Life in Music inspired by Joe Henry

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 co√∂perations.)

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.

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