Life in Music inspired by Joe Henry

maandag 21 december 2015

Joe to perform on AMA's spring celebration

John Prine, Lee Ann Womack and Joe Henry will perform on the 6th anual Americana spring celebration.

This event will take place between March 31 and april 3, 2016  at Blackberry farm. The event is organised by the Americana Music Association.

The AMA is a professional non-profit trade organization whose mission is to advocate for the authentic voice of American roots music around the world.

Reservations are available by calling 1-800-557-8864 or visiting Blackberry farm

Several Critics call John Prine one of Joe's big influences. And Lee Ann Womack was f.e. a guest artist on the album album KIN, songs by Rodney Crowell and Marry Karr, wich Joe Produced.   

woensdag 16 december 2015

Release date set for 'Birds of Chicago' Album

On February 19, 2016 'Real Midnight' will be released.

'Real Midnight' is the 2nd album of 'Birds of Chicago' and was produced by Joe. This recordingsession was the last set of recordings done in the Garfield House.

Here is some more info from a previous entry

The Wall street Journal released a 1th track of that album. The song 'Dim Star Of The Palisades'.

To be honest : If this song sets the standard, we are about to receive a stunning Album ! Yes, I'm a fan !

zaterdag 12 december 2015

The 58th annual Grammy Nominees

The nominees for the 58th Grammy awards have been announced.

2 Projects, produced by Joe are nominated.

The travelling kind, Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell 
- Nominated for Americana Album of the year.
- Nominated for Americana Roots song of the year.

Worthy, Bettye Lavette
- Nominated for Blues album of the year.

Already a well deserved acknowledgement, and we'll keep our fingers crossed.

The grammys will be announced on February 15, 2016.

maandag 23 november 2015

zondag 15 november 2015

Allen Toussaint

Oh, how I wish I could write this entry in more cheerful times....

On Monday evening, Allen Toussaint unexpectedly died after a concert in Madrid. I personally received the news in an e-mail. I was going to see his show in Antwerp 3 days later. On tuesday an e-mail popped up entitled "Concert Allen Toussaint canceled". I first thought they canceled the tour because of an illness. How big the shock was reading what had happened. I stopped doing what I was doing, stepped in the car and drove around.......

Rest In Peace Allen Toussaint. Thank you for your music.

Some weeks ago Joe Henry was in the sudio with Allen Toussaint recording a new album. The label (nonesuch records) anounced its release somewhere in 2016.

According to the announcement, the recording "took place at two sets of sessions over the past several years: The first were solo piano recordings made at Toussaint's home studio in New Orleans in 2013, while the second, featuring a core band of musicians with several guest soloists, were completed in Los Angeles in early October 2015."

Joe Henry wrote the following words:

"Joining Allen over four days this past October in a Hollywood studio were the rhythm section of Jay Bellerose and David Piltch joined by other masters of understated invention—guitarist Bill Frisell; legendary tenor saxophonist Charles Lloyd; multi-instrumentalist Greg Leisz; the luminous singer Rhiannon Giddens; and the irrepressible composer/arranger/pianist Van Dyke Parks, who had a long friendship and collaborative relationship with Allen dating back to the early 1970s.
"I have been working with Allen Toussaint—under his spell and subject to his influence—for a full decade now. He was a quiet radical, musically-speaking, and a prince of great humility. In listening to all of the recordings these past days, reeling from the shock of his sudden death, it has meant so much to feel Allen's spirit, vibrant and undiminished. Allen's family, our friends at Nonesuch, and I look forward to sharing the music with the world."


woensdag 21 oktober 2015

Big Ears festival 2016

On friday April 1th 2016, Joe will perform at the Big Ears Festival in Knoxville. 

He is announced together with Marc Ribot.

Thank you Sarah for this info.

zondag 11 oktober 2015

Documentary on 'the Making of Bitter Tears' in Amsterdam

To be screened in Amsterdam, 18-29 November.

And now a post about a documentary based on a book, that inspired re-interpreting the album the book was based up on.

