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A blog for Joe Henry fans


zondag 24 juni 2018

Producing Rising Appalachia

Joe has spent his time at Stinston Beach SF, taking again the producer's seat. This time for Rising Appalachia

Led by the collective voice of sisters Leah and Chloe, and joined by their beloved band – percussionist Biko Casini and bassist/guitarist David Brown – Rising Appalachia is a melting pot of folk music simplicity, textured songwriting, and those bloodline harmonies that only siblings can pull off.
They bring to the stage a collection of sounds, stories, and songs steeped in tradition and a devotion to world culture. Intertwining a deep reverence for folk music and a passion for justice, they have made it their life’s work to sing songs that speak to something ancient yet surging with relevance. Whether playing at Red Rocks or in rail cars, at Italian street fairs or to Bulgarian herbalists, this fiercely independent band has blazed a unique and colorful path across the globe. 11 years into their movement, Rising Appalachia believes that the roots of all these old songs are vital to our ever evolving soundscape.


Here are some words from Rising Appalachia about this recording : 

There is no one we could have been more thankful for or inspired to work alongside. He listened to every take with cunning ear, sat through over 70 hours of live tracking, called forth the absolute finest in each of us, made room for the muses, & just generally held the role of “mystic” in the BIG seat of “producer” (NOT an easy task to combine those roles. Nor are we an easy band, full of our own headstrong madness and prowess!). And PLUS he out-dressed all of us for a whole week

We were cautious, nervous, unsure if we would feel like we “sold out” to an industry we have, by design, resisted. We courted the process slowly, and up until the last second we were skeptical about what this person would actually DO to our rustic, raw, and rebellious sound.
We were not an easy sell.


Joseph Lee Henry, a hat tipped off to you & a deep bow. You wrangled perhaps the most beautiful work out of us up to date & we incredibly inspired by the process you evoked. 



It took us many many MANY years to welcome another soul into our creative process. 13 to be exact exact...13 years where Chloe and I have conceptualized, produced, mixed, mastered, arranged, designed, tracked & touched EVERY single step of our recordings. We have taken deep pride in that laborious and mired process; the intense love & labor of birthing new work into the world. This time we opened our doors tentatively to a “producer”... a big wig in the studio with us. An outside ear to help guide and steer our song-babies. We were cautious, nervous, unsure if we would feel like we “sold out” to an industry we have, by design, resisted. We courted the process slowly, and up until the last second we were skeptical about what this person would actually DO to our rustic, raw, and rebellious sound. We were not an easy sell. 👁 👁 👁 Meet Joe Henry: in fact a legend, a true genius at his craft, some strange combo of John O’Donhue, Duke Ellington, Rasputin, & Tom Waits...with the soul of Billy Holiday & the eye of Frank Sinatra. He is an actual wizard! There is no one we could have been more thankful for or inspired to work alongside. He listened to every take with cunning ear, sat through over 70 hours of live tracking, called forth the absolute finest in each of us, made room for the muses, & just generally held the role of “mystic” in the BIG seat of “producer” (NOT an easy task to combine those roles. Nor are we an easy band, full of our own headstrong madness and prowess!). And PLUS he out-dressed all of us for a whole week 🎩 Joseph Lee Henry, a hat tipped off to you & a deep bow. You wrangled perhaps the most beautiful work out of us up to date & we incredibly inspired by the process you evoked. Glad to be joining your ranks of greatness alongside : TBone Burnett, Joan Baez, Solomon Burke, Bonnie Rait, Allen Toussaint, Aaron Neville, Meshell Ndegeocello, Salif Keita, Ani Difranco, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Madonna, Rambling Jack Elliot, Betty Levette, Liz Wright, and so many other proud musicians who have called you into their process. You are a wild legend. @joehenrymusic #risingappalachia #newalbumintheworks #joehenry
Een bericht gedeeld door Rising Appalachia (@risingappalachia) op

vrijdag 22 juni 2018

This too shall Light

Rolling Stone has more info on the Upcoming Amy Helm album.

It will be entitled 'This too shall light', and it will be released on September 21st.

The album will  feature originals alongside covers of songs by T Bone Burnett, Allen Toussaint, Blossom Dearie, Rod Stewart and even her late great dad Levon Helm's old group the Band.

'Recording took four days in L.A. , with no vocal overdubs and two takes or less on almost every song. To keep things fresh, Henry even went so far as asking Helm not to get to know the songs too well before the recording.'

"He (JH) did not want me to get too familiar with them," Helm says. "He wanted it to be undiscovered, and he had a very specific thing he wanted us to emulate – Delaney & Bonnie's album Motel Shot, which is very loose and live. That was our true North."

Listen to the title track:

 

woensdag 6 juni 2018

A few new live dates solo.



Joe announced 3 new solo performance dates : 12, 13, 14 July in Seatle, Portland and San Fransisco.

Check his website !

update 14 June.
Joe + band will be the supporting act for Mavis Staples during Americana Fest NYC on August 11th.
This is a free event. Seating is first come, first served, and gates open one hour prior to the performance.

vrijdag 1 juni 2018

Big Ears Knoxville (Book project)

Exciting News !

