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Friday August 22, 2014
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Joe Reilly

 

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Believe it or not, I felt the same way when Joe Reilly first played his music for me. Well, except he wasn't wearing a bondage mask and giant diaper, like bassist Flea, and nobody got a nose broken. Okay, and he's not an entire funk/rock band either, just one guy with an acoustic guitar. But I did experience the same sensation — that I had discovered something incredible.

For me that initial moment came when I interviewed him for my radio show. I was struck by his wisdom and humility, but after he played his first song, I was literally left speechless. Despite the unassuming nature of this young man armed only with a simple guitar, Reilly zeroed in on something very powerful and sent it out into the room. It caught in my chest and stayed there for a long time:

You are the best medicine and
You are my most intimate companion you are
The strongest remedy
You are the truest friend to me.


Reilly came to town from Kalamazoo as a U-M student. Both his parents are musicians, and at fourteen he had begun songwriting and playing guitar. He would make a good American Idol candidate: he's got the looks (he's Italian and Cherokee) and actual talent. Luckily, however, instead of partaking in acts of corporate mainstream idiocy, Reilly has immersed himself in the teachings of spiritual masters and elders, musicians, and social activists from across the globe.

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