Are you still following me ? And how is Joe Henry involved in this ?

Let me explain, it will all come clear quickly.

Joe Henry produced the album : Look again to the wind : 'Johnny Cash's Bitter tears revisited'. (2014) This album is a re-interpretation of Johnny Cash's album Bitter Tears.
Among the artists on that album are Emmylou Harris, Steve Earl, The Milk Carton Kids,...

The original 'Bitter Tears'(1964) was a concept album  where Cash concentrated on the harsh and unfair treatment of the indigenous peoples of  North America.

The history of that album is written in  Antonio d'Ambrosio's book entitled : A heartbeat and a guitar : Johnny Cash and the making of Bitter Tears.

And now Antonio d'Ambrosio continued working on this history and made a documentary.
We're still here : Johnny Cash's Bitter Tears Revisited

The film is based on Antonino D’Ambrosio's acclaimed book A Heartbeat and a Guitar: Johnny Cash and the Making of Bitter Tears, The book tells the astonishing story behind Cash’s little known concept album and his unique collaboration with unknown folk artist Peter Lafarge. With this still largely unknown recording, Cash placed himself in the middle of the fervent social upheavals gripping the nation at the time. Cash faced censorship and an angry backlash from radio stations, DJs, and fans, for speaking out on behalf of Native people on "Bitter Tears: Ballads of the American Indian." He decided to fight back. The book inspired Sony Masterworks to reimagine Cash’s highly controversial 1964 record on its 50th anniversary that included musicians Kris Kristofferson, Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris, Norman Blake, Nancy Blake, Gillian Welch, Dave Rawlings, Joe Henry and Rhiannon Giddens, have breathed new life into Cash’s visionary record, which came out four years before the American Indian Movement took over Alcatraz, four years before Cash performed at Folsom and six years before he recorded “Man in Black.” D'Ambrosio chronicled all of this in a new documentary that unfolds as a meditative mystery called We’re Still Here: Johnny Cash’s BitterTears Revisited.

We're Still Here: Johnny Cash's Bitter Tears Revisited

- See more at: https://www.idfa.nl/industry/festival/program-sections-awards/music-documentary.aspx#sthash.P85cwKSb.dpuf

Among the artists featured in this film, are also the artists on the Joe Henry produced 'Bitter tears revisited'.

I have no idea if Joe will be seen in the film, or if he was involved in it more personally,  but  this documentary, and that album are connected to each other in some way I think.

Read more about the book and album on the Joe Henry Blog.

This documentary will be screened at the Amsterdam IDFA documentary festival (November 18-29) The screening schedule will be released on November 5th.

Edit :
Screenings on November 20, 22, 24, 25 and 28.

Screenshot :

vrijdag 2 oktober 2015

Looking back : Calexico, featuring Joe Henry

On November 2007 the 'I'm not there' concert took place.
It was a concert, at the Beacon theater, to honour Bob Dylan. The evening tied in with Todd Haynes' movie : I'm not there.

Joe Henry sang Senor(Tales of Yankee Power) backed up by Calexico.

Paste has an audio clip online. It was the first time I heard it. It's amazing how Joe and Calexico work together!

Listen and enjoy over here.

Some notes on Joe's part of the show :

On the scene :
Fast-forward just a bit further to Joe Henry, ..., acting almost as event maestro, rarely leaving the stage, whether as guitarist or singer on songs like “Senor (Tales of Yankee Power).”

Jim James was definitely a tough act to follow, but Joe Henry, backed by Calexico, was up to the challenge, admirably performing "Senor (Tales of Yankee Power)."

Joe produced also some tracks for the soundtrack of the movie 'I'm not there'.
As a bonustrack on that album he performed 'too many mornings'

zaterdag 5 september 2015

Info on last weeks Aarhus performances

Last week Joe performed twice at the aarhus festival .

For 2 nights he was a member of an event called 'Draw at trio concerts'. 3 artists being backed up by a trio.

