The journey of Philadelphia folk band Hezekiah Jones began with one man’s joke.
Raphael Cutrufello started posting videos of himself playing the guitar on the Internet under the name Hezekiah Jones. The Philadelphia funk-sway music community took interest.
Sitting on his porch enjoying an afternoon cup of tea, Cutrufello told The Temple News his story and about how his band got to where it is today.
Cutrufello was privately trained in piano for 10 years. He’s currently a singer-songwriter who plays the piano, guitar, Rhodes piano, harmonica, melodica and slide whistle.
He began playing with the Stone Wills band, but eventually, he broke away.
“I started playing in shows by myself. People begin to learn the songs on stage,” Cultrfello said.
Others joined in, and the one-man band evolved to include a revolving 50 members.
In 2006, the band was signed to Yer Bird Records in Virginia. The band’s latest album is “Hezekiah Says You’re A-OK,” and the band has two EPs, “Come to our Pool Party” and “Bread of Teeth.”
With three releases, Hezekiah Jones could be the most prolific Yer Bird Artist.
“The Philadelphia music community is infectious,” Cutrufello said.
Most of the band’s shows are geared toward 21-and-older crowds. The band has a presence on stages across Philadelphia. Some of the venues the band has played include Johnny Brenda’s, North Star Bar and the Fire.
Since the band’s inception, it has toured with the Good Old War and Chris Casper.
“We are probably going to tour with them again,” Cutrufello said.
The band, which has also played in the annual Philadelphia Folk Festival, plans to play a benefit for a close friend who was injured in a bike accident.
In the next five years, the group plans to produce more albums and collaborate with other bands that share the same love of folk music, Cutrufello said.
For aspiring musicians, Cutrufello’s words of encouragement are simple and witty.
“Keep playing out, love your mother and follow your dream,” Cutrufello said.
Priscilla Ward can be reached at