A blog for Joe Henry fans

zaterdag 17 december 2016

A moment to look back, look forward

End of the year, that’s always a moment to look back at it. Let’s start with some music that I addressed this year in my blog. You can use it as a soundtrack while reading my end-of-the-year musings below.

I’m not going to make a list of my favorite songs or albums. I can not do it better than Josh Hurst did, who is on the same wavelength as I am concerning that. 3 Albums produced by Joe are on his list : American Tunes by Allen Toussaint, Lovers and Leavers by Carll Hayes and, Real midnight by Birds of Chicago. That last one, was his number 1. I can only agree with him, it’s also my favorite album this year. ‘Real Midnight’ wins the Time-is-a-lion award for favorite record. The price is no statue to put on the piano, but a warm welcome in our house... Euhm,... Wait,...that’s not really an award, you are all welcome... OK,... on top of that you’ll get an artistic creation from our kids...Ehm , yeah I know, they'll do that anyway... Let's carry on...

Birds of Chicago’s album  is more than a great group of songs. This one came in at the right moment, and it’s the one we all need to listen to. It is life in all its facets. I wrote my thoughts on it (read here) just after the terrorist attack at the Brussels Airport, and I got comfort and strength out of listening to it. Even today, after everything that is happening around is, I grab back to it a lot.  Take for instance the titletrack : It displays a feeling we all know unfortunately. A lot of us have fear, we live in frightening and uncertain times.

Real midnight’s gonna come
real wolves at your door
But the power of it all, is not that it gives a voice to our fear, no it offers us also a way on how we can keep standing with all this, in our everyday lives. You see : We need to look out after each other, don’t be afraid of each other, care for one and other. Let us not hang our heads but let us turn the evolution to more love and care.

Lift me up, don’t cut me down,
In 10,000 years
they’ll see our love shine

I had the opportunity to speak to the wonderful and Lovely JT and Allison. You can read our conversation over here. It was a wonderful and warm evening, and during their concert I witnessed how they touched everyone in that audience.

Lovers and Leavers by Carll Hayes is an album that I also love a lot. An album that touched me enormously. I remember sitting in the car, in front of a red traffic light, with no immediate thoughts on my mind. The track ‘The love that we need’ started, and it grabbed my full attention. The entire atmosphere,  the lyrics, and how they were brought to me, got to me…. And there I was, seeing the traffic light jump to green, fighting my tears….
The first single released ‘for the sake of the song’ immediately caught my attention, and I would like to present to you one verse in remembrance of all the losses in music we had : Leonard Cohen, David Bowie, Prince, Merle Haggard, Guy Clark, Mose Allison, Leon Russel, Toots Thielemans,…
And there's the mystic, there's the legend
There's the best that's ever been
And there's the voice of a generation
Who won't pass this way again
They did it all for the sake of the song.

Allen Toussaint died in 2015, just after finishing the recording session of, what became, his last album American Tunes, released this year. It simply became a sublime record. And it is so moving to hear Allen at the end.
We come on the ship they call the Mayflower
We come on the ship that sailed the moon
We come in the age's most uncertain hour
and sing an American tune
But it's all right, it's all right
You can't be forever blessed
Still, tomorrow's going to be another working day
And I'm trying to get some rest
That's all I'm trying to get some rest
With all these wonderful records, where Joe stood in the controlroom, we haven’t even touched his own music. There was the single ‘Shook up the world’ in memory of Muhammed Ali, but a big part of this year went into the ‘Shine a light’ project. Yes I call it project, because the word 'album' doesn’t give you the total idea.

In a nutshell : Together with Billy Bragg, Joe took a train ride from Chicago to L.A. In each place the train stopped, Joe and Billy jumped out, recorded a song, and made sure they got back on the train in time. It where all songs, not about, but around the railroad. Songs, all part of  America’s musical heritage.
They put these songs in a wonderful album with great artwork, and above all that : they toured with them, and will be touring in 2017.
I went to see them perform in Portsmouth, UK. Donald Trump just got elected, Leonard Cohen just died... It was a concert full of emotion. But it had power… These songs have power. Like I started this entry with Birds of Chicago, this one is also much more than just good songs. This is a relevant wake up call ! Go see a show !!

Enough of looking back, let’s look forward.

  • The discovery of 2016 for me was Son of the Velvet Rat. It was announced that their new record (coming out on February 17, 2017) was going to be produced by Joe. I  visited their website, and was immediately intrigued by the vintage images on their opening page. But the best way to get to know them, is by listening. I discovered a wonderful palette of influences. Painted on the Canvas I heard Jacques Brel, Sparkelhorse, Dave Eugene Edwards, Early Tom Waits, Nick Cave…
So it's no surprise I’m really looking forward to this upcoming album.