1th night : August 30 : Rhiannon Giddens, Joe Henry and Annika Norlin.

Reviews :

Stiften.dk  (Danish)
gaffa.dk  (Danish)

2nd night September 1 : Billy Bragg, Joe Henry and Grant-Lee Phillips.

Apparently they all cheated a little bit on September 1th. (Just kidding off course). On the second night Rhiannon Giddens joined on stage, so technically there were not 3 artists,  but 4. (Or they got backed up by a quartet).  But, to say it with the words of Hissyfit blogspot : "Who's counting ?". It's the music that counts. 

Here is a clip of Rhiannon Giddens, (Joe Henry on guitar) doing a poweful version of 'she's got you'.)


stiften.dk writes about this : (freely translated)

"...The three this evening; Billy Bragg, Grant Lee Phillips and Joe Henry got strong company. Rhiannon Giddens was in fact so enthusiastic about Trio concept, after its performance on Sunday that she extended her visit to include Tuesday's event.
It would prove to be one of the year probably best ideas at the festival week.Wonderful interplay..."

That second night they ended together singing Woody Guthrie's "Ramblin 'Round'.

Reviews :

stiften.dk (Danish)
gaffa.dk (Danish)

Blogger Hissyfit visited the festival, and had the opportunity to see the concerts, and spend some time with the musicians. Read his story on his blog. (posts : Aarhus 1,2 and 3)

donderdag 27 augustus 2015

JH to produce Chely Wright

American Country singer Chely Wright is working on a new album which will be produced by Joe Henry.

The 2 of them have also co-written some songs, Joe let us know in a tweet.

Joe has already worked with Chely in 2012 on the album KIN, songs by Mary Karr and Rodney Crowell.
Chely did backing vocals for the song 'Sister, Oh Sister' performed by Rosanne Cash.

This new album seems to be the result of a crowdfunding campaign from last year. The goal was reached, and it seems the album is about to be recorded now.

This is the second anouncement of a new production assignement for Joe since moving to a new place.  Previously we also learned he will be producing Carll Hayes.
I guess all is in place, and ready for music again....

maandag 3 augustus 2015

Joe Henry to Perform at the Aarhus festival Denmark.

Exciting news if you live in Denmark.

If I understood it correctly, (I have only 'online-translate-knowledge' of the Danish language) The Aarhus festival organises some special evenings wich they name : Draw at trio concertseries.

The idea is that there is a trio backing up 3 solo artists. Joe will be an artist on 2 of such evenings.

The backing band consists of The Argentinian pianist Diego Schissi, Tony Garnier on Bass and also   Swedish multi-instrumentalist Gustaf Ljunggren

On August 30 and September 1th, Joe will be on stage over there together with  each day 2 other marvellous artists.

Here are the full line ups
August 30 : Rhiannon Giddens, Joe Henry and Annika Norlin.

September 1 : Billy Bragg, Joe Henry and Grant-Lee Phillips.

As you can see, these people are no strangers to one and another. So it could be 2 wonderful shows. 

get you tickets over here.  

If I'm mistaken in some info over here, please contact me.  

Unfortunatly I will not be able to make the trip. The combination of distance and timing doesn't work for me this time. So I can only hope he isn't just making the trip for these 2 shows. 


(Read about how it was) 

Celebrate Brooklyn performance.

Hello everyone,

I just got back from our holiday. In the meantime Joe played as an opening act for Rhiannon Giddens at the 'Celebrate Brooklyn' Event on July 18th.

Al Pereira made some great pictures of that evening. you find them all on gettyimages

For the rest, not much to be found on this event. So feel free to share your story, or mail me.

vrijdag 3 juli 2015

Carll Hayes hopes Joe Henry Produces his next album.

In an interview with the Boston Globe, singer songwriter Carll Hayes expressed his wish to have Joe Henry produce his next album.

For his next album, then, he’d like to revisit his roots as a songwriting craftsman, and to put some sincere thought into what he wants to say. To that end, he expects to work with the producer and fellow songwriter Joe Henry.

