Joel Morelli was born into the Owen Sound music scene. His father played in many local acts, and little baby Joel was steeped in local musical culture from an early age. His father owned a music store through the 1980’s. Joel started playing the violin at the age of 7. Though he was chomping at the bit, it wasn’t until he turned 13 that his parents allowed him to play the guitar. Even this early a start would make many instrumentalists envious, and his relaxed smooth approach with the guitar must surely be the result of his juvenile experience and his constant dedication to practice and improvement. Growing up in Owen Sound he played the coffee houses, open stages and battle of the bands.
Joel attributes his growth of musical chops and teeth to time spent as a member of the host band for Ted’s Range Road Diner jams on Wednesday nights with local greats Beaker and Tyler Wagler.
Joel then moved to Toronto to play guitar for a band called Blue Orange, filling in for Pete Devlin on guitar for a few years. Eventually Joel and Pete would collaborate with Rob Elder, another amazing local songwriter and musician from Chesley. This trio went through many incarnations as an electric ensemble and finally went acoustic, becoming “The Hungry Life”. With this project Joel again won the Last Chance Saloon and The Hungry Life was off to play the main stage at Summerfolk in August of 2006. The Hungry Life recorded an album featuring some of Joel’s strongest songs, including local favorite, “Mary”.
Joel still teaches guitar in the KW area and plays regular shows with various artists.