Photograher Kate Joyce is working on a photobook with photo's made during the Big Ears festival 2014-2018.



The book will consist of approximately 90 photographs, a download card with a selection of audio recordings from performances at Big Ears between 2014-2018, and essays by Rachel Grimes and Joe Henry.

The photographs were made under the influence of music. The book is a distinct visual experience that developed out of, and exists precisely because of, Big Ears.

More than 200 artists and bands have performed Big Ears between 2014-2018. During the five years that I traveled to Knoxville for Big Ears, I photographed some of the people on this list, but not nearly all of them. Of those I photographed, just a few will be in this book. I heard many of the performances, many were memorable and a few were life changing. I photographed during some of these performances, but most of them were un-photographable (better heard than seen). Sometimes I only photographed a sound check or rehearsal.

During my time at Big Ears, I also walked around Knoxville, leaving the theaters and clubs to make pictures on the streets. As I wandered, my mind remained tethered to the musical event.(Kate Joyce)

Find all the info on her website : https://www.kate-joyce.com/big-ears-knoxville-2018

In 2016, Joe Henry performed at the Big Ears Festival together with Marc Ribot.  


woensdag 23 mei 2018

Joan Baez, Brussels. 21 May 2018



When Joan Baez made her breakthrough, and became one of the important people in music, I wasn’t even  born yet. As a matter of fact, by the time I was 10, There was already a 2nd autobiography. Yep,  I’m just a 41 year old kiddo.  Off course, over the years you learn about her, what she stands for, and how important she is, and so there I sat Monday evening in Brussels BOZAR to see her perform. Unlike the most of the audience, I didn’t have a long history with her Music, or some kind of nostalgia. But if there is 1 thing the evening has proven, it is that you don’t need that history to enjoy her show.
At 77 (you read that correctly) she can sing beautifully, her guitar playing is so clear and she stands on that stage with strength, integrity and grace. A lot of today’s and tomorrow’s popular acts can only humbly bow in respect for that. If you see her perform, you understand why she is the legend, why she is that statue she became.

Joan entered the stage on her own for a few songs in a ‘Woman and guitar’ style. After a few songs she got backed up by, what she called, her Big Band consisting of Dirk Powell on strings and Piano and her son Gabriel on Percussion. She embraced her audience with warmth, and even put herself in a more difficult situation by trying to address the audience regularly in French. She sometimes had to think and search for her words, but it showed us how comfortable she is on stage. Most artists wouldn’t dare to do that, I’m sure. The audience appreciated this big time, and the first time they heard here speak French, it was welcomed with a big applause. It even got better when a music stand was brought on stage, and she asked us to wish her luck. And then she gave us a wonderful version of George Brassens’s 'Chanson pour L’Auvergnat’. A song dedicated to people who help out those who are treated as outcasts.



But it wasn’t over with baffling us in understanding our culture of French Chansons. As a matter of fact, it seems it baffled her as well. Near the end of show, during a 1th (of 3) encores, she started singing ‘Le temps des cerises’, a song dating back to 1866 written by Jean Baptiste Clément. She didn’t say what she was going to sing, she simply asked us to help her out. When she sang the first few words, she literally had to step back 2 steps to take in the overwhelming sound of a sold-out Bozar singing along immediately.  It was no surprise to me that something like that would happen. If I want my mother to sing a long with something, I just have to put on this song, and she’ll start singing it from th heart. This is part of our cultural Heritage. The song was inspired by a trip of Clément in Flanders and coming across a house surrounded by cherry trees. It was a controversial song at the time, since it was also interpreted as a metaphor for the ongoing Revolution happening in Paris at the time.

Quand nous chanterons le temps des cerises
Et gai rossignol et merle moqueur
Seront tous en fête 
(When we sing of cherry time
and the happy nightingale and the mockingbird/mocking blackbird
all be celebrating)

Monday evening was an evening full of old songs and new songs from her latest album. We received a wonderful ‘The President sang Amazing Grace’, and an impressive ‘Whistle down the wind’. I say impressive, because since I heard Joan Baez do this, I identify this song completely with her. As if T. Waits wrote it for her, before he even knew it. Those who know me personally, understand this is a big thing for me to say.
From the latest album, the song ‘Another World’ originally from ANOHI, proved how songs still can grow after they have been recorded. In resemblance with the album version, this was a much stronger performance. The soundman put a reverb on the microphone, so you’d litteraly could hear the words disappearing. (Or where that reflections coming from the acoustics of the room ? I was sitting under a balcony.) Anyway, it fits perfectly with this song. “I need another world, this one’s nearly gone" she sings. It’s a song originally about taking care of this earth, because we are destroying it. But when someone sings it at this moment in a life, it easily becomes a song about mortality.
Diamonds and Rust’, a song about her relationship with Bob Dylan was performed as a duet with a fantastic strong voice by Grace Stumberg. The lighting was set, so that we could see 2 huge shadows in the back. It was like the song was sung by 2 ghosts from the past. It only strengthened the already strong version of this song. At a moment Joan started laughing out loud, and explained the need to change the lyrics from ‘10 years ago’ to ‘50 years ago’.
The entire show was build up with strong performances of the songs, very early on we received 'Deportee (Planewreck at Los Gatos)' (Guthrie) A song about deported Mexicans, who’s plane never made it to Mexico. They had no names, they where just called Deportees. It got the house quiet, and I must admit, when it was done I kept myself from standing up to applaud for it. It’s a song from 70 years ago, but still so relevant. Especially over here, where we live in a hardened atmosphere against refugees. A couple of days ago a van full of refugees, was shot by the police. A 2 year old child died…..