“We’ve never actually met,” Carll explained. They first talked on the phone about eight years ago, when Carll was conducting a series of “speed-dating” interviews with various producers for what would become his third album, “Trouble in Mind.”

“I’ve always been aware of him. I wrote a song with Mary Gauthier that was the lead track on a record he produced. Then I heard a song that really struck me.” It was Henry’s spare acoustic, nearly-nine-minute storyteller “Sign,” from his recent album “Invisible Hour.” Carll was drawn to “the intentional way he communicated, the way he thought . . . created. It struck me as where I wanted to be.”

And it seems this is going to happen. ;-)

zondag 28 juni 2015

Extensive interview : Joe Henry discusses songwriting.

Last week, Joe was interviewed by Paul Zollo for 'songwriters on songwriting LIVE!', a program hosted by  the songwritingschool in L.A.

Paul Zollo on Joe Henry :
If Kurt Weill worked with Willie Dixon, what you’d get might be close to songs Joe Henry writes. Although the songs of songwriters who become producers for hire sometimes suffer, his haven’t. His time in the trenches making miraculous albums with artists such as Mose Allison, Aimee Mann, Elvis Costello, Solomon Burke, Madonna and Ornette Coleman seems only to have emboldened and enriched his own music.

Many of his songs marry emblematic T.S. Eliot-tinged poetry with the organic soul of Son House. These are songs alive with finely etched human details, revolving around mythic, Biblical elegance, the spacious cadences of Beat poetry, and the reverent rhythms of American folk and blues. His tracks are dimensional; engaging our aural depth perception by mixing close-up, clean sounds with mysteries in the distance, like Lightnin’ Hopkins playing “Lonesome Road” a capella at a truckstop as a poker game transpires nearby. Lyrically, his work’s as solid as a Muddy Waters classic, where no words are wasted, like folk songs smoothed and polished for decades like stones in the sea.

In over 2 hours Joe speaks about songwriting, and performs a few songs. The event is online, and divided into 8 parts.
There are some hick ups, in the recordings, but dont let that spoil your listening pleasure. It is worth your time.I have summarised for each part what to expect.

Part 1 : intro
Part 2 : look under the 'Joe Henry' section
Joe speaks about being genre free, how the audience and industry deals with that. His first musical experiences.
Personal writing versus writing in character
Knowing in advance about what you write versus discovering it in the proces
Writing alone or together,
Creative thinking versus analytic thinking,
His own writing proces,

Part 3 : (technical error)

Part 4 : to quote John Cage
On the mystery of what music you like or don't.

Part 5 : Working like a blind man in a dark room
On expanding his capabilities in musicmaking and working with musicians,

Part 6 : You're giving away the whole store
Find out what a recordproducer does in 1 sentence .
He talks about Richard Pryor


Part 7 : Winter or December ?
On Poems versus songs, referencing other songs for songmaking, or not ?
Songwriting the way we understand it now, and can it evolve ?
Recording the bright mississippi part 1

PERFORMANCE : After the war

Part 8 : What is going to happen tomorrow ?
Recording the bright mississippi part 2
Writing 'the man I keep hid'.
Madonna, The History of 'Stop'.
Choosing projects, and his recordingproces,    

PERFORMANCE : The man I keep hid, Stop, Trampoline

The entire interview is to be found here. (EDIT : interview off line)

zondag 21 juni 2015

WFUV will air the 'Celebrate Brooklyn' concert

On July 18, Joe will be the opening act for Rhiannon Giddens during the event Celebrate Brooklyn .

For those who can not attend it, no worries. WFUV will air this event live.

check their page for listening options.

zaterdag 13 juni 2015

'American Originals' recordings to be released.

'American Originals'  was a concert by cincinnati pops featuring several artists (including Joe) on 23,24 and 25 January 2015.

More info on the concerts over here.

These concerts were recorded, and will be released on  september 11, 2015 .
Joe's renditions of 'Oh Susannah', and 'Aura Lee' are featured on it. He also contributed vocals on the finishing track 'Campton Races'.

