Life in Music inspired by Joe Henry

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. 


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