  • Besides SotVR, also Rose Cousins and Luisa Sobral have their albums, produced by Joe, ready to be released worldwide in 2017. 

  • Early in the summer Lizz Wright mentioned in an interview that her new album is going to be produced by Joe, and did we just now  got teased with some of that ? 

  • And I guess we can expect some news on Guy Pearce’s album. Last summer he was in the studio recording with Joe and his team. 

  • In 2017 the shine a light tour continues in January with Ireland and England, and later in April Australia. But who knows, maybe it won’t be over then and further shows will be released. 
Anyway concerning that, the following tweet appeared last week.

I’ll surely keep you updated on that, and all other news. 
Happy Holidays,
Take care of one and another

woensdag 7 december 2016

Congratulations Ryan and Kim !

The Grammy nominees for 2017 are announced.

In the category 'Best Engineered album, Non Classical', 1 of the nominations was for Dig in Deep, by Bonnie Raitt.
Engineer : Ryan Freeland
Mastering : Kim Rosen

This fact alone is already an acknowledgement for them, so : congratulaions !

Joe Henry produced 1 track on this album, and he played guitar on that song (You've changed my mind).

Those of you following Joe's career know that Ryan is Joe's right hand in the studio, but I don't know if everyone is aware that also Kim Rosen is a returning name, when it comes to Joe's studiowork.
She  mastered almost every album Joe produced for a while now. (Chely Wright, Shine a light, Birds of Chicago, ...)

woensdag 30 november 2016

Dorado (SotVR) out february 17

Son of The Velvet Rat's album Dorado  will be released on February 17.

  1. Carry On
  2. Copper Hill
  3. Blood Red Shoes
  4. Love’s the Devil’s Foe
  5. Shadow Song
  6. Surfer Joe
  7. Starlite Motel
  8. Sweet Angela
  9. Tiger Honey
  10. Franklin Avenue

woensdag 23 november 2016

Here it is : First 'Son of the Velvet Rat' Single

A couple of weeks ago, we received more info on the Album by Son of the Velvet Rat, that Joe Produced.  (Entitled Dorado, and will be released Early next year)

Here is a first single : "Blood Red Shoes".(With Victoria Williams)

dinsdag 22 november 2016

Shine a light in the UK, it was welcome !

The shine a light tour has passed through the UK like a warm breeze in these cold times.

Me and my wife had the pleasure of seeing the show in Portsmouth. You can read my musings on that show at the entry : Portsmouth, Why we build that wall ?

Tom Langford

I followed their journey a bit on social media, and I found a lot of praise and love for both Billy and Joe. Off course, Billy is already a big star in England, but Joe has won over many hearts. I didn't count the amount of tweets,  (or people I heard in Portsmouth) in the likes of : "I never heard of Joe Henry, But he's great !" 

It was a bit of a sad 2 weeks for musiclovers. Some great people passed away: Leonard Cohen, Leon Russel, Sharon Jones, Allison Mose...
This period reminded me of a quote T Bone Burnett made, when he adressed the press on the re-launch of the Fair Play, Fair Pay act. He spoke about the loss of Prince, Merle Haggard, Glen Frey, and David Bowie. and then he said :
...And this will be happening at a faster rate, as the Golden age of Music comes to an end....

Joe has written some lovely tributes for these losses on his FB page. With Mose Allison he had a closer relationship. He produced Mose Allison his last official album The way of the World .
In the sad news of his passing, Various media had also some acknowledgement for Joe.
 Allison’s final studio album, “The Way of the World,” was released on the British independent label Anti- in 2010. Produced by Joe Henry, who had coaxed him out of semiretirement, it finds him in an autumnal but still trenchant frame of mind, despite plaints to the contrary on the opening tune, “My Brain.” The title track, set at a saunter, has the bittersweet resignation of an old man taking stock of what he’s seen. (Nate Chinen, New York Times)

In an Interview with Mose Allison in 2010, Allison spoke about  Joe :

  • MA: ...I met guitarist-producer Joe Henry in Dusseldorf, Germany. He said at the time that he wanted to record me. I hadn't recorded in about 12 years and I didn’t figure on making any more records.
  • JazzWax: What changed your mind?
  • MA: Joe kept at me and mailed my wife and so forth. I kept putting him off. Finally, I said to myself, Joe has a great reputation as a producer and he’s also a great musician. I eventually came to the conclusion, "Why not?" We recorded at his studio, and I like how it came out. [Pause] Never underestimate the power of relentless persuasion [laughs]. 

Back on the road...
...Travelling around, They visited Stocken Prison and donated some guitars for the Jail Guitar Doors program.

...It all starts with Wayne Kramer, guitarist for the legendary punk pioneers the MC5 and onetime prison inmate. His time behind bars inspired The Clash to write  “Jail Guitar Doors,” which in turn inspired British rocker/activist Billy Bragg to start the charitable organization named after the song, which brings musical instruments into prisons for use in rehabilitation...

