Joel DaSilva was born in Rockford, Illinois, the same town from which classic power pop rockers Cheap Trick hail. "They would practice down the street from where I was born," says DaSilva, the self-described bluesabilly rocker. From Rockford, he made his way from Chicago to Florida, where at 15, he settled down to start making swampy tunes.
He joined his first band at 18 and has been playing in others for the past 20 years. When asked how he's grown as a musician since then, he reflected, "I'm learning to trust my instincts now. I've gotten more honest in my feelings and in my approach to my instrument." Like Stacee Jaxx in Rock of Ages (Sorry! Had to.) he's searching for the "perfect song" and if anything, he hopes to continue to become a better songwriter and lyricist.
As far as what his weakness are as musician, he jokes, "That's a whole weeklong discussion!" He does say though that, "I wish I found out about the business end of music earlier. I've learned not to trust people." He says laughingly, adding the advice, "Trust your instincts."
DaSilva currently plays what he calls, "half dump truck, half Mack truck, all soul" with his trio the Midnight Howl, which includes Stefano Rotati and Johnnie Doe. The play original music -- which he likens to Johnny Cash meets the Black Keys meets Stevie Ray Vaughn -- and occasionally obscure covers.
The musician spent 15 years as part of the Hep Cat Boo Daddies and formed his newest outfit about a year and a half ago. They released an album in January, aptly titled Joel DaSilva and the Midnight Howl, and he's already writing music for his next venture. Of the differences between his former band and current, he notes, "It's a little bit of the same, a little bit more focused, not so bombastic, a little more grounded in the roots tradition," not forgetting to add, "I still rock out live."
DaSilva has a flexible day job that allows him to hit the road, regularly touring around Florida, from Pensacola to Key West. "We unusually pile into my van and play a couple of nights," He says. The band is looking forward to an upcoming gig in Atlanta and Mid-west mini tour.
Joel DaSilva and the Midnight Howl are playing at the Original Fat Cats (320 Himmarshee Street) on Saturday, June 23. DaSilva tells us, that Fritz Dorigo of Crease and Mary Tyler Whores is providing rhythm guitar and backup vocals on several songs Saturday night. Up next is Mai Kai on June 29, Bamboo Room on July 6, and Five Points Lounge on July 7.
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