Pre-Listen Rosanne Cash's version of Old Kentucky Home on SoundCloud.

This is the track list of the album :

1) Oh Susannah (Joe Henry)
2) Jeanie with the light brow hair (Aoife O'Donovan & Karin Berquist)
3) My Old Kentucky Home (Rosanne Cash)
4) Amazing Grace (Aoife O'Donovan & the Comet Bluegrass All-stars)
5) Rolling river : Sketches on Shenandoah
6) Why, no one to love ? (Over The Rhine)
7) Old Folks at Home (Dom Flemons)
8) Kumbaya (Timothy Lees, Kathryn Wooley, Gabriel Pegis, Scott Mozlin & Richard Jenssen)
9) Slumber my darling (Aoife O'Donovan)
10) Aura Lee (Joe Henry & Ed Cunningham)
11) Foster's Folly
12) Ring, Ring the Banjo (Dom Flemons)
13) Red River Valley (Comet Bluegrass All-stars)
14) The Battle Cry of Freedom
15) Beautiful Dreamer (Rosanne Cash)
16) Hard times come again no more (Over the Rhine)
17) Campton Races (all featured artists)

vrijdag 29 mei 2015

Hugh's Room July 19

Hugh's Room announced a Joe Henry concert on July 19th, 2015.

Hugh’s Room is a “live entertainment” venue based in Toronto, Canada, with full restaurant and bar facilities. You can make reservations for dinner and performance or for the performance only.

(address : 2261 Dundas St W. at Roncesvalles Ave)

“…a Canadian version of Austin City Limits…”  – Toronto Life
“…one of the best venues in Canada to see live music.” - BlogTo.com

visit the event's page  for dinner and performance reservations.

Update June 5th
Joe will be joined on stage by Jay Bellerose and Levon Henry.

Update August 2nd.
This event was cancelled. 

dinsdag 12 mei 2015

Parks Van Dyke's final performance

Joe Henry was a guest on Parks Van Dyke's last piano/vocal performance in L.A.'s Largo at the coronet.The show took place on Friday and saturday, May 8 and 9, 2015.

Joe has worked on many occasions together with Parks Van Dyke. Not only on Joe's own albums,  but also on albums he produced.  (I should take the time to list their entire coöperations.)

I don't know what Joe's contribution was to the show, so feel free to fill me in on the details.

Edit : (Thank you JH for this info) 
i sang the song "death don't have no mercy" (from country blues master erv. gary davis), and van dyke's request. he was in the studio ensemble when i produced ramblin' jack elliot's version of that heroic song, and van dyke has loved it ever since. we performed this song both nights --and second of which also had guitarist joe walsh (of the eagles) sitting in on it.

i also sang backing vocals with gaby moreno and inara george on VDP's take on allen toussaint's seminal "river boat."

In an interview with the LA Times,  Parks Van Dyke explains he had an unsuccesful handsurgery, wich makes it impossible to play piano for too long.

I had unsuccessful hand surgery last year, and all it takes is about 40 minutes — just when it matters — for a hand to freeze. Rather than go out decrepit, I'm taking Randy Newman's advice when he sang, "I have nothing to say, but I'm going to say it anyway." Knowing when to quit is the moral to that song, and I do think that is important.
Read the entire interview.


american songwriter
....Joe Henry, who is now not only a legendary songwriter-singer but also a producer of great achievement, came on to sing “Death Don’t Have No Mercy,” by the Rev. Gary Davis. He sang it beautifully, with deep respect for the man at the keys, and a delivery of quiet, simmering soul.  In the heart of the song, Van Dyke played a piano solo. But rather than a single note solo, as expected, he performed a chordal solo, all big extended  chords ascending and overlapping, echoing and pulsating with shades of Ellington and Evans, a cubist painting fleetly created in the middle of the “American Gothic.” It was awesome, even mystical, in its fluid gravity....

