Life in Music inspired by Joe Henry

zaterdag 24 juli 2021

Aoife O'Donovan Collaboration

 Aoife O'Donovan has recently released 2 new song: "More Than we know" and "Captain's Clock". (source)

Both songs are produced by Joe, and more songs will follow.  "More Than we know" was co-written by Joe, and features the Milk Carton Kids as special guests. 

During AmericanaFest;  Aoife O'Donovan and Joe Henry will be joined by Darren Schneider to discuss this project. (For more details : follow AmericanaFest)

And now for something completely different...
Yesterday Joe confirmed that after this 1,5 year pandemic it is finally happening : Joe's concert at City Winery is (re-)scheduled for November 14.

Enjoy it all !

zondag 30 mei 2021

You are the Hero of your own History !

Let me start with saying : "Happy birthday Allison Russell !"
Off course I listened to your album, and I would like to share you my experience. 


I am (again) in awe with your music. Off course the music is powerful, these are all great songs, but this album is about so much more, and carries a heavier and more important role on a spiritual level. 

The album is announced as your first solo-album, and mathematically this is of course correct. But I don't see it like that. It diminishes the importance of it all. I don't believe you simply decided that you were going to make a first solo album, and this is the result. I think it is more accurate to say that an entire life,  a period of horror, and the way out decided for you that this needed to be done. It just had to be made, and it could only be done by you. A long hard road to suck out the poison like you wrote in the liner notes. 

I dry-read the lyrics, and I think I'll try to avoid to do that again. Without the music, these words are not 1 but 10 punches in the stomach. I can only sit in silence,.... 

The A-side of the record was the easy part. I'm a listener. I hear the stories surrounded by your musical style I know from 'Birds of Chicago'

And then I flip the record to the B-side and 'Hy-Brasil' hypnotises me and its repetitive, meditative flow leads me down the stairs. It feels like I don't want to, but there is no way back... With 'All of the women' I felt as if witnessing the moment, the ritual, the sucking out of the Poison. 

And then live has to go on. It is what 'Poison Arrow' tells me. 

Je te souhaîte la paix
Je te souhaîte l'acceptance
Je te souhaîte une deuxième chance

Et le coeur d'un enfant
Routier! Routier!
Chanter! Chanter!

L'heure des miracles est arrivée
Le poison peut-être médecin
Si t'en bois une goute seulement

The album ends with a message for us all, we 'Joyful Motherfuckers'. Let us open up our hearts.  

This album is one of those that gives me what I search in music. It's an invitation to be engaged. Be an active listener, be an active person. Live life!

It is an amazing album on so many levels. Musically and spiritual far beyond what we humans ever can put in to words. You can be proud of this. You are the Hero of your own History !

Hugs and Love,


zaterdag 17 april 2021

1 year 'Springtime in the Heart'

 Hello Everyone,

Today, 1 year ago, Heath Cullen's album 'Springtime in the Heart' wasd released. The album is produced by Joe. It was in fact Joe's first new production after dealing with a cancerdiagnosis. When it was released the world went in lockdown, and Heath couldn't present the songs in front of a live audience. And for me 'Springtime in the Heart' has been my companion the entire year.

So this anniversary made me wonder how Heath and Joe looked back on it, and continued through this extraordinary year. 

I invited them to share from in our own homes a coffee to reflect on it. 

And then I realised we live in 3 different timezones, so Heath was the only one with a morningcoffee, while I enjoyed a glass of wine before going to sleep. For Joe the evening was still young.

I hope You'll enjoy this talk as much as I did. (At whatever time in the day). 

P.S. :  I miscalculated the timedifference, and Heath and I started a wonderful talk. Joe joined us a little later.



The Album is available at www.Heathcullen.com



woensdag 10 februari 2021

A salut to Birds of Chicago

 "Farewell is not Goodbye..."

 ...was the news 'Birds of Chicago' gave us last week. For an indefinite period of time they will put this project to rest, and walk other paths. The most important in that is Alli's solo career, with her first record coming up later on the year.
I remember the first time I spoke with them in 2016, Alli already mentioned an idea of a solo-record. Do you remember that, Alli ? Because that idea,... I hope it will be made one day... And with the same enthousiasme I'm looking forward to your first one.



It is no surprise that 'the Birds' crossed my path when Joe produced 'Real Midnight'. I had to look it up again, it was January 2015 when I mentioned them for the first time. They had just announced a crowdfunding-campaign for that Joe Henry-produced album.

