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Joel Kachel of Woodbury will play Monday at the Fine Line Music Cafe in Minneapolis

Star Tribune file photo,

Woodbury singer on fast pace to success

  • Article by: Jim Anderson
  • Star Tribune
  • May 11, 2013 - 12:40 PM

Joel Kachel’s music career is staying on its upward trajectory.

The Woodbury native is hoping a new single called “Away Away” and a music video — released at a party at the Fine Line Music Cafe in Minneapolis last week — will help take him to the next level.

“It’s all about timing. This is a very summery song, very upbeat,” he said. “It just reeks of summer.”

The video reflects that, filmed on Newport and Laguna beaches in Southern California.

While the song and video conjure images of the laid-back pleasures of fun under the sun, Kachel has been hard-driving in his pursuit of a music career that had humble beginnings in the dining room-turned-music studio of his parents’ Woodbury home.

It’s a creative journey that’s taken him halfway around the world, and with every leg of a new tour completed, he is getting his professional footing on more solid ground.

“Away Away” is his second music video, following 2011’s “Sounds of the Crow.” “Crow” received multiple awards and won him a number of songwriting competitions, including a Texas Song Writing Cruise Competition and a Student Emmy for the video.

His first CD was “Tennis Shoes and Diamond Rings.” It was a song a couple of years in the making, he said, co-written with Australian songwriters Zelda and Pal Sheldon, sometimes collaborating long-distance by Skype. He met the couple while touring in Nashville.

Kachel, a singer-songweriter in the acoustic pop-rock vein of Jack Johnson or Jason Mraz, is hoping for an enthusiastic response to “Away Away” as he pushes to build his audience, all while balancing the creative and business sides of his career.

“I do it all, but at some point I’ll need some help,” he said.

He has 20 shows booked in May, including several in Woodbury and Stillwater.

It’s a frenetic schedule, but then, it’s been that way almost nonstop since he began pursuing his dream after graduating from Woodbury High School in 2005.

Last year, he launched his “Sounds of Crow” European tour with an accompanying music video by the same name. For five weeks, he was playing shows in Ireland, the Netherlands, Germany, France and Spain. He got a chance to open for Irish singer Lisa Hannigan, played a show with Grammy-nominated jazz guitarist David Becker (who produced “Crow”) in Germany, and ended up playing the famed Whelan’s on Wexford Street in Dublin, Ireland.

He spent much of last fall in Alaska, then returned to Colorado before a brief pause on his home turf. “I’ve been gone from Minnesota for six months,” he said. “I typically do about four to five shows a week.”

After his local gigs, the tour heads to Chicago, with a show at the Hard Rock Cafe, then swings back to Colorado and points west before he heads back to Europe early next year.

Jim Anderson • 651-925-5039

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