While Joe was in Europe, It became clear Donald Trump would be the next president of the United States. This, off course, was something that had to be adressed during the concerts. I noticed a lot of tweets passing, of a quote that Joe made during the concerts. That means people embrace that thought. And it is an important one. Not alone for the US, but all around the world. Because it seperates the person who has to endure it from the evolutions we are going through : "This is not who we are, it is where we are"

To end this post

Joe and Billy did an Acoustic Guitar Session. Enjoy it over here. 


zondag 20 november 2016

Joe and Billy record "If we make it through december"

Christmas period is arriving.

On November 22,Amazon music will feature a new playlist entitled acoustic Christmas.

Joe and Billy recorded their verison of Merle Hagard's song "If we make it through December". A song that reminds us, that Christmas is not for everyone a happy period. but it can be, in fact a verry tough time of the year to go through. It was recorded at Levon Helm's Barn.

Listen to it in 'avant-premiere' at Folk alley !

If we make it through December
Everything's gonna be all right, I know
It's the coldest time of winter
And I shiver when I see the falling snow
If we make it through December
Got plans to be in a warmer town come summertime
Maybe even California
If we make it through December, we'll be fine

Got laid off down at the factory
And their timing's not the greatest in the world
Heaven knows I been working hard
Wanted Christmas to be right for daddy's girl
I don't mean to hate December
It's meant to be the happy time of year
And my little girl don't understand
Why daddy can't afford no Christmas here
If we make it through December
Everything's gonna be all right, I know
It's the coldest time of winter
And I shiver when I see the falling snow
If we make it through December
Got plans to be in a warmer town come summertime
Maybe even California
If we make it through December, we'll be fine

dinsdag 15 november 2016

Shine a light : Portsmouth, November 12, 2016

Joe Henry and Billy Bragg are on the road, bringing their version of American folk standards which address the railroad. They recorded these songs during a train journey they made together and bundled them on an album Shine a light. During the show Joe suggested to listen to the original, and other memorable versions of these songs through history, and find out the need for such songs in every generation. I assembled for you a playlist to begin with

Portsmouth, Why we build that wall ?

Just before our departure, news of the passing of Leonard Cohen reached us. Although we knew it was coming, it still felt as a shock hearing this news. With that we started our journey in a sad mood. 1 day later, in Portsmouth, Joe would dedicate ‘All Blues Hail Mary’ as a memory to Leonard Cohen.
From the mountain comes a soul
And the stones grow up like trees
Leonard Cohen : A giant of humankind, beauty and art has passed away…
I found it almost symbolic after the victory of Donald Trump that Mister L. Cohen died. Wednesday morning I woke up and heard the news of Trump’s triumph. I think, for the first time I couldn’t honestly comfort my children by saying that everything would be all right. We are facing uncertain times, and it comes as no surprise that politics was a subject that had to be addressed during Billy and Joe’s concert. Maybe today even more than ever. We had an evening full of emotion, and so many songs (if not all) had a relevance concerning today’s society.
(In the heat of writing this review, I wrote my view on it all, the words kept coming. I hope you are willing to read them at this link)

Joe and Billy performed only with their guitar and voice. The concert had the following structure :

Joe and Billy together - Joe's Solo set
- Intermission
Billy's Solo set - Joe and Billy together

In the reality of today’s world we saw 2 very emotional, and even more powerful artists on stage. This is absolutely the concert that people need to hear. A touring statement for more warmth in our society. The message of these people, of this tour is so important! A wake-up call for what’s happening these days. A reminder that we have to stop making the same mistakes as in the past.
That is the most important thing I can tell you about this concert. They played off course wonderful together, and there was also lots of time for good laughing. Their voices filled each other wonderfully, but the magic of that evening, was the emotion in all of it.

