Joe Rathbone has fashioned a new sonic landscape for himself on his upcoming release Under the Scorpio Moon, featuring contributions from renowned producer-instrumentalist Brad Jones, Venus Hum maverick Tony Miracle, as well as drummer Craig Wright (ex- Steve Earle and the Dukes.) Rathbone turns in a poetic study in the art of simplicity. Vintage-raw guitar and keys combine with techno grooves and stellar choruses to paint a picture of a world shifting beneath our feet.
Under the Scorpio Moon follows 2004’s : I Can Hear the Windows of Your Heart Breaking and the 2002 debut, Welcome to Your New Life, both of which received very favorable reviews in national media and extensive airplay on AAA radio stations most notably: WFUV in NYC, WXPN in Philadelphia, WNCW in Charlotte, KUT in Austin, WRNR in Maryland, WMNF in Tampa, KXCI in Tucson and XM Satellite Radio’s Café Channel throughout the US and were lauded as an impressive showcase for his songwriting skills. There followed appearances on nationally-syndicated radio show Mountain Stage, frequent major market radio spots and tours in the US and UK as well as openers for Shawn Colvin, Chuck Prophet, Peter Mulvey, Robbie Fulks, Jeff Lang, Amy Rigby, Greg Trooper, Jim Lauderdale and Ben Weaver. Several songs were licensed for use on the MTV show Sorority Life and a DVD season release of the television series Party of Five.
Rathbone’s music making commenced in the 90’s in Philadelphia where he was a member of many bands playing the gamut of music from original pop-rock to jazz , clubs, weddings and theater gigs. "I learned how to be more than just a guitar player .. I learned how to be a musician... Philadelphia had it all, the most creative original writers in rock music and the very best in jazz, radio, clubs, studios and schools. Most of all you learned by playing with the very best."
In the following years music has taken him to New York City, Atlanta and now Nashville where his collaborator David Henry resides. Henry immediately offered up his studio after hearing Rathbone perform in a duo with David’s brother Jeff, with whom Rathbone had become a fixture in many of Atlanta’s famed venues. A sought-after cellist (Indigo Girls, Cowboy Junkies, Guster, Josh Rouse, David Mead), David played guitar, cello, mandolin, keyboards and sang harmony along with Joe’s extensive repertoire of instruments and his rich, raw singing.
There are saxophones by Jimmy Bowland (Delbert McClinton, Brenda Lee), cow bells on a rug, backwards guitar and drum loops, compressed vocals, distorted Fender Rhodes & e-bow guitar all occupying Rathbone’s lyric-melodic landscape.
The record deals with elation, depression, dreamlike acceptance of fate and hitting back against the emotional flatliners who try to control even our illusions. Joe Rathbone has drawn comparisons to Elvis Costello, Tom Petty, World Party, Paul Westerberg, Matthew Sweet and many more, but it’s finally becoming obvious that there are no sufficient comparisons, he’s finally found his own, real voice.