“If one can master a craft after investing 10,000 hours, Joe Jencks’ hours are showing! I am literally stunned by this new album. Poets, Philosopher, Workers & Wanders tells our stories, his story, and the untold stories, as an American folk master can – with heart and unfettered perfection. Add this one to the folk canon! ” – MarySue Twohy – The Village, SIRIUS XM Radio
Joe Jencks is an 18-year veteran of the international folk circuit, an award-winning songwriter, and celebrated vocalist based in Chicago. Merging conservatory training with his Irish roots and working-class upbringing, Joe delivers engaged musical narratives filled with heart, soul, groove and grit. Having penned several #1 Folksongs including the ever-relevant Lady of The Harbor, Jencks is also co-founder of the harmony trio, Brother Sun. From Festivals like Falcon Ridge, Kerrville, Mariposa, and Old Songs, to venues like Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, Jencks has enthralled diverse audiences with his approachable style. Joe is noted for his unique merging of musical beauty, social consciousness, and spiritual exploration. Blending well-crafted instrumentals and vivid songwriting, Jencks serves it all up with a lyric baritone voice that has the edgy richness of a good sea-salt caramel.
Joe’s newest Solo CD – Poets, Philosophers, Workers, & Wanderers – was released May 1st, 2017 – to critical acclaim. The CD has spent several weeks at #1 on Sirius XM’s Americana Chart, and was also the #1 CD on the Folk DJ Chart for May, 2017 – with 4 songs in the top 10.
Poets, Philosophers, Workers & Wanderers chases new musical horizons for Joe Jencks. Honoring his mentor and friend Pete Seeger with the title track, this collection of songs progresses into a wide range of human experience from love and triumph, to tragedy and transformation. With arrangements that showcase sparse acoustic textures alongside Copeland-like orchestral tapestries, this recording reflects the depth of Joe’s musical knowledge as well as the diversity of his influences. Cinematic in its imagery and scope Poets, Philosophers, Workers & Wanderers features largely original songs influenced by Celtic, Blues, Jazz and traditional American Folk styles, interspersed with a handful of carefully chosen covers. Guest artists include: Ysaye Barnwell (Sweet Honey In The Rock), Cathy Fink, Harpeth Rising, Tret Fure, Reggie Harris, Edie Carey, Jon Carroll, Grace Jencks, and more.
“Beyond the fine selection of songs and the talented team assembled in the studio, what really shines through on Joe Jencks’ new album are his resonant, honey-rich voice, his open-hearted humanity, and his commitment to social justice. We need artists who inspire our better selves more than ever, don’t we?”
– John Platt , Sunday Supper, WFUV, Bronx, NY
“Poets, Philosophers, Workers & Wanderers -is absolutely Joe Jencks’ finest effort thus far. Jencks’ captivating tenor voice, lofted by flawless production, demonstrates music of conscience and provides a feast for the ear as well as nourishment for the soul.”
– Rich Warren, The Midnight Special – WFMT, Chicago, IL
“Joe Jencks brings us moving and stunning songs of hope, redemption, connection and remembrance. Sung with passion and delivered in his rich tenor voice, the songs on Poets, Philosophers, Workers & Wanderers are a balm for the times.”
– Laurie DesJardins – KVMR, Nevada City, CA
“Climb inside the songs of Joe Jencks, and you meet real people. His lilting melodies and warm, caramel tenor draw us closer to the stories he tells. Jencks finds the humanness that binds us to the people in his songs!”
– Scott Alarik – Author of Revival and host of Folk Tales, WUMB, Boston, MA
“You can expect many a gifted artist to move you deeply, but Joe Jencks will change who you are.” – Angela Page – WJFF, Radio Catskill, Jefferson, NY
In addition to his performance work, Jencks’ skills as a vocal harmony arranger are in demand. With over 30 appearances as a guest vocalist and arranger on various studio recordings, he brings a unique rich sound to the work of other artists.
On the stage, in the studio, or in the classroom, Jencks applies conservatory training to contemporary genres, bridging styles and techniques. Drawing on his Irish heritage (dual U.S./Irish Citizen), Jencks uses his lyrical voice to enchant, heal, and inspire. Jencks has won numerous songwriting awards and is also highly regarded as a song interpreter. Jencks weaves a diverse web of stories with brilliant musical skill, ensnaring even the most rigid of hearts, inviting them to open. His songs invite us to live inside of our passions and our beliefs.
Joe Jencks is a member of the A.F.M. Local 1000: North American Traveling Musicians Union, NARAS, ASCAP, and the Folk Alliance International.