Since I am hosting a blog dedicated to Joe Henry; here's for the record :  Joe’s soloset consisted of Trampoline, After the war, Lead me on, All Blues Hail Mary, and freedom for the stallion. That last one, off course, in memory of the late Allen Toussaint, who died 1 year ago.
Freedom for the stallion
Freedom for the mare and her colt
Freedom for the baby child
Who has not grown old enough to vote.
Lord, have mercy, what you gonna do about the people who are praying to you?
They got men making laws that destroy other men,
They've made money "God"
It's a doggone sin,
Oh, Lord, you got to help us find the way.
After the intermission it was Billy’s set, and from the first notes, my wife and I looked at each other overwhelmed with the amazing reaction of the crowd. The energy that was in the room ! Wow ! An entire auditorium ferociously singing these protest songs. It was with Anais Mitchell’s ‘why we build that wall’ Billy slammed everyone to silence with (again) the relevant questions that these lyrics ask us. That was a very strong moment.
After that, came the last song of his soloset,’There is power in a union’.  people not only sang loud with him, but some of them also raised there arm and clenched their fists ! Yes, there really is power in a union. That energy was really contagious, and I figured : “Let him go on a little longer, and we all will go out and start a protest march through the streets for tolerance.” That powerful music can be, 1 man, 1 guitar and a message so important !
Who do we call the enemy?
The enemy is poverty
And the wall keeps out the enemy
And we build the wall to keep us free
That's why we build the wall
We build the wall to keep us free
An amusing moment came when Joe came back on stage, almost on his socks and shyly he mentioned :” Well, euhm…. I don’t have songs like that.” That was a very funny moment. It’s true I think, that Joe has different kind of songs, but that don’t make them any less strong. With his songs and words, he reflected warmth, beauty and compassion to everyone, and I’m quite sure, that everyone will take that warmth home, and spread it towards their family, and that’s something we can build on. That’s why it is so important you must witness this show. During the concert the warmth was already working both ways. The applause Joe got for his songs and words must have been very comforting to him also.
The set continued with songs from the ‘shine a light album’. I don’t think I can give you an accurate setlist of the entire show. The entirety of the evening had more power then it’s units apart. Now how’s that for symbolism...

Oh, and afterwards, there was the moment me and my wife ended up in a 'Billy-Bragg-Fanclub-Group picture'. I must admit, that felt a bit weird, but it was nice to be around such lovely people. And hey, Joe ended up in that same picture.

Time to go home, and be with our kids,

P.S. I had songs in my mind, writing all this. So here is the accompanying soundtrack.

woensdag 9 november 2016

Byron Bay Bluesfest

Joe Henry and Billy Bragg are announced at the Byron Bay Bluesfest in Australia for Monday April 17, 2017.

What an amazing line up this festival has, next to Joe and Billy, I see Neil Young, Rhiannon Giddens, Patti Smith, Trombone Shorty, Bonnie Raitt, Mavis Staples, Gregory Porter, Booker T. .....

wow !
get your tickets !

vrijdag 4 november 2016

Natural Conclusion; Rose Cousins

Rose Cousins will release her new album, in February 2017.
It will be entitled : Natural Conclusion.

Cousins is full of praise for Henry, noting in a label bio that “Joe is a poet, a thoughtful, contemplative writer. That poetry and thoughtfulness transfers to his approach in production. It’s about the right life for the song and the right musicians to make that happen.” (source)

Here is a first song : Chosen

dinsdag 1 november 2016

Dorado; Son of the Velvet Rat

The Revue has more info on the upcoming album by Son of the Velvet Rat.
Edit November 2nd : Some of the info on The Revue is not correct. Lucinda Williams does NOT appear on the album. It is another Williams : Victoria Williams. 

The album will be entitled Dorado, and is expected early next year.

The founding members (vocalist Georg Altziebler and his wife, Heike Binder) now live in California, and their new album, Dorado, is due out early next year. It features their frequent collaborator, American folk legend Lucinda Williams.  (the track) “Blood Red Shoes”, with Victoria Williams as guest artist, is full of aching tenderness that will appeal to fans of Leonard Cohen and the raw edginess of Tom Waits. This music begs for an uninterrupted listening session, perhaps in front of a fire while sipping a fine whiskey. (source)

You can stream the songs on their soundcloud. I will leave you with "Blood Red Shoes"
P.S. : I'm officially excited

maandag 31 oktober 2016

Shine a light : summary of radioperformances and interviews

Last week Joe and Billy ended their US tour and next week they'll bring their songs to the UK. (Check out their itinerary) In the meantime they have done some radioshows and interviews. Feel free to add extra input in the comment section below.

Some Radio performances :
The Current with Mike Pengra

Recorded in September, but now released : NPR's tinydesk
- Rock island Line
- Hobo's Lullaby
- Midnight Special

The Current with Mike Pengra
- In the Pines
- Railroad Bill
- Gentle on my mind

Joe and Billy played a live radioconcert for KEXP Seattle .
- John Henry
- In the Pines
- Gentle on my mind
- Rock Island Line

Selection of interviews :

If you are interested in some earlier and original versions of these songs, I have made an entry about it. Feel free to listen and add your favorites at the entry ...Music that echoes long since...

maandag 24 oktober 2016

Shine a light : Australian shows announced

Good news for Australia : Today, the Australian leg of the 'shine a light' tour  was announced.

4 shows :
April 19, 2017 : Sydney Opera House
April 20, 2017 : The playhouse, Canberra
April 22, 2017 : Melbourne Recital Centre
April 23, 2017 : Melbourne Recital Centre

According to the websites :
Sydney and Canberra on sale on october 31.
Melbourne on sale on October 27.

vrijdag 21 oktober 2016

Shine a light.... Music that echoes long since...

