A blog for Joe Henry fans

zaterdag 22 maart 2014

Billy Bragg on working with Joe Henry

Billy Bragg on working with Joe Henry

The new zealand Herald has an interview with Billy Bragg. He gives a little insight on working with Joe Henry. Joe Henry produced Billy Braggs album 'Tooth and Nail'.

"(About Handyman Blues) ....It's the funniest song on the album which was recorded in the US with producer Joe Henry, the onetime singer-songwriter whose studio career has seen him work wonders with the likes of Solomon Burke, Hugh Laurie and Bonnie Raitt among others.
Henry roped in a studio band of top-flight American session musicians to back Bragg.

"He didn't let me bring a guitar," he says. "You can barely hear me [play] on the record."
Henry encouraged Bragg to sing lower on the new songs - a reflection of where his voice has shifted after nearly four decades of belting out his punk-folk anthems, mostly solo over his trebly electric guitar.
"We both realised that my voice has dropped a bit. He encouraged me to head down a tone ... it allowed me to sing the songs and both more proficiently and I feel more soulfully."

Read the full article here.


Since it's release there have been several interviews with Billy about it :
".....The new album Tooth & Nail shares a great deal of its sonic atmosphere with the Mermaid Avenue recordings. Was that a conscious decision?
It didn't start out that way, no. It was more a case of me going to see Joe to figure out what was what. I did some shows last year for Woody's centenary, playing a lot of Mermaid Avenue songs, and I found that people seemed to lean in to listen to what I was doing, I was able to create a very intimate atmosphere, and it was that intimacy that I wanted to bring to the new record. That was the thinking behind the way we wanted to record the new songs, but initially I didn't even know it was going to result in a whole album. Joe invited me to come over to his studio in Pasadena, he told me not to bother bringing a guitar, just a bunch of songs and a change of underwear and we'd see what happened....." 

"....It started when Joe Henry asked me to come down into his basement in Pasadena, California. He said we could make a record in a week. At first I was skeptical, to be quite honest....."

And abc.net has a nice picture of the 2 of them on stage.
(Photo by Pete Dunwell)

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