.....May Van Dyke hold back time forever. Thank you maestro for a magic night.

vrijdag 1 mei 2015

Joe Henry to perform at 'Celebrate Brooklyn!'

On July 18, Joe Henry will open for Rhiannon Giddens at Prospect Park Bandshell.  Brooklyn, NY.
 This concert is a free event. Find more info over here.

Joe and Rhiannon know each other for several years now, and have worked together on numerous occasions.  my guess is more wonderful colaborations will follow.

Rhiannon Giddens just released a fantastic album, 'Tomorrow is my turn'.

Edit June 17,2015
Joe Henry will be joined by the following band :
Jay Bellerose : Drums
David Mansfield : strings
Levon Henry : Multiple instruments
Ross Gallagher : Upright Bass
Marc Ribot : Electric Guitar

Go and enjoy.

May I dream, (off course I may), of them touring Europe as a double act ?


vrijdag 17 april 2015

JH to present at 'The Muse and The Marketplace 2015'

Joe Henry will lead a discussion during this year's Muse and The Marketplace' conference.

The Muse and the Marketplace is a three-day literary conference designed to give aspiring writers a better understanding about the craft of writing fiction and non-fiction, to prepare them for the changing world of publishing and promotion, and to create opportunities for meaningful networking.(source)

The Event takes place 1st-3rd May at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel.

'The Musicality of Words'  is a discusion lead by Joe Henry, how the tonality of the word is the mother of thought: its mysterious and instinctive guide.

It is scheduled on May 2nd from 10:30am -11:45 am.

This lecture has a limited capacity of 50 seats, so make sure to sign up

woensdag 8 april 2015

The Fretboard Summit

Fretboard Journal celebrates 10 years of publishing.

And with a celebration, off course, will also come a party, called 'The Fretboard Summit'.

Joe Henry is one of the performers. 

Our list of performers is growing every week. So far, we have Bill Frisell, Chris Eldridge & Julian Lage, Matt Munsteri, Joe Henry, Blake Mills and other FJ favorites attending. Speakers include Bill Collings, Richard Hoover, Dick Boak (Martin), Mark Stutman of Folkway Music, Richard Johnston (Gryphon), Jim Baggett (Mass Street Music) and many fretted instrument builders, authorities and historians.

This event will take place from 6-8 November 2015 at the Costanoa Resort in the Bay Area In California.

It will be limited to a few 100 guests, and tickets go on sale April 14, 2015.


downbeat magazine

Playing acoustic guitar and presenting mostly his own compositions, Joe Henry found an ideal partner in Bill Frisell, whose electric guitar work added harmonies and subtle sonic colors. The notable reportorial exception was a version of “One For My Baby (“And One More For The Road)” that was more reminiscent of Tom Waits than Frank Sinatra.

Watch an 'all star' performance of 'Sitting on top of the world'.

A wonderful version of 'Eyes out for you', together with Bill Frisell.

Listen to a podcast where Joe talks with David Crosby about the 'art of recordmaking'.

woensdag 25 maart 2015

Release date 'the travelling kind' is set.

Recorded last year, and produced by Joe Henry, The new album by Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell is almost there.

'The traveling kind' will be released May 12th on Nonesuch Records where you can also pre-order it.

read some more on it on rollingstone.com

press release : (Nonesuch Records)

 ...Produced by Grammy Award winner Joe Henry (Billy Bragg, Elvis Costello, Aimee Mann), The Traveling Kind comprises 11 duet tracks, including six new songs written by Harris and Crowell with co-writing by Mary Carr, Cory Chisel, Will Jennings, and Larry Klein. Also featured are new renditions of previous Crowell cuts including "No Memories Hanging Around" as well as new interpretations of Lucinda Williams' "I Just Wanted to See You So Bad" and Amy Allison's "Her Hair Was Red."...

....Crowell adds, "Emmy and I wrote six of the eleven songs on The Traveling Kind, which was recorded in a six-day span with our Glory Band, Steuart Smith, and Billy Payne. Joe Henry was at the helm as producer and Justin Neibank did the recording. The experience was pretty much akin to falling off a log."....