A Blog entry to listen to..... and share your memories.

Joe and Billy are traveling around bringing us their version of all these classic songs from the railroad.

I assembled a playlist with earlier and original versions of the songs on the 'Shine a light' album. I enjoyed doing that, and I hope you'll equally enjoy listening to them. You'll find them in the same order as Joe and Billy's album.

But I'll not leave you only with this list, but als some other versions I like to share with you.

First off all, in their linernotes, Joe and Billy spoke of Riley Puckett who recorded for the first time 'Railroad Bill'. I guess I stumbled on the borders of Spotify's possibilities, because I couldn't find it there. But you need to hear it :

Riley Puckett : Railroad Bill

I listened to Harry Belafonte's 'Midnight Special' and to be honest, it became my favorite version. Can't stop moving !

Harry Belafonte : Midnight Special

When you are from my generation, there is no way around Nirvana's In the Pines. The anger that's in that one....

Nirvana : Where did you sleep tonight

Now, I'm sure there are other one's that belong to your memory. Feel free to share it in a comment or email : Beautiful versions, rare stuff, songs with a personal story... It's an open invitation to your story. (Smilingly I add : That includes you to, Joe and Billy. )


dinsdag 18 oktober 2016

first LuĆ­sa Sobral track

LuĆ­sa sobral has released a first single of her upcoming album.

I don't know if it is available worldwide, so I hope you can hear it.

I love it ! A nice jazzy track that (I think) make her 1 of the current great female jazz singers.  The first influences I hear (for this song)  come from Melody Gardot's fabulous album 'My one and only thrill'. Combined with some wonderful instrumentation I link to Joe Henry's 'Blood From Stars'.

Editorial note : A live long of reading the news as I get it, made it natural for me to type : '1 of the great female jazz singers'. Thinking about this now : Would I also say '....great male jazz singers' ? I guess it should be 1 of the great jazz singers. 

Edit 19 October, 2016
If I translated correctly from glam magazine, Joe Henry said about this song :

"When I began producing this album, I heard not only raw blues, but also the warm folk, and that was one of the reasons that made me wanted so much to do this one. This song clearly shows the ambiance of this disc. A disc where the piano gives its role to the guitar. A disc that can not wait to be played live. "

vrijdag 14 oktober 2016

Releasedate LuĆ­sa Sobral's new record

Joe Henry produced LuĆ­sa Sobral's upcoming album.

Releasedate is set for November the 18th, but only in Portugal if I understand it correctly. Elsewhere it will be released in 2017.
We also know, what it will look like.

zondag 9 oktober 2016

Son Of The Velvet Rat album.....Coming soon

A month ago, record label Mint 400 Records made the announcement, on twiter, that the Joe Henry produced album of Son of the Velvet Rat was signed to them.

For the moment, no specific date, but it seems that it is .... Coming soon.
A wonderful picture from, I assume, the recordingsessions was released. 

zondag 2 oktober 2016

The Joe Henry & Billy Bragg Christmas song coming up...

Had a great time performing at Levon Helms' Barn in Woodstock last night. After the sound check, Joe and I took the opportunity of being on hallow'd ground to record our Christmas song.

vrijdag 30 september 2016

Departure Americana Fest, and then...travelling around...

Joe and Billy Bragg have kicked of their 'shine a light' tour. I also received my order for the album, and I am really happy to have gotten a LP. The artwork and layout of the object in itself are really wonderful. maps, stories, pictures, liner notes....

I will leave all the reviewing of the songs to the reviews one finds ad pleases. I'll keep it short : "I adore the album !" 

On the 'shine a light' website also, are all the stations open
on the interactive map. So make sure to check that out.

Last week was Americana Fest, where Joe and Billy presented their album, and performed on several occasions. Let me try to give you, Joe and Billy's run don of those days.

First of all : Billy Bragg was presented the "Spirit of Americana / 1st Amendment / Freedom of Speech award". It was given to him by Joe and Ken Paulson.
Billy, for his turn, presented the "Americana President’s Award for Woody Guthrie" to Lucinda Williams. 

During award night, Joe had other knowledgeable appearances :
apparently Joe Henry came out and awkwardly vamps for four minutes to introduce The Milk Carton Kids.  (source)

Joe also paid tribute to Allen Toussaint, and performed a beautiful 'Freedom for the stallion'.  (With Levon Henry on sax)

see the full show at this link
Freedom for the stallion : 00:48:10
anouncing the Milk Carton Kids : 01:33:48 (keep listening to the song ! brilliant !)
Billy's award part : 01:59:37
I ain't got no home : 02:12:55

But off course, Joe and Billy played also a few shows to present the 'shine a light' album. For that, they also went on a live stream NPR Americana Alphabet show.