“They where only refugees”

This is an atmosphere that hangs in the air with a big part of the population around here, and it angers and frightens me. I guess it also did with a lot of others in the audience. Only for that song already I thank you Joan Baez.

'Imagine' from John Lennon, was the first encore and became a sing a long. A few more songs to go  and then she came back a last time and signalled us she needed to go to sleep and so did we. 

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do 
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living in peace

There are so man reasons to thank her for this concert. Everyone will have their reason. It is clear now, that no matter if you’re old or young, this is a must see concert. So go out and enjoy her music live while you can. Because this is her :


Fare thee well tour.



Greetings,
Stefan.

Setlist : 
There but Fortune / God is God / Farewell, Angelina / Whistle Down the Wind / Silver blade / It’s all over now, Baby Blue / Deportee (Planewreck at Los Gatos) / The things that we are made of / Diamonds & Rust /  Me and Bobby McGee / Another World / Chanson pour l’Auvergnat / The President sang Amazing Grace / Joe Hill / Seven Curses / Silver Dagger / The House of the Rising Sun // Imagine / Le Temps des cerises // The Boxer // Swing Low Chariot

zaterdag 19 mei 2018

'Love in Wartime' : what it does to me


In my last post about this album I didn’t give you a huge description of this album. You had to discover it yourself.

I wrote that after I went to see Birds of Chicago in Den Bosch. That’s where I purchased the album, and I listened to it a lot since then. You still must discover the album yourself, but I want to give you here my personal reception of this album. What it means to me.

The title of the album ‘Love in Wartime’ is a very accurate choice for a title, and after you have heard the title track, there is no way that love didn’t reach you. It is such a warm song. The album is also full of musically strong songs. 'Lodestar', for example, has a wonderful build up, and 'Baton Rouge' is a worthy praise of this city. It’s a place full of history and art, but at the same time it has its social difficulties to deal with. When you get to see BOC, this is 1 of those songs that will lift you up. It will make you start to dance and dream. Hearing this song live, is going to be one of your long-lasting memories.

The album’s first words are making sure you understand what you are going to receive in this album. In a nice up-tempo 'Never go back' we are urged to act now, and start to love. 
“I’ve come here today
To give you the news
There’s time for it all
But no time to lose”
So let's get on with that. 



'Try' is 1 of those songs that show us what great singers BOC are. It sounds like a profoundly cry-out to ask us to find that lost spark in ourselves. That spark that gave us the energy to fulfill our dreams. Dreams of a better world. Somehow down the road we gave up on that.
"I don’t think that I can carry
This heavy load all on my own
But man if you’re still in game
You and I can carve our names
In hidden caves and giant oaks"

Vocally, Musically and lyrically they touch you when you hear it, and I’m sure we all can see that spark after hearing this song. Do we answer it, or do we ignore it ?  There are so many people I personally like to address this song to.

"you used to swim against the tide
Now you use your intelligence to justify giving in"

'Roisin Starchild' is maybe my favorite song of the album. First of all it’s another example of what a great singer Allison is. But even more important is the notion that I can’t think of another song that is so heartbreaking and at the same time extremely hope-giving. How do you do that ? It’s a gift if you can write and sing like that. There is not 1 time I listened to it, without becoming a little emotional.

And then we end at the core of this album. ‘We need a superlover’. And we all can be that. The song gently rocks you like a little baby. But it doesn’t rock you asleep. It rocks you into a ………

 you know the answer.


Greetings,
Stefan

woensdag 9 mei 2018

Heath Cullen, Jim Keltner & Joe

'The Industry Observer' published an overview of Australian fundings for Musical projects.

One of them stated :

Singer songwriter Heath Cullen receives ...  to record a new album in LA with Grammy award winning producer Joe Henry and drummer Jim Keltner .

Heath Cullen, was the opening act for Joe's 2014 Australian tour. 
and for Jim Keltner, is there anyone he hasn't worked with yet ? Check his credits at allmusic.  He was for example a musician on Joe's own 'Tiny Voices'.



Some info on 'The Industry Observer'.
The Industry Observer is a B2B news and analysis tool for the Australasian industry.
Helping record labels, artist managers, peak industry bodies and rights-holders navigate the local and international markets with honest, insightful content, The Industry Observer is just as accessible to the local songwriter with international ambitions as it is to a major label chairman.
The Industry Observer was founded in January 2017 by Seventh Street Media, Australia’s largest music media publisher with Tone Deaf, The Brag, Don’t Bore Us and J Play under its umbrella.

I must say, I am a bit disappointed they headline it as 'Free Money for...'.
A lot of people are going to work for that money, and that's just to start with...

Greetings,
Stefan