Verry quickly, continuing over the years, I fell in love with their music. Their spirit and kindness. I've seen them connecting with their audience. I remember the first time I saw them perform in Belgium. It was not long after the ISIS attack on Brussels Airport. There was a lot of fear among people over here in those days. And in that moment;  especially Alli had an amazing openness. People came to her with their sorrows, and she comforted them and gave them strength. 

You start with being as loving and kind to the people that you come in to daily contact with. (Allison Russel, 2016)

The last time I got to see them perform was in 2018 for the 'Love in Wartime' tour. After a wonderful show, I found it for myself a little 'over-the-top' to purchase both : and the CD - and the Vinyl, so I just went for the CD. Looking back I should have gotten both it seems.
You see, even today, I still genuinly love the artwork of that album. (Designed by Fetzer Design, photography by Yves Assad). It reminds me of Vinyl-artwork from Blue note records in the 60's, combined with a 70's moviestill.  That design passes the test of time. It remains wonderful. The CD is still on display in my house, but it deserves even more. 

They would be back in April 2020, but the corona pandemic made that impossible. So actually guys... You owe us a last set of concerts over here.
... I'll leave that hanging in the air....

And look now, 6 years later, The birds have grown, and it's time to leave the nest.

JT and Allison have become friends over the years. I just don't get to see them a lot. There is an ocean between us, and I am not really a globetrotter. So I was always looking forward to the moment when their schedule hit European grounds.
I had the privilege to enjoy their company over here, and I'm looking forward to seeing them again in whatever constellation. (This Pandemic has to end someday...) 

Tonight they are going out with a blast !

Much love and greetings,

zaterdag 6 februari 2021

Songs From Quarantine

 Joe shared a new song called 'Mission' on a digital album called : 'Songs from Quarantine'. 

Besides Joe, the album features Rodney Crowell, Ry Cooder, Elvis Costello, Emmylou Harris, Rosanne Cash, John Leventhal, the Milk Carton Kids,....

The album will only be available for 2 weeks. (It was released on February 5th, 2021) Find it on bandcamp.

Your purchase is helping the Music Health Alliance :

All proceeds will benefit Music Health Alliance, who offers support to the music community nationwide, including critical mental health and COVID-19 resources in addition to access to healthcare, medicines, diagnostic tests, health-related debt relief and more. Every $1 raised equals $30 in Healthcare Resources to #HealTheMusic!


zondag 10 januari 2021

Surrendering Into Song: A Joe Henry Songwriting Workshop Series

 Old Town School of Folk Music is hosting a 3 part Workshop with Joe Henry. 

This 3-part series starts with a 90min presentation Surrendering Into Song: A Joe Henry Songwriting Presentation on January 21. Then, on January 28 and February 4 Joe will meet for 120min with a limited number of students to get in-depth with their own songwriting. Students should plan on bringing ideas to the table, solve problems with each other, devise strategies as a group, talk broad philosophies about songwriting, and just generally roll up their sleeves!


Find all the info, and register on their Website

Founded in 1957, the Old Town School of Folk Music provides a wide range of music, dance, theater, and visual arts courses to people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. Whatever one's interest, the Old Town School provides broad access to more than 700 accredited class offerings, private lessons, and workshops that span an array of artistic genres.


Much Love,

dinsdag 8 december 2020

Expanded Edition of 'Our New Orleans' Benefit Album coming up

From Nonesuch records :

A remastered, expanded edition of the 2005 record Our New Orleans will be released for the first time on vinyl on January 29, 2021, available to pre-order here. The two-LP set, also available then digitally, includes five previously unreleased tracks: “Do You Know What It Means,” by Davell Crawford; “Let's Work Together,” by Buckwheat Zydeco and Ry Cooder; “Crescent City Serenade,” by Dr. Michael White; “Walking By the River,” by Dr. John; and “Do You Know What It Means,” by The Wardell Quezergue Orchestra featuring Donald Harrison.

Our New Orleans is a testament to the power of music to heal and provide a sense of community,” said Marguerite Oestreicher, Executive Director of New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity. “Musicians helped the city heal after Hurricane Katrina, and Musicians’ Village helped them come home. We’re grateful to Nonesuch and everyone who worked on this album. 


Joe Henry prooduced songs for this record by 'Allen Toussaint', 'Irma Thomas' & 'The Dirty Dozen brassband' .