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Joe Cahill: Press

FROM OPERA TO PUNK
By Michael McDonnell – Report/Editor – The Observer Newspaper – 12/7/2004

Switching musical gears, professionally trained Operatic tenor, Joseph Cahill of Belleville began recording last week in New York City for his latest CD, called “Kaleidoscope” which he described as having an underlying “punk” feel.
An official release date is expected in January 2005.
Cahill has been “legally” blind since birth and attributes the lost of sight as helping him make the musical transition easier. Cahill said he believes punk music has degenerated from its original anti-socio-political framework into a full-bred genre of music, whereupon you don’t need to sport combat boots and don a black Mohawk to fit in.
“It’s something I wanted to try. People warned me I shouldn’t do it because they said it may ruin my operatic voice,” Cahill said noting his voice has not been affected by attempting a “rougher” singing style. “I never wanted to hear someone saying: ‘I won’t achieve it.’ If I did… It just fueled the fire.”
The visual impairment Cahill was born with on January 20, 1966 is called ‘Retinopathy’ – a premature development of the eyes. He went through Belleville High School carrying a magnifying bar in order to faintly see the lessons in his textbooks.
Local churches, organizations and institutions in Nutley, Belleville, and Bloomfield have featured Cahill’s operatic style through his 8-year involvement in the Chorus of Committees.
Member of the Chorus of Committees Maria Saccanni from Belleville likened Cahill’s operatic style to a “modern day, Andre Bocelli.”
“He has a wonderful vibrato in his voice,” Saccanni said. “I believe Joe can do anything he sets his mind to.”
Along with continuing to sing with the Chorus of Committees, Cahill has been trying out his new act over the past few months at such places as “Momma Rose’s Café” in New York City.
“I try to be quirky and fun but I also try to be very honest when I perform live,” Cahill added.
Due to his visual impairment, Cahill’s onstage gaze is more of a mask he explained.
“In order to view the audience face-to-face, I need to look off to the right. It appears I’m looking directly at them but I’m not,” Cahill said. “Offstage, because of the Retinopathy, when I’m talking with someone, I need to look off to the left side in order to barely see them.”
Matt Chiaravalle, the owner of former-Spike Studios, in New York’s East Village, spent years producing artists affiliated with Artimis Records. Along with working with the late-Warren Zevon, guitarist Joe Bonamassa and legendary drummer Anton Figs, Chiaravalle played and produced Cahill’s previous “Lost Weekends” CD that includes a selection of pop tunes.
“Punk, rebellion, being yourself, what ever you want to call it – all relies on a state-of-mind,” said Chiaravalle, who is working with Cahill on his latest project. “It’s not about the clothes and fashions. Remember Cahill’s blind. ‘The Look’ doesn’t really matter and that’s what makes him special. That’s why he can get on stage and simply belt it out. He just gets in the zone and the audience goes along for the ride.”
Musically, whether it’s his opera or punk, Cahill’s independent marketing CD sales continue to climb on a monthly basis.
Cahill’s ‘Lost Weekend’ CD is currently available through http://www.cdbaby.com/ and http://www.towerrecords.com/.
CAHILL BRINGS HIS OWN SOUND TO CLASSIC ROCK
Vocal coach James Wilson called Joe Cahill a “compulsive singer.”

It’s an interesting description, and Wilson is right, Cahill has to sing.

No, Cahill hasn’t rocketed to the top. He’s building things slowly, similar to a gardener growing his flowers. Cahill is a professionally-trained tenor who sang in church, then sang classic opera and moved on to classic rock.

Only July 1 at 10pm, hell perform a mix of classic rock covers and original music when he appears at Hathaway’s Pub at 36 Broad St. in Bloomfield. A $5 dollar donation is requested. He’ll be joined by Ron Thaler on drums and Ingrid Williams on the organ.

“There’ll be two John Lennon covers and one Jimmy Webb song,” said Cahill. “Everything else will be original.”

Cahill started his career listening to opera singers like Luciano Pavarotti and Andrea Bocelli. Then, about fiver years ago, listeners persuaded him to try rock. It might seem like an offbeat transition, but his career seems to be steadily gaining steam since he began the transition.

“I started singing concerts in 1998, and I gradually made the transition to rock,” said Cahill. “I started singing covers. I was doing Beatles’ songs, Magical Mystery Tour songs, and they went over very well and I wanted to make a sort of psychedelic compact disc, instead of the classical compact discs I’d recorded. I started writing poetry, and I had these melodies in my head and I decided to just set the poetry to music. A lot of people kept coming to my shows and telling me, ‘This music is beautiful, but we want to hear stuff that we know, that we can tap our feet to, that’s easy to listen to. Could you sing some more rock?’ At first, I was reluctant to make that transition. I was comfortable with my arias, though I did some Broadway show tunes. I changed on my own. I didn’t change immediately; it was over the course or tow or three years.”

