The rock quintet just released their seven-song debut, Joey Arroyo Is . . . The Storyteller. The band says it's the first of an ambitious series of six planned Arroyo Is . . . albums, each one focusing on a different aspect of music and the band's creative abilities. The project is one that will "Delve into . . . specific concepts or traits that make up Joey Arroyo's musical persona," according to Storyteller's liner notes.
The album focuses on the narrative, to impressive effect. The seven songs take the listener somewhere: Just close your eyes and you're there. Follow the tunes from "Dramadey," the album's opener, to "Imaginary Man." Its tracks are a journey through a blend of ballads about complex relationships and ditties about the minutiae of daily life, delivered through Arroyo's soulful baritone, which may remind you of a less-exaggerated Brett Dennen.
These songs seem so personal that you'd think Arroyo himself lived through the situations he sings about. But isn't that what a good storyteller does? From the album's insert: "What's ironic about storytelling is that it is likely much more personal than even an autobiography."
If the Joey Arroyo Band can go from releasing a self-produced debut album to headlining one of Arizona's premier rock venues so quickly, just imagine what this next batch of Joey Arroyo Is . . . albums will bring to this young native and his musicians. Keep an eye out.