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Joseph Israel is an American "Spiritually Enlightened" reggae musician. Born Joseph Montgomery Fennel in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1977, he is currently based in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
His first album is Gone Are the Days. Mixing Rock, Jazz, and Folk to a Rockers Reggae Bass, Joseph Israel is a musician who knows the past with an eye on the future.” Relix Magazine Jan 2008 “Message Music delivered with the energy of youth and a Faith that eschews all boundaries.” Beat Magazine Vol.26, 2007 May 20, 2008. JOSEPH ISRAEL Biography Joseph Israel, born Joseph M. Fennel, is one of those unique individuals whose natural talents and spiritual calling have merged into a music that is as thought provoking as it is inspiring. “What I share with my audience is to draw everyone closer to the source of Truth – that we are all brothers and sisters, and that division and lies cannot stand”. The name, Israel, is a reflection that defines Joseph’s striving for the blessings of the Almighty YHWH (pronounced ‘Yahweh’). This is the name intended for all peoples, tribes and tongues that love the Most High and love their neighbor. These are the teachings of Yahshua of Nazareth the Messiah. This is what he is a part of. We are all one family. Joseph is truly blessed to have been surrounded by a deep sense of appreciation for all cultures as a youth. Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma to Joe and Jean Ann Fennel, Israel was exposed to the works and writings of history makers like Martin Luther King Jr. His father and Uncle were also huge fans of reggae music and traveled often to Jamaica. At age 12 Joseph received his first reggae cassettes – Bob Marley, “Legend”, Peter Tosh. “Wanted Dead or Alive, Jimmy Cliff, “Special”, Burning Spear, ‘Marcus Garvey. Israel was inspired by their musicianship, but more importantly, by the message. “Their music really inspired me to become who I am. They were speaking about the truth, humanity and about changing things in a positive way. And even when things are tough, we must keep going. So I found a common thread in reggae music that spoke to my heart”. Naturally, Joseph began writing songs of his own, and formed the reggae band Kepha (Aramaic for ‘Rock’) which did well regionally. The group recorded ‘Redemption Time’ in Fayetteville, AR. He also started the group Lions of Israel, whose modern day roots rocked the Midwest and beyond from 2002-2005. In 2004 Joseph was invited to open for Ziggy Marley at a sold-out concert in Fayetteville. His acoustic performance was captivating and propelled Joseph closer to the recording of his debut solo album “Gone Are the Days”. The album was self-produced and financed, and was recorded at Tuff Gong Studios in the heart of Kingston, Jamaica. Its lyrics are of headline-torn news reports, and are a call for spiritual awakening. In 2006 Joseph Israel was signed to New Door Records of Universal Music Group , and in 2007 “Gone Are the Days” reached 11 on the Top Reggae album charts. In 2008 Israel released download-only EP ‘Teach Your Children”, Restore Humanity. “It was a lot of fun to make”, says Joseph of the sessions. “I was able to record some great songs, while helping to bring awareness to the Restore Humanity organization”. Restore Humanity is a non-profit charitable outfit founded by Sarah Fennel, Joseph’s sister. The program aids and assists the needs of oppressed and poverty-stricken families around the world. Joseph Israel has toured the US, rocking and inspiring audiences from coast to coast with his message music. Israel is currently in the studio putting the finishing touches on his second album, to be released in 2011.