Listen to Cahill’s music and you’ll be apt to think he’s from Liverpool, not Bellville. He’s influenced by a lot of British musicians, from The Beatles to David Bowie to the Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards to the ‘80s band, The Clash.

“I was inspired by John Lennon and The Beatles and it ended up sounding like Bowie,” said Cahill.

The interesting thing about Cahill is this understated persistence. He’s partially sighted, which might prove an obstacle to some people, but not to him. HE deals with everything in a very matter-of-fact way, which has left to his consistent progress in music.

“He’s a guy who wanted to sing,” said Wilson. “He was singing oratorio and art songs and getting his gigs at the libraries and music clubs. He found how to generate a following and he got his website up. He learned how to get his voice out there.”

For more information on Cahill’s July 1 gig, call 973-743-7208 or log on to http://www.joecahillmusic.com/



By, Jeff Cummins

Staff writer
Jeff Cummins - The Belleville Post
CAHILL SINGS FOR RETURN ENGAGEMENT IN BLOOMFIELD
August 9, 2006

Belleville singer Joe Cahill returns to sing an original Rock set at Hatahway's Pub on 36 Broad Street in Bloomfiel, on Saturday September 30th at 10;30pm. Joining him is his band with Oscar Rodriguez; guitar and Ron Thaler; drums. He has sung Rock flavored shows in New Jersey in the past eight years, but now , he's bringing his classically trained voice into the independent Rock music scene. He has released three Rock albums in less than two year; :Lost Weekends" "kale3idoscope" and "Framed". his sound is a cross between David Bowie, Keith Richards, and The Clash. Though he is a seemingly new face in Rock music, Cahill hs been trainging as a classical singer for many years. His past performances include. Handel's "Messiah", Haydn's "Creation" and mozart's "Requiem". "People were surprised at the switch in genres," says Cahill, "but I've been getting alot of phone calls and emails praising the new rock sound."
His early concerts were a mix of operatic arias and Broadway Show tunes. In 2002, Cahill began writing and recording "Lost Weekends". He went into the recording studio with Matt Chiaravalle. As the reordings changed so did the concert format. Cahill began inserting original songs into the set. Three years later, he formed a new band with a less jazzy-operatic feel. But the influence remains in his music. Cahill's CD's are available at www.cdbaby.com www.towerrecords.com and www.iTunes.com. For more information on the show call call Hathaway'sPub at 973-743-7208.
Entertainment And Dining - The Observer
JAZZING IT UP ON SEPTEMBER 30.

Belleville singer Joe Cahill returns returns to hathaway's pub on Sept. 30. Joining him are are his band which includes Oscar Rodriguez; Guitar and Ron Thaler; Drums. There will be a $5 donation. Cahill has been performing solo concerts in the metropolitan area since August 1998. Originally, these shows were a mix of Broadway show tunes and Mozart arias. Within the next four to five years, Cahill began developing a more refined Jazzy American sound. In 2002, Cahill began work on an original rock album "Lost Weekends", which was released in 2004. Soon after, he began adding his original songs to his concert set. In 2005, he formed a new band and began performing full fledged rock concerts with no cover songs.
He released two more CD's "Kaleidoscope" and "Framed" in 2005.
"After people heard Kaleidoscope' says Cahill, "people began comparing me to David Bowie." One song in particular, "Fantasia" has become a favorite in clubs and people request it wherever he goes to sing.
"It's a song about making your dreams a reality' Cahill adds, 'I think a lot of people identitfy with that concelpt."
Hathaway's is located on 36 Broad Street in Bloomfield.
For more information and directions call 973-743-7208. For more info on Cahill's musical activities go to his website at www.joecahillmusic.com
Arts & Entertainment - The Belleville Times
Feb video interview conducted by John Carey.
Joe Talks; about Punk Rock, Songwriting, image and surviving a car accident.
Interrview With nyc Punk Artist Joe Cahill - youtube.com
This interview was conducted in New York by John Carey in Fenruary 2009.
Here Joe talks about his past recordings, his latest CD Back In Blue and surving a car accident.
Artist: Joe Cahill
Title: Eclectic Plastic Factory - LP
Review by: Reed Burnam

