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Joe Karr (Joe Karpienia) | Wombat

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United States - NY - New York City

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Folk: Folk Pop Pop: Quirky Moods: Mood: Intellectual
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by Joe Karr (Joe Karpienia)

Witty and light, and eclectic modern folk songs with the strong snap and crackle of Pop, and the "zing" of Jazz.
Genre: Folk: Folk Pop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Don't Tell Me Anymore
2:42 $0.99
2. Through a Glass Darkly
2:59 $0.99
3. Old Don Juan
2:40 $0.99
4. Jitterbug Perfume
3:35 $0.99
5. Welcome to the Real, Real World
2:51 $0.99
6. Two Guitars
2:09 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Joe Karr (Joe Karpienia) Singer, Songwriter, Classical Guitarist, has performed at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, The Guggenheim Museum, The Whitney Museum, and many colleges, universities and festivals around the country.

He is also the recipient of multiple grants from Meet the Composer, and the Criterion Foundation for his original works.

Joe performs his own songs and instrumental compositions, inspired by art, literature, film and society, in a unique blend of musical styles.

The duo, WOMBAT (Word of Mouth Burning Art Theater) also includes his wife, Elizabeth Gottlieb, who plays accordion and percussion.


"An unusual and unusually entertaining program" - Joseph Horowitz, NY Times

"An excellent guitarist" - John Rockwell, NY Times

"Deft playing and delightful songs...the combination is wonderful. Don't miss him"-
Stephen Israel, Times Herald Record

"A unique singer-songwriter...his heartfelt, impassioned songs made for a satisfying performance." - Bob Crego, Sullivan County Democrat

"His delicate, subtle, dynamic phrasing was a pleasure to hear." --Dee Baily, Wisdom's Child



to write a review

Pete Kadyszewski

Literary yet light and optimistic. You'll love it!
The new CD by Joe Karr (Joe Karpienia) and Liz Gottlieb at first listen seems
like an easily accessible work covering a broad range of musical styles from a
folksy self-deprecating beginning to a Classical Guitar piece that reveals the
depths of Karr's skills. But on closer listening, we hear literary references
from Tom Robbins to the Bible that reveal an optimistic, philosophical outlook.
Wombat begins with, "Don't Tell Me Anymore." Here Karr sings of a depressed guy who would just like his lover to keep quiet and not reinforce his negative outlook so they can "have fun" that night, one of the true joys and passions of his life. Liz Gottlieb's accordion accompaniment provides the perfect compliment to Joe's vocals.
The second track, "Through a Glass Darkly" refers all the way back to a
passage from First Corinthians about the transpersonal nature of spirit:
For now we shall see through a glass darkly,
but then face to face.
Now I know in part;
then I shall understand fully,
even as I have been fully understood.
I Cor. xiii, 12-13
The song makes clear that the soul strives for this clarity and that if we could just sense the spirituality in each other we would all be better off.
"Old Don Juan" takes the essence of Castaneda's second book and transforms it into an aethereal song that makes you feel as if you're flying above the desert winds and "seeing" the true nature of the world in it's glory.
On the fourth track, "Jitterbug Perfume" Karr takes on Tom Robbins' epic work
about an acient bottle of perfume reputed to contain the secret essence of the
Universe. Joe Karr and Liz treat this theme in a style reminiscent of Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Waters of March" with complex guitar and bongos accompanying Joe's lyrics.
Welcome to the Real, Real World is just that. It works as well as a parent singing to a newborn baby as it would for someone suggesting facing reality because the world is actually a pretty good place to be. The vocals on this one remind me a bit of Bob Dylan and is firmly rooted in the singer/songwriter tradition.
Two Guitars gives us a glimpse of the complexity of Joe's Classical Guitar technique. This piece (played on one guitar) features an alternating bass line accompanying guitar parts which become more and more complex and contrapuntal.
The more I listened to this album the more I wanted to listen to it again and every time I did, I discovered something new. This one's a real treat!