Life in Music inspired by Joe Henry

vrijdag 31 maart 2017

zaterdag 18 maart 2017

Son of the Velvet Rat

Somewhere last year, Joe updated his Website and added to his productionlist : son of the velvet rat ; Releasedate to be confirmed. It was clear I needed to update this blog, and make a new entry. The only thing was.

... I had never heard of this band....

Naturally the first thing you look for is their website, and instantly the view of their opening page intrigued me. An image like an old postcard, or a moviestill from a long forgotten film where they started to experiment for the first time with color. It assures this is not just a band making one song after another. No, they are creating their universe, and inviting you into their musical world. The image I saw, was an invitation I just had to accept.


I listened to their music, and I can not say anything else than, that it was love at first sight for me. But now comes the tricky part, because how do I explain why I really like this ? I heard a lot of influences that I could refer to, but over the days and weeks, I started thinking on that. The danger is, that I will be diminishing them to merely a summary of artists I like. Like they just made a patchwork of sounds that already existed. But that's most definetly not the case.They are really unique !

So this post is probably more about my musical taste, than in to explaining who is 'Son of The Velvet Rat'. But maybe if you like this little part of my musical interest, you'll know you will love this band, who brings you a perfect blend of European styles, mixed with Americana songs.

There are flavors of French Chansons, German Avant Garde, Gipsy sounds, each time mixed with an American feel to it.  I found it almost symbolic that their album 'Red Chamber Music' opens with a slow country waltz 'Prayers': A song that brings you the question where are the things we know, before we know them, or after they're gone ?  Followed by a joyous 'Vampire song'.   Not many artists can bring you such an uplifting song that begins with "It's cold in the grave, It's cold as ice". Nick Cave Maybe ?
'King of Cool' reminds me of the band 'Sparklehorse', and other songs bring me to Dave Eugene Edwards, Some songs take place in small bars, heading towards closing time and lost dreams that make you wonder what ever happened to them.
That brings me to ballads that sound like a younger Tom Waits that pass along, You'll get lyrics that would have been worldfamous, if they were signed by B. Dylan or L. Cohen. It's all in there.

And now they released Dorado produced by Joe Henry. A continuing of their universe, opening with a Melancholic 'Carry on'. You stare in to the dessert, and wonder about its mysteries and secrets. But it's not all darkness on this album. There is also joy, urgence, mysterie,....
My personal favorite of that album ? : 'Starlite Motel'. Its atmosphere, mysterie.... Do I want to go there ? I don't know, but I'm attracted to it.

SotVR is not known where I live, but I'm convinced there is an audience over here waiting for them. I'm one of that. So I hope their world will reach down here.


donderdag 9 maart 2017

Special guest at book signing 'A life in Pursuit'

Update 17 March, 2017 : Joe's Presence has been cancelled.

JH will be a special musical guest at book store 'book soup' during a booksigning of the book 'T Bone Burnett, A life in pursuit. '
Event takes place on March 30.

Author of the book Lloyd Sachs will be discussing and signing the book on March 30 (7p.m.).

Book Soup
8818 Sunset Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069