1 The Traveling Kind (Rodney Crowell/Emmylou Harris/Cory Chisel)

2 No Memories Hanging Round (Rodney Crowell)

3 Bring It on Home to Memphis (Rodney Crowell/Larry Klein)

4 You Can’t Say We Didn’t Try (Rodney Crowell/Emmylou Harris/Cory Chisel)

5 The Weight of the World (Rodney Crowell/Emmylou Harris)

6 Higher Mountains (Rodney Crowell/Emmylou Harris/Will Jennings)

7 I Just Wanted to See You So Bad (Lucinda Williams)

8 Just Pleasing You (Rodney Crowell/Mary Carr)

9 If You Lived Here, You’d Be Home Now (Rodney Crowell/Emmylou Harris)

10 Her Hair Was Red (Amy Allison)

11 La Danse de la Joie (Rodney Crowell/Emmylou Harris/Will Jennings)

Listen to the title track.

Words on the New Milk Carton Kids Album

'Poetry' : that's the word I would use.

Joe Henry wrote poetry for the new Milk Carton Kids album. The album is called 'Monterey', and is available as pre-order.

"I’ve grown sick of the light, now that the once-distant sky has laid down beside me and spread the sun like a flaring map across both our knees, coquettish and cloying, groping my trunk and fleecing me of change; obscuring the authority of the seasons with eternal summer, when, time ago, days would darken to mark my way and progress, making cool the thoughts that now turn only in fevered, dull half circles; that tip away from invention and lean into surrender –the way the poor and kinder dime-a-dance girls once leaned just so into me, when I was over there. 


Read it in its entirety over here.

vrijdag 6 maart 2015

The Weekly Feed interview.

Another interview with Joe is online.

Joe was interviewed for The weekly feed.He spoke about Invisible Hour, religion, running his own label, history, writing, but also about how he feels about people leaking an artist's unfinished material,,.....

What I take from this interview mostly, is that maybe one day, more of Joe's writing will become a book. 

The Weekly feed : "Maybe we will see those down the road ?"
Joe Henry : "Maybe."

vrijdag 27 februari 2015

Joe on 'On Being with Krista Tippett'

In January Joe was interviewed by Krista Tippett for her public radio show 'On Being'.

I'm not telling anything new, if I say it's a must-listen. Listening to Joe is always a treat for the mind. He is gifted with the talent of finding the right words and sentences to fit a thougth.

Wonderful to listen to.

Listen to Joe reflecting on The Mystery and Adventure of Life and Songwriting .

(to read the interview)

He performed 'sparrow' from Invisible Hour live in the studio.

The Joe Henry & Sam Phillips concerts

Last week Joe Henry and Sam Phillips performed together in LA.
They where backed up by Jay Bellerose, Jennifer Condos, Levon Henry, Patrick Warren and Eric Gorfain.

Joe Henry performed for the first time live the song 'sign' from Invisible Hour.


God is in the details
Great summary of the evening and some highlights.

LA Times
 ...Henry’s songs twist and turn melodically, like a creek winding its way through the thorny territory he explores...


Een foto die is geplaatst door Eric Gorfain (@ericgorfain) op

maandag 16 februari 2015

Birds of Chicago Update.

Everyone can still help fundingBirds of Chicago's new album. (produced by Joe)

This Kickstarter project has 4 goals :
  • funding the recording session with Joe
  • A publicity campaign
  • Video production/artisanal Merchandising
  • Tour Support/Continuing Publicity

The first goal was already reached 7 days after the rowdfunding started, so that's great news ! Now, off course, they want to get their music out there for you.

We also know now that, no one less than, Rhiannon Giddens  (Go get her solo album stopped by to back them up with a few songs.

Give support to Birds of Chicago !

Update February 27, 2015 

Well,... If I'm not mistaken Birds of Chicago reached all their goals. Congratulations to all of you !