In 2010, Jencks co-founded the dynamic harmony trio Brother Sun, with colleagues Greg Greenway and Pat Wictor. The trio performs widely throughout the United States and Canada. Brother Sun’s 2016 release – “Weights & Wings” was the #1 CD for 2016 on the Folk DJ Chart, and 5 songs charted in the top 50 for the year – including Joe’s composition, “Mary Don’t You Weep & Moan” at #3 for the year! The trio’s 2013 release “Some Part of The Truth,” was #1 for 2013, and also took #1 song for 2013 with Joes composition: “Lady of The Harbor.” Fusing, Folk, Roots, Blues, Pop, Jazz, Rock, and a cappella singing, Brother Sun is an explosion of musical diversity and harmony, in the finest of male singing traditions. For more information, please visit: www.brothersunmusic.com.
Poets, Philosophers, Workers, & Wanderers (New) Joe Jencks Solo CD – 2017
Brother Sun CD – Weights & Wings – Acoustic/Fusion – 2016 Brother Sun Music (#1 CD, #3 Song – Mary Don’t You Weep & Moan) 2016 Folk DJ
Brother Sun CD – Some Part of the Truth, Acoustic/Fusion – 2013 Brother Sun Music (#! CD, #1 Song: Lady of The Harbor) 2013 Folk DJ
Brother Sun CD – Brother Sun, Acoustic/Fusion – 2011 Brother Sun Music
Links In A Chain CD Acoustic/ Singer Songwriter 2009 Turtle Bear Music
The Candle & The Flame CD Acoustic/ Singer Songwriter 2007 Turtle Bear Music
Rise As One “Live Concert CD Folk/Labor History 2005 Turtle Bear Music
The Wonder Deep Within CD Folk/Spiritual 2004 Turtle Bear Music
I Hear Your VoiceCD Folk/Social Justice 2003 Turtle Bear Music
What Kind Of Brother CD Folk/Traditional 2000 Turtle Bear Music
The Phoenix CD Folk/Rock 1995 – Turtle Bear Music
Joe has also appeared on numerous CD Compilations including National Public Radio’s “Car Talk: Born Not To Run.”
Radio, Contests, & Awards
2017 #1 CD Poets, Philosophers, Workers, & Wanderers – Sirius XM / The Village – Americana Chart
2017 #1 CD Poets, Philosophers, Workers, & Wanderers (May 2017) – Folk DJ
2017 #1 Artist (May 2017) – Folk DJ
2016 #1 CD Folk DJ for 2016 – Brother Sun: Weights & Wings
2016 #3 Song for 2016 – Joe Jencks/Brother Sun: Mary Don’t You Weep & Moan
2016 #1 Song – April 2016 Joe Jencks/Brother Sun: Mary Don’t You Weep & Moan
2015 #1 Song – December 2015 – Joe Jencks: The Longest Night of The Year (pre-Release from: Poets, Philosophers, Workers, & Wanderers)
2013 – #1 Song of the Year – Lady of the Harbor – Folk DJ – North American Folk Music Chart
2013 – Brother Sun – Album of the Year – Folk DJ – North American Folk Music Chart
2011 – Brother Sun – Best of 2011 – WUMB Boston
2011 – Brother Sun – Best of 2011 – WFUV – NYC
2011 – Brother Sun – Best of 2011 – WFMT – Chicago – The Midnight Special
2008 – Kerrville Folk Festival – New Folk Finalist
2008 – Dirty Linen Magazine’s Best of 2007
2007 – Falcon Ridge Folk Festival – Emerging Artist Showcase, NY
2005 – Songwriting Contest Winner – Plowshares Songwriting Competition – Phoenixville, PA
2005 – Songwriting Contest Winner – South Florida Folk Festival, Margate, FL
2004 – Songwriting Contest Winner In Two Categories – Walnut Valley Music Festival, Winfield, KS
2004 – Songwriting Contest Winner – Tumbleweed Music Festival, Richland, WA
2003 – Songwriting Contest Winner – Tumbleweed Music Festival, Richland, WA
Opening for Joe is ACMA’s own troubador Robert Bidney:
Robert Bidney is a singer songwriter whose message is as strong as his melodies. His music is relatable and has a strong commercial sensibility.
He has been writing songs for most of his life. To support his family, he worked in the advertising world, but pursued his passion of writing songs with meaning. Those songs define him and reveal his soul.
Over the years, his songs have been covered by an eclectic group of artists around the world, but his dream was to produce an album of his own. That dream recently came true with the release of “It’s All About the Love” in July 2015.
The record examines the universal themes of life. Music News Nashville wrote “His is a strong, new voice on the indie album scene that’s been a long-time coming.”
The South Florida Sun Sentinel wrote that the album is ”an eclectic collection of universal meditations on love, harmony and the things that threaten them, told in a confidently unadorned lyrical style that only an experienced songwriter would attempt.”
A seasoned performer, Bidney connects with his audiences through his infectious energy and emotional performances.
His creativity and commercial awareness merged while working in advertising agencies, where he wrote and produced a number of national radio and TV jingles for clients and worked closely with many top musicians, producers and songwriters throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Bidney lives in South Florida, performs and continues to write songs close to his heart.