Gentle on my mind during a morning session entitled "Riffs on the Rails" at americanafest.

Joe also sat in, at a reading session from T Bone Burnett's biography. He also performed one of T Bone's songs.

And after that weekend, Joe and Billy embarked on their journey to present this album to the world.
Check out their concertschedule.
A first stop was in Pittsburgh for NPR's mountain stage live radio taping.

And also for NPR, but not yet released. Joe and Billy recorded a tiny desk concert.

If you don't like to know what they can play during a concert. Don't open this review. It has a setlist !

Other interesting articles :
Joe and Billy sat down to speak with Salon.  great interview called ride the trails with Billy Bragg and Joe Henry !

And to end with some music introduced for you by Billy and Joe : They put together a playlist of their favorite travel songs. It was presented by  the guardian. Check out their stories for each song !

If I missed other interesting news, feel free to contact me, or leave a comment with your story.

zaterdag 10 september 2016

I'm the rain is out there ! (in studio + interviews)

Chely Wright's new album (Produced by Joe) I am the Rain is released !

Here are some in-studio clips and wonderful words from Chely about Joe and his longtime companions ! 

woensdag 7 september 2016

Joe and Billy's AmericanaFest timetable.

The timeschedule for AmericanaFest has been anounced.

Joe will sit in on a reading session for T-Bone Burnett's biographyT Bone Burnett: A Life in Pursuit. This will happen on Thursday, September 22, 12:30pm - 1:45pm at  Howlin' Books

 There will be 2 shows together with Billy Bragg for 'the shine a light' tour. 

Thursday, September 22, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
  Union Station Hotel
Friday, September 23, 5:30pm - 6:30pm
  Grimey's New & Preloved Music
Earlier on, there was already anounced that Joe will present the Spirit of Americana Free Speech award to Billy Bragg on september 21.

maandag 29 augustus 2016

Anthony Wilson concert + special guests

On Sept. 18, 2016 Anthony Wilson will perform together with his band 'The Curators'. at Largo at the Coronet, L.A..  The Curators on duty are : Jim Keltner, Mike Elizondo, Petra Haden, and Patrick Warren.
 2 Special guests are announced : Gaby Moreno and Joe Henry.

Anthony Wilson is a guitarist, composer and arranger known for a nuanced body of work that moves fluidly across moods and genres.
With ten wide-ranging solo albums to his credit, Wilson's first recording -- the eponymous Anthony Wilson (1997) -- garnered a Grammy nomination for Best Large Ensemble Jazz Recording. His fourth, Power of Nine (2006) featuring his nonet, was included in the New Yorker's roundup of that year's top-ten jazz albums.

While his home is jazz, Wilson has performed live and recorded with a diverse roster of artists including Diana Krall, Paul McCartney, Leon Russell, Willie Nelson, and Aaron Neville.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Wilson is the son of the late jazz trumpeter and bandleader, Gerald Wilson.

For tickets, visit the 'Largo at the Coronet' Website.

Anthony Wilson has a new album out called Frogtown. It was produced by Mike Elizondo and featured Mike Elizondo on bass & moog bass; Petra Haden on violin; Patrick Warren on keyboards; Jim Keltner & Matt Chamberlain on drums and percussion.
On top of them : Guestmusicians  Charles Lloyd on tenor saxophone; Josh Nelson on piano; Jesse Harris on harmonica ; Bob Reynolds on tenor saxophone; Dan Rosenboom on trumpet and Adam Schroeder on baritone saxophone & bass clarinet. 

What to expect from Anthony an joe ?

zaterdag 20 augustus 2016

Edinburgh and London + radio interview/performance

The 2 first full shows to promote the 'shine a light' album are completed now. (A few songs have already been performed in a while ago)

The first concert was in Edinburgh, a second one in London.

Here is a review for Edinburgh, and one for London.



Joe and Billy also took the time to visit the BBC for a Radiointerview. It starts at 02:37:10
Listen to the BBC interview (Only available for another 27 days)

Here is another one (starts at 01:36:40)

And I end with an update for the European leg of the fall-tour as it was presented on Joe's Facebook page.

dinsdag 16 augustus 2016

Shine a light : clip and concerts

A new Video was released for the lovely 'Hobo's lullaby'. (It's so sweet to see Ryan Freeland, how he's enjoying it through his headphones)

From the LA Times
“ ‘Hobo’s Lullaby’ is a song I have known and loved since my mid-teens,” Henry said, “and though it was not written by Woody Guthrie — the man who, along with Lead Belly, was our patron saint throughout this project-= — it has long been reported to have been his favorite song; thus, we always associate it with him.
“We brought this song to bear in our process for a couple of reasons beyond that one,” he said. “It is a most beautiful melody to be sure; but more importantly, the song offers a glimpse not of people living on the margins of society, but of a downcast lot who nonetheless were inseparable from the fabric of this country at a particular moment, and remain so: those who must improvise a life beyond the hard lines drawn and forgotten by those of us who don’t know what it is like, truly, to be hanging on so tenuously to identity and dignity.”

