Jim Lange Published

Joseph: Unrivaled Sibling Harmony


I cannot remember when I first heard Joseph, but immediately was struck by their harmonies; the way they could blend and yet retain their individual timbres. On top of that was their arrangments: solo voice gives way to two or is it all three in unison? These intricate harmonies, the robust then delicate dynamics followed by a solo voice were so unique.

Who was this? I was reminded of Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins when, watching Karen Carpenter on TV, he yells “What sorcery is this? Reveal yourself, tiny songstress!”

Turns out, it’s called genetics. Natalie, Allison and Meegan Closner (Claws-ner) are sisters from Portland, Oregon. In fact, the band name came from the town of Joseph – a place where they spent their childhoods surrounded by the natural beauty.

When asked about the band’s name, the answer used to be attributed to their grandfather. “The name Joseph is more after the town Joseph, Oregon – the town our grandpa Jo grew up in,” said Allison, “because he name is actually just Jo. Just J-O, which we didn’t find out about until recently when my mom actually looked at his birth certificate.” The two sisters laughed. (Sister Meegan was having internet issues and could only join our conversation via text.)

Music was always around the family. Their father, a natural talent who was in a college vocal jazz ensemble, encouraged and helped them learn the craft of singing. Mom too was in local theater and musicals, so a robust musical life was to be found.

The full-length interview with Natlaie Closner Schepman and Allison Closner of Joseph. Cheers to both for their wonderful candor and sense of humor.

Good Joseph stuff here: