If you’ve ever strolled past one of the many establishments in Key West and heard what appeared to be a full band playing, then walked in to find just one man behind a guitar, good chance it was Joal Rush. By far one of the most talented musicians to frequent Key West, Joal’s unique ability to “loop” guitar phrases seamlessly is a wonder to behold. Paired with his incredible vocals and beautiful songwriting, he is truly a must-see while in Key West.
Born in Camden, South Carolina, Joal was immediately immersed in music. His mother and father were both musicians, performing together and separately, so he and his 2 siblings were very used to the “ musician’s life” at an early age. In 5th grade, Joal auditioned for the chance to lip synch “Sweet Child O Mine” at a school talent show. When asked if he would actually sing the tune, he nailed it and the rest was history! Though he “dabbled” in theater for a bit, Joal soon realized his passion was playing music and he has never looked back.
Joal’s first Key West visit occurred when he joined a singer/songwriter from Nashville to play Hog’s Breath almost 15 years ago. Upon hearing him, Charlie Bauer encouraged Joal to come back down and play solo and he has been doing so ever since. Although he calls Nashville home, Joal spends quite a bit of time in Key West playing 2-3 week stretches at the Smoking Tuna both solo and with other guests such as Caffeine Carl, Claire Finley, Nick Norman and a host of others.
Nashville allows Joal to focus on his songwriting, which is his primary focus at the moment. He hopes to have new material out this year including a track he recently recorded at the Ramble Room studio. Joal was a part of the very first Sunday Ramble and will certainly be back on the bill in the months to come. “The Ramble really showcases the talent that’s in Key West. It enables us performers who may get stuck in the day-to-day gigging grind to step out of that for an evening, & nurture/spotlight our more artistic side. It’s also a great way for us to all come together, & share a more intimate portrait of who we are as artists. “
You can find Joal’s music on Itunes and Spotify.
Written by James Whitehead