Lots of great stuff to be found on their Facebook
Here's a rehearsalclip with Rhiannon Giddens.

Great pictures of the recordings.

For example :

And finally, I'll end with 1 thought floating around in the air. Maybe what we all suspected was now spoken : ...These were the last sessions at Joe Henry's legendary Garfield House Studio...


zaterdag 7 februari 2015

Thoughts on Vinyl, but we'll have to wait for 'Invisible Hour'.

An article from diffuser, entitled 'Vinyl is Absolutely not a 'Fashion statement', (Except when  it totally is, rises again the question if Vinyl sounds better, than  MP3.

The article gives us a better and wider look into the debate. Which is always good (for any debate).

The question rised again, after Neil Young said : 

“All the new products that come out on vinyl are actually CDs on vinyl, which is really nothing but a fashion statement.”

(1 sentence taken out of an interview. It's best to read it into context.)

Diffuser reached out to a number of labels, artists, and industry figures for their own takes on the vinyl debate, and came away with a more detailed — if still not exactly clearer — picture.
1 of these Artists was Joe.

"I love vinyl,” adds producer and recording artist Joe Henry,..."

About an 'Invisible Hour' Vinyl :
“...Alas, it was too expensive to do even a limited run. I hold out hopes for an issue of it in time,..."

About the general debate :

 “If one creates a vinyl version of a record to remain in the analogue domain — i.e., the record was recorded to tape and there is a desire to stay within that sphere — that is one thing. 
But when records are recorded digitally, and then pressed to vinyl, what is it you are really memorializing, beyond the romance of an idea? It’s like taking an analog photo copy of a digital image. Sure, it will still sound different, depending on how the mastering engineer treated the process — how hard they are hitting the vinyl when cutting the mother, et cetera — but no one should pretend that what you are hearing is a purely analog experience.” 

full article

I love vinyls, and find it a verry interesting debate. I completely agree with Neil Young and Joe Henry's view on it. For soundquality we need to look at the entire recording process, not only at the final format.

But the fact that you have an A and B side, gives not only the need to think carefully on the order of the songs on an album. No, I think, having to turn the record, makes you listen to it with more attention, and thus enjoyment (I assume you're playing it because you like it). It's not so practical to listen to a vinyl as background music.

And then there is the clear relationship between fysics and sound. You see the record turning, you see the grooves, you put on the needle, And then there is music.... And with old records you hear the aging process in the cracks.
I'm also fascinated by the clever mechanisms inside it, to lift the needle, starting the turning, arranging the weight of the needle,.... Specially old recordplayers.

Yes,... sit back, enjoy a nice whiskey and/or sigar. and enjoy the music.

Anyway, that aside, and if one day our paths will cross, let's talk about it further.


woensdag 4 februari 2015

There is a time to move forward.....

In, to my opinion, 1 of Joe Henry's most stunning facebook posts, Joe announced that he, and his family, will be leaving the Garfield House, thus also his basement studio. 

First of all, I'll quote fellow blogger David : I’ll let you read his heartfelt words and ponder them in due course.

I've always felt moving to somewhere is an exciting time : leaving the familiar, searching the new. But when reading that post, I first felt a little sad. "Oh No!" Was my first reaction, and it were the first little words of the little post I replied to the announcement. 

I kept on thinking about it all evening and morning. 
You see, I have no direct connection to the house. I've never been there, although I must admit I dreamed of 1 day visiting it, if only for 0,5 hour to absorb the place were all this great music gets made. 

Why do I react so strongly then to this news? I guess it are the stories told, mostly by Joe. He always knows how to use the most powerful, and wonderfully chosen words. 

His storytelling brought to me, and probably many others, the image of the Garfield House alive, and he speaks about it with so much warmth, that I think it was probably not the easiest decision to make for them.

The music made over there is forever and the memories they build together will always be theirs. 

And now the time has come to move forward. New places, new smells, new views, new experiences,… a new 'Home'. 

I wish Joe and his family the best of times to come, and look forward to hearing his new stories.