"Joel Thetford’s voice catches you right away. From the start, you know this guy was born to sing a country song"(RED LINE ROOTS)
The next time you hear someone say “They don’t write country songs like that anymore,” tell them about Texas native Joel Thetford (The Maine Edge)
Former Pro Bull Rider With Mansfield Roots Releases First Album
Illustrating further the wonderfully eclectic nature of Portland’s music scene was Joel Thetford, a Texas-bred singer/songwriter, who showed up with an undeniable sense of charm and humbleness. He’s been doling out authentic sonic snippets of the Southern countryside in Portland for five years now, playing his alternative country songs in places like Salvage BBQ, Blue, the Thirsty Pig and the Portland House of Music and Events. Often playing shows completely alone, with just his guitar, harmonica and deep voice, Joel Thetford was in his element around the tiny desk, and would surely sway the opinion of even the most staunchest of country music haters.
That’s because Thetford’s original country songs aren’t like annoying country ballads we might hear on the radio, that drone on about women in tight torn denim, and drinking cheap beers by the riverbank. Thetford’s music, specifically “Broken Things” and “The Fall,” hearken back to more traditional country music: where songs were tied with real life experiences or personal hurdles. Because of this, his debut EP, Here I Go, is a country music package with substance and some real emotional meat.
Heavily influenced by the classic country music of Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson and George Strait, it’s safe to say that Thetford knows the ins and outs of a good country tune. He’s even got rodeo experience as a bull rider in Fort Worth, Texas, so he doesn’t just talk the talk. Thetford is a prime example that real experiences can often result in the most authentic pieces of musical storytelling.