festival opening up for local music legend Daniel Lanois on Sept. 25.
Tuesday September 16 2008
By Monique Beech
Wine festival parade crashers become marshals
Natasha Pedros remembers ushering Niagara Wine Festival parade revellers off the official downtown St. Catharines route to watch a group of Brock University theatre students strike mannequin-like poses.
While her classmates became statues and unofficial parade entries, Pedros would stand out front and promote her burgeoning theatre company.
“We just started performing in the parade without being invited to,” Pedros said with a laugh.
June 10 2008
Even though it’s new release day, I decided that I would take the opportunity to introduce you to a talent that’s not releasing anything today. I admit that I’ve overlooked him for a while now, but there’s no time like the present to introduce you to Joe Lapinski.
Joe Lapinski, Sundries
Body: “Hey, it’s really snowing!” yells my daughter at the kitchen window and I look up from scrubbing yesterday’s pots and pans, thinking about how I’m going to pay the bills this month, just as Joe Lapinski’s “Picked Up the Phone” starts playing on the stereo. The gentle acoustic guitar and piano build-up is the perfect accompaniment for such a grey winter day, as the snow falls gently on our messy garden, I smile with wonder at my daughter’s delight. “Can I open the window? I’m hot,” she asks. And I tell her no and we both keep listening to Lapinski’s quiet winter songs. (Terence Dick)