By Deb Silverthorn
Joel Alhadef (left) and Ricky DeVincent are RickyJoel, featured songwriters and recording artists who have released “How’s Your Life Today,” their first album on the Magic Music record label. | Photo by Holly Kuper Photography
“Did you think for a minute you could walk away, And that time wouldn’t slip away? Did you take time out to help the homeless, reach out your hand, to a fellow man?” Questions posed, rather sung in beautiful harmony by Dallas’ Joel Alhadef and Ricky DeVincent who, together are RickyJoel, and who have released their first album, “How’s Your Life Today.” The album features country and rock music.
“When we write lyrics, they come from another place. Through our hearts, spirits or experiences, through happiness and pain,” said Alhadef. “Like a line from a new song that we are just finishing, ‘Sometimes it takes a little sadness, before you find your happiness.’”
“We’re proud to have RickyJoel on our label, enhancing the enjoyment and love for music that we have. That’s really the big picture,” said Alan Wainstein, who with his wife Sara Levy, released the album on their Magic Music record label.
“We first met Ricky through one of our MagicMusic.com musicians and right away we felt the quality of their music and their passion was something we wanted to be a part of,” said Wainstein, whose Magic Music record label includes Sara Levy’s “Hashiveinu” and “Butta,” and “I Do It For My Daughter,” by Richard Prince, a first season contestant on American Idol. “We got together and launched! In our first month, sales exceeded our dreams and we couldn’t be more excited.”
Joel and Ricky, have spent years making Thursday nights a night to create. “We’ve grown together musically, some of these songs we started working on over 10 years ago,” said DeVincent, recalling their evolution from garage bands to collaborative songwriting. “We get together and realized we often asked each other, not ‘how are you,’ but ‘how’s your life today,’” said DeVincent, whose studio is the site of their Thursday night sessions.
“As Joel’s religious life took a more observant road, he had an idea for a rock version of ‘Ain Kelokeinu.’ We took a age old chant and turned it into our own with a beautiful melody, soaring harmonies and some screaming guitars,” said DeVincent. “Joel has a deep love for The Beatles along with solid songwriting and harmony brilliance. I was brought up by my parents, but I was raised by The Rolling Stones and you can hear these influences in our music.”
“Tell It Like It Is,” the second cut on the album, “was another shared belief between Ricky and I,” said Alhadef. “We always try to do just that, in life and in our music there is brutal honesty.”
“I Want You Around” was written for DeVincent’s wife Julie. Lyrics “You sure are pretty when you smile,” are words that come from him, to her, over and again.
RickyJoel, now working on their second album that will include the single “How’s Your Life Today” looks forward to sharing their music, and is excited about its recent video release through YouTube.com at YouTube.com/RickyDJoelA and rickyjoel.com.
A packaging and printing broker for Stephen Gould Corporation, DeVincent is a Boston native, the son of Jean and George. In Dallas 18 years, he and Julie are members of Temple Emanu-El and are the parents of Alex, Harley, and Sammy.
Alhadef, a Dallas native and the son of Anita, is the owner and president of Fabulous Floors. Joel and Lori are the parents of Shawn, Bradley and Reagan and members of Chabad of Dallas, Congregation Shearith Israel, Congregation Shaare Tefilla; he serves on the boards of directors of Dallas Kosher and Yavneh Academy.
“And how’s your life today, Did you give more than you took? Do you want to come back for a second look, And how’s your life today? Did you make a sacrifice to change a life today?” Your life will be better today for having heard RickyJoel’s recordings.
For more information, visit rickyjoel.com and MagicMusic.com. The CD is available for purchase on Amazon, Nokia, MySpace and other sites, as well as on iTunes athttp://itunes.apple.com/us/album/hows-your-life-today/id388058270.