The track is available on iTunes as a free “Instant Grat” download for those who pre-order the album. 


New UK shows have been added for January. This will bring them f.e. back to the already-sold-out show at Union Chapel in London. Most of those shows go on sale at the end of this week. Check out the itinerary for your nearest show !

In the meantime, Joe and Billy had their first show in Edinburgh yesterday.

maandag 8 augustus 2016

New song : Shook up the world

Joe Henry has released today a new song called 'Shook up the World' in memory of the great muhammad Ali. 

You can buy it f.e. on his website , but it's also available on all the general known Digital Music providers. All profits will go to the Muhammad Ali Center.

Dear friends,
Two weeks ago I wrote a new song meditating on the life, recent death, and enduring legacy of Muhammad Ali: a brazenly courageous ambassador of peace and self-possession in my lifetime.

Days later, on the coattails of a wrapped project, I found myself in a studio in Hollywood with time to spare, surrounded by my son and band of brothers; and I seized the opportunity— both recording and mixing this song over the course of a few hours.

Observing an impulse of immediacy, and in the spirit of deep gratitude, I offer the song here and now.

Meet me at this juncture if you will, and play it loud if you do: as the man himself exemplified, this is not the time for demurring half-measures.

Joe Henry

“SHOOK UP THE WORLD (For Muhammad Ali)”

Written, performed, and produced by Joe Henry

Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Ryan Freeland at
United Recording, Studio B, Hollywood, CA;
13 July, 2016

Engineering assistance provided by Monique Evelyn

JH – Vocals and acoustic guitar
Jay Bellerose – drums and percussion
David Piltch – electric bass
Patrick Warren – piano
Adam Levy – electric guitar
Levon Henry – soprano saxophone

About the Muhammad Ali Center : 

The Muhammad Ali Center is a multicultural center with an award-winning museum dedicated to the life of Muhammad Ali. The Center museum captures the inspiration derived from the story of Muhammad Ali’s incredible life and the six core principles that have fueled his journey.

The mission of the Muhammad Ali Center is to preserve and share the legacy and ideals of Muhammad Ali, to promote respect, hope, and understanding, and to inspire adults and children everywhere to be as great as they can be.

In its 10-year history, the Center has created programs that exemplify the principles of Muhammad Ali and the mission of the Center. Over the past decade, the Center has developed impactful programming serving children and adults, reaching people of all cultures, nationalities, ages, and geographic areas.

Inspiration is Ali’s gift, and his six core principles mark his true legacy—a legacy that has the power to live on, beyond the man, and beyond the walls of the Center.


vrijdag 5 augustus 2016

The 50 Best Alt-Country albums according to Paste Magazine

Paste Magazine published a list of their 50 best alt-country albums of all time. In the list you will find 1 of Joe Henry's own albums, but also the Carolina Chocolate Drops which he produced.

nr 30 : Carolina Chocolate Drops : Genuine Negro Jig
What they’ve also done is dust off a musical form seen today as either a novelty or the exclusive provenance of ethnomusicologists. To paraphrase Rakim’s immortal words, these Drops ain’t no joke

nr 27 : Joe Henry : Kindness of the world
Kindness evidenced Henry as one of the most skillful and honest lyricists in popular music. His next release, Trampoline, commenced a string of sonic experiments that—combined with lyrical prowess that has only grown—have established him as one of most interesting and vital singer-songwriters working today. Though he would refuse to be constrained by the genre, Henry’s collaboration with the Jayhawks serves as an exemplar of the then-nascent genre.

donderdag 4 augustus 2016

Looking Back : Elvis Costello and Joe Henry

Over the last 15 years, Elvis Costello and Joe Henry have had some coƶperations. I don't know how, and where they first met, but in his Autobiography, Elvis Costello calls Joe his friend.

In 2002, Joe produced Solomon Burke's album Don't give up on me. Elvis Costello wrote the song The judgement, together with Cait O'Riordan.
In that same year, Joe was opening act for a few Elvis Costello concerts.

1 Year later, Elvis Costello received the ASCAP founders award.
ASCAP's Founders Award honors pioneering songwriters who have made exceptional contributions to music.  Before Elvis, some Founders Award recipients include James Taylor, Burt Bacharach & Hal David, Stevie Wonder, Tom Waits, Joni Mitchell, Leiber & Stoller, Quincy Jones and Walter Becker and Donald Fagen,...

During that celebration, Joe was bandleader for the special EC tribute concert. The band consisted of: 
Joe Henry : Guitar
Pete Thomas : Drums
Patrick Warren : Piano
David Piltch : Bass

Elvis Costello himself was 1 of the guest artists, but also Solomon Burke, who performed 'The Judgement'. 