Joe Cahill’s newest record Eclectic Plastic Factory (Joe Cahill, 2011) is a bit hard to pin down. And with an album name like that, one would suppose so from the outset. Originally a classically trained singer, Cahill has made the move over the last decade into the broader “punk, R&B, indie, and new wave” categories, and to out-of-the-ordinary effect, as the presently reviewed album can attest. Eclectic Plastic Factory is both endearingly interesting and head-scratchingly subjective, and this, Cahill’s fifth studio foray into the aforementioned musical landscape could be alternately called engaging and a bit bizarre. If nothing else, Eclectic Plastic Factory is a quick-fire burst of imagination and DIY creativity, and while it is also rough around most of its edges, it’s difficult to come away from it saying that one has heard anything just like it before, which amounts to something in its own right.

More than those of us from that hoary earlier period in which the mantra “start your own band!” was both the coat of arms and the battlecry would like to admit, it’s been technology rather than ideology that has seen the de facto triumph of DIY minimalism. And given the unfettered contours of the internet and the scads of “host your own music” websites that have manifested as a result, we’ve subsequently been left with a creative field that’s so muddled and overgrown with chaotic organic complexity that it’s hard to fathom, let alone decipher. Eclectic Plastic Factory’s 16 minutes of running time are a direct creation of this fecundity, and as such are subject to the same wide-open sense of possibility. This album is what it is, and there ain’t nothing wrong with that.

As stated previously, Cahill is a classically trained singer, a fact which presents itself to even the most tone-deaf listener pretty early on in the album’s development. Vocals unsurprisingly take center stage to the instrumentation and frequently range into (at times unexpected) operatic territory, sometimes as a highlight to the lyrical and melodic structure (“Be My Baby”), as a way to highlight the lyrics themselves (“Losing Karma”) or as a type of dissonant segue way between individual tracks (such as with the intro to “Get Down Get Funky” and the closing moments of “Before the Music Dies”). Cahill has a strong voice that’s both earthen and dynamic, and his vocal style often lilts from a type of speak-sing into operatic vocal holds and back again. While impressive in ability, the oft-used ascent into the stratosphere at times can come off as more gimmicky rather than contributing to a deeper level of context for the songs, though this sense isn’t totally pervasive. Admittedly, Cahill is melding his operatic training with a memorized back catalogue of other nasal punk luminaries such as Jello Biafra and Iggy Pop, a synthesis that comes through at points. Cahill’s vocal embellishments often lend a type of stripped down rock opera feel to Eclectic Plastic Factory, but rather a score hashed out on a laptop studio over the course of a home-recorded 24-hour creative binge than some type of massive stage show. Put into that light, the blending of tracks such as “I Think I Still Love You” into “Get Down Get Funky” into “Before the Music Dies” begin to make more sense, if only in an imaginary context.

The music itself weaves a simplistic fabric of angular, straight-ahead pop and funk with a slight referencing of East Coast art and pop/punk overtones. Much like the punk ethos and genre that Cahill has been noted as ascribing to, songs are short and to the point, lyrics are stripped down and lines are often repeated a number of times rather than entertaining anything too florid or content-rich.

Still, one hang-up with Eclectic Plastic Factory may be the simplicity of the songs as a whole. Though not endemic to the entire album, too often individual tracks employ some combination of unmemorable, session-musician instrumentation, straightforward structuring, and quotidian rhyme schemes that, coupled with the brief track times, are short and simple to the point of causing one to wonder “what did I just listen to?” Witness lyrics such as from “Be My Baby” (“baby, baby you’re so fine, baby, baby please be mine, be my baby”), or “The Mirror” (“the mirror has two faces, they are two sides of you, the mirror has two faces, they are two points of view”). While Cahill’s vocal lilts work to pick up some of the slack (see the really cool organ/vocal combo at the outset of “Losing Karma”, for instance), it’s hard to get around the at times seemingly unmotivated or naïve lyrical content that, when coupled with the many other issues taking place here, don’t give the listener much to hold on to in the long run. Though to suggest that this album is simply generic, run-of-the mill, self-important musical garbage (of which we are subjected to so, so much with myriad albums with a lot more money and ego behind them than this one) isn’t the case at all, and it should be reiterated that this album has a unique edge to it despite its flaws. On second thought, perhaps this is actually Eclectic Plastic Factory’s greatest strength as well, as the overriding sense the listener is liable to take away from this album is one of perplexity, and in the field of all things anti-mainstream, perplexity just might warrant repeat listening.
Reed Burnam - ReviewYou.Com