Petaluma’s Joel Lance Lunenfeld had always dreamed of a career in music, but after a “miserable failure” he decided such dreams would not come true and pursued a career in business marketing and advertising. At age 30, he was digitally appointed CEO of his marketing company Moxie, and eventually he became Twitter’s vice president of global brand strategy. Now, after the death of his family has caused some serious introspection, he has not only returned to music, but has also recorded an album and is working to establish a place where local musicians can record their projects. Tech built his recording studio. Under the name Storyteller Studios, he helps artists produce and market their music.
“It’s been a great career,” said Lunenfeld. “It was the most amazing experience of my life. But I woke up at 40 and decided to leave. I wasn’t very healthy. I was very nervous.”
The intensity of that career and the difficulty of raising a family took its toll. Then his father died at the young age of 62, and Lunenfeld came to appreciate his own life. So he quit his job to do what he really loves: making music and helping others do the same.
“I always tell my daughters that you don’t have to be just one thing, you can be many things in life.
After moving to Sonoma County and immersing himself in Petaluma’s music scene, Lunenfeld’s early aspirations finally began to come true. In early 2020, he and his wife purchased a ranch in Petaluma, named it “Storyteller Ranch” in light of the couple’s love of storytelling, and eventually built his recording studio on the property. From the beginning, she knew he wanted to provide a supportive environment for other local musicians to make music and follow their dreams.
“My biggest motivation for recording one album and opening a studio with two was that my father was a great singer and I had never recorded him,” Leunen said. Feld said. “That was the real motivation to get serious about music again and start a new career.”
The singer’s legacy in the Lunenfeld family traces back to his grandfather. Not only was music growing up, Lunenfeld’s father sang everywhere.
“He used to sing in every restaurant, whenever there was a band, so I was very embarrassed when I was little. rice field. “So it’s in my blood and that’s what inspired me to become a musician.”
The artist took production and engineering classes at Santa Rosa Junior College and connected with professor Dave Greenberg. The two have started writing music together and are recording a new album, Lives of the Hunted, which was released in December of this year. This album is a reflection on Luunenfeld’s life, his past relationships, fatherhood, marriage, and self-compassion, music that reminds us to be kind to ourselves and not our own worst enemies. .
“I like the expression ‘learn to take the boot off your neck,'” said Lunenfeld. “It’s about learning to understand that you’re human. We all make mistakes. We all have a chance to be forgiven and move on.”
Musicians now say they enjoy discovering new sounds for themselves. From playing rock in his music to playing metal in his band at age 16, Lunenfeld’s tone has changed over the years. Today, his work reflects the music he loved as a child.
“A lot of soul, funk and some country. It sounds a lot like people I look up to like Bill Withers and James Taylor,” said the singer-songwriter. It was amazing, the new sound I have today is kind of a throwback.”
Lunenfeld hosted a kickoff party for Storyteller Studios, inviting local musicians playing all kinds of music.
“Similar to what the Beatles did in the recording studio, they invited musicians like Eric Clapton, Buddy Rich,” said Lunenfeld. “They just wrote and recorded. We did it the night of the party.
According to Lunenfeld, Storyteller Studios isn’t about genre, it’s about building a community of musicians who support each other. His goal is not only to help individuals get their music out there, but also to advise on business and marketing.
“Talent doesn’t necessarily mean success,” he said.
Lunenfeld sees Storyteller Studios as a non-commercial, safe haven for friends and the local music community. Ultimately, the studio may become the home of a record label for such musicians. His SRJC student-run label, Don’t Flunk Me Records, which was founded in 2021, has already started recording an album in the studio.
‘Sometimes you need to revisit your dreams,’ says Lunenfeld, ‘even if you think they’re gone, it’s never too late to start over.’
Emma Molloy is an intern at Argus-Courier. Her contact is her firstname.lastname@example.org.