2 years later, they found each other again. In December 2005 The album 'The river in reverse' was recorded. An album from Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint produced by Joe. The album was made in the afterdays of Hurricane Katrina. Allen Toussaint was 1 of the many who lost everything. Together with Elvis Costello he made this album to remember everything that was going on in New Orleans. At the same time, the album acknowledged Allen Toussaint worldwide ! Outside of New Orleans, not a lot of people knew Toussaint as the man behind all the great music he made in his career.

Fast forward to 2013 : On April 30 'a tribute to Allen Toussaint' was held. It honored Toussaint's 75th birthday, and benefited the charity organisation NOAAHH (New Orleans Artists, Against Hunge & Homelessness.

Both Costello and Henry were among the performing Artists (Dr John, Irma Thomas, Cyrille Neville,....)
Joe sang 'From a Whisper to a scream'.

Additional Sources :
Unfaithful music and disappearing ink
The Elvis Costello Wiki

vrijdag 8 juli 2016

Prospects of a new solo album

I guess a lot of us were wondering it, but it was Steve Dawson who popped the Question :

"When will we hear another solo record from you ?"

It is part of a fantastic interview he did with Joe, and is available in 2 podcasts. And I repeat : Take a couple of hours, and listen to them : FAN-TAS-TIC !

But towards the subject of a new album.
Joe spoke about this. Some highlights, but much more on the podcasts itself :

........I'm actually gonna do an acoustic guitar-and-vocal demo session later this week, where I need to record 12 things or so, so I don't forget them. And that's sort of the beginning.......
........I like the idea of making a record before this year is out, but I haven't figured out how,............

......I really love recording, and love recording songs when they are verry, kind of viciourly alive.  I wouldn't want to rest them for a year, and come back to and say "OK what excited me about this ?".....

Steve Dawson podcasts : A must listen if you love Joe's Work !

Hey all,

As a follow up, on 2 weeks earlier.
I've finally gotten around to listen to part 2 of the Music Makers and Soul Shakers podcast.

To be short : It's a must. Take a couple of hours of, and listen !...

...listen to Joe's history on becoming a producer, working with T-Bone Burnett, Solomon Burke,  Ornette Coleman, Bonnie Raitt,.... Listen on last years move from the Garfield house.

And the most exciting news maybe, the prospects of a new solo album...

Heads up on Acoustic Guitar Magazine oct. 2016

Acoustic Guitar Magazine's october issue will feature Joe Henry and Billy Bragg .

It will be on sale, as of september 6th.

Update August 20, 2016 :
read it online.

donderdag 7 juli 2016

Releasedate set for Chely Wright's album

Chely Wright's album 'I am The Rain' will be released on september 9th.
The album was recorded between 7 and 11 September 2015 in L.A. : at Sunset Sound studio 3. Joe produced, and provided musicians.

Who were these musicians Joe provided ? well :
Engineer/Mixer : Ryan Freeland
Guitar : Adam Levy
Guitar : Mark Goldenberg
Pedal Steel guitar : Eric Heywood
Bass : David Piltch
Keyboard : Patrick Warren
woodwind & more : Levon Henry
 Drums Jay Bellerose

Special Guests on the album are : Emmylou Harris, The Milk Carton Kids, and Rodney Crowell.

Ryan Freeland: Very nice to be back with Joe Henry at Sunset Sound studio 3. The last time we worked in this room was for Aimee Mann's album Forgotten Arm.

In the following weeks, apparently some videomaterial will be released with studiofootage and commentary. She will also announce a tour to promote it.

Track listing :
1. “Inside”
2. “Where Will You Be”
3. “At the Heart of Me”
4. “You Are the River”
5. “Holy War”
6. “What About Your Heart”
7. “Pain”
8. “Tomorrow Is a Long Time”
9. “Blood and Bones and Skin”
10. “Mexico”
11. “Next to Me”
12. “Halona”
13. “See Me Home”

Main source : Taste of Country

Joe Producing Guy Pearce

Guy Pearce, who we know best as an actor in f.e. Memento, L.A. Confidential, The Hurt Locker,.... has announced he is currently working on a new album, produced by Joe Henry.

It is not the first time, Guy and Joe worked together. Guy Pearce played the lead in the Movie 'A slipping-down life' (1999). Besides that, he sang on the soundtrack. This one was produced by Joe. 

The soundtrack was released only 5 years later in 2004.

Now it seems these 2 artists are working together while I type these words.

July 8th, Update : The band consists of : Adam Levy, David Piltch, Patrick Warren and Jay Bellerose.

July 9th, Update : 
Levon Henry on reeds 

Note to myself : I really need to work on Joe's Filmography page over here.