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Joe Bigalke is different from your ordinary Christian contemporary or country music songwriter. His inspiring story has touched the hearts and souls of the songwriting community in Nashville and beyond. Joe has even penned a few songs with Grammy Nominated artists along the way. 


Diagnosed with high-functioning autism in 2018, Joe began to understand why he had always been told he had a learning disability, he was often isolated and felt misunderstood. These feelings forged a deep need in Joe to express his love for God and connect with others through the writing and performing of music.


In 2018 he joined the Universal Music Center in his hometown, Redwing, MN, a picturesque midwestern town internationally known for its incredible fall colors and work boots, situated on the banks of the Northern Mississippi River. At the Universal Music Center in Redwing, MN, Joe began to find comradery with other musicians and found mentors to help him hone in his self-taught piano performing and composition skills.

Joe has also been blessed with an important mentoring friendship with musician and producer Mark Woerpel who has worked with Joe Bigalke as well as featured artist Anna Filkins for several years to help develop their songwriting and performance skills.  


In 2021, Joe sustained a significant traumatic leg injury that required multiple surgeries. One day while staring out his window, he gazed upon the Episcopal Church across the street from him. He marveled at the beautiful sunset on the church, filtered by the haze of Canadian wildfire smoke that the jetstreams had carried into central Minnesota. At that moment Joe began writing his song, “A Friend Above All”, a letter of friendship, trust, and faith in God, whom Joe considers his best friend. 


Inspired by his love for writing music Joe joined the Nashville Songwriters Association in 2019, and soon after its members nominated “A Friend Above All” for a prestigious songwriting award. Joe’s song did not win, it made it to the final selection round surpassing 16,000 other entries. Joe along with his Mother and two aunts flew to Nashville to be a part of the awards ceremony where he was welcomed with open arms and asked to share his story with other Billboard charting songwriters 


“My faith in God, but also my desire to help others facing mental health issues, autism, and isolation drives me to create music. I want to impact music education in the schools as a way of connecting and overcoming life’s challenges” states Joe, “I am but one voice, when joined with others we are many”.


Joe is thrilled to release his debut single, “A Friend Above All” worldwide on the storied record label Rock the Cause Records. “A Friend Above All” penned by Joe, features the angelic vocals of Anna Filkins of River Falls, WI,, with help from producer Mark Woerpel on the uplifting and majestic musical arrangements.  


Joe is working towards releasing a full record in 2024 of his most cherished compositions, with a little help from his friends in the Nashville music community and around the globe. 


About Anna Filkins


Anna Filkins is a vocal artist from River Falls, WI.  Her soft, angelic vocals layer an emotional depth into Joe’s lyrics, lifting his message off the pages and into our hearts.  Anna performs frequently at her local live music hotspots such as Urban Olive, Vine, and River City Days, to name a few, where she performs her original music.  Anna’s tenacity is boundless.  When she first began singing as a child, she had such crippling stage fright, she couldn’t even sing in front of her own family.  Over time, and with the help of the Universal Music Center, she developed the strength and magnitude to put her voice front and center.  In addition to singing, Anna’s curiosity gained her a familiarity with guitar, piano, ukulele, and saxophone.  


 “My passion for music has helped me through many hard times in my life and I love being able to make people feel emotions through my music,” says Anaa Filkins.  “I am so honored to be featured on Joe’s song and I hope you all love this song as much as I do!”

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