Home Read Albums Of The Week: Joe Keithley | Stand

Albums Of The Week: Joe Keithley | Stand

D.O.A.'s OG punk unplugs to return to his first love: ’60s-style folk-protest anthems.

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Joe Keithley, the leader of Canada’s legendary political punk band D.O.A., takes an acoustic turn on his new solo album Stand, released as always by his own label Sudden Death Records.

Joe is one of Canada’s leading rebels. He’s got a reputation for delivering the straight goods with no BS: Whether he’s onstage with D.O.A. or playing his acoustic guitar at a protest or on a picket line. His message rings true with songs like Pipeline Fever, You Won’t Stand Alone, World War 3, Ginger Goodwin, Race Riot, The World Falls Apart, Police Brutality, Slumlord, I Live In A Car, General Strike and many more straight-to-the-point anthems.

The first single and video from the album was Fentanyl Blues, a song about the ongoing drug poisoning crisis. “I was compelled to write this song as an outlet for the tragedy and grief the opioid crisis has caused,” Keithley said. “It’s even sadder — if that’s possible — when you realize that it grew because of corporate greed.”

Although best known for his decades at the helm of D.O.A., Keithley is also a highly respected and accomplished solo performer whose stage persona is magnetic and gripping. Joe’s show is an energetic combo of acoustic guitar, powerful vocals and stories that speak about what’s happening in our world today.

Many have compared Joe to a modern-day Woody Guthrie or Pete Seeger — a man who has spent a lifetime standing up for the average person through his music and his actions. Joe has been an activist since he was 16 years old and that’s reflected in his songs, as Keithley takes on all manner of ill deeds like police brutality, sexism, warmongering and racism — to name a few. He’s also stood up for the environment, First Nations, unions and many other good and just causes, organizing and playing at well over 300 benefit concerts.

There’s also a great deal of humour in Joe’s approach — he is not afraid to make fun of those that deserve to be needled, including himself. Fans and pundits alike know Joe is a very inspiring performer as he belts out stirring and poignant lyrics that are rousing and raucous at the same time. People have called him a man ahead of his time when they look at the songs he’s written, the ideals he has put forth and the causes he has supported.

Joe and D.O.A. first came to international prominence in 1978, when he started his own independent record label, Sudden Death Records. That same year, the label released D.O.A.’s four-song 7” EP Disco Sucks, which quickly became an underground hit. A short time later Joe came up with the term “hardcore” and D.O.A. soon released their landmark album Hardcore ‘81, which pushed the term hardcore into our common vernacular. Over the past 40 years, D.O.A. have released 16 studio albums, sold a million records and played over 4,000 shows on five different continents. D.O.A. heavily influenced bands like Green Day, Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Offspring and Henry Rollins, among others.

Joe has also found time to write two books, I Shithead: A Life in Punk and Talk–Action=0. The latter title is also his longtime motto, which makes for great music and even better advice.”