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A blog for Joe Henry fans


vrijdag 17 augustus 2018

Read Joe Henry's poetic words on Aretha Franklin's passing.

Yesterday, Aretha Franklin passed away. The entire world mourns, and everyone pays their respects.

I generally don't share the amazing words Joe offers in repsect of those that are hard to honour in spoken language. But this one hit me full frontal.

On his Social Media Joe wrote his goodbye. Its words are strong and beautiful, Pure poetry. The lay-out of it, even shares its beauty. This is how you honor a Queen.

RIP Aretha Franklin, and from here on, I'll offer this space to Joe's words.


MARY DON’T YOU WEEP

I shall say up front that to approach this engagement
requires first that one sleep on rocks, drink
from shoes; become naked
and marked with bramble,
weep bitter tears:


Aretha Franklin is dead.

She not queen for a season or region
but forever and for all, as if by
Biblical prophecy;
she of the storied mountain and too
the train steaming through its most
reluctant and unforgiving chapters;


She like no river so much as the Mississippi
that has run forward and back and has
born upon its shoulders the building blocks
of our confused and bloody history
and spied from the center of rushes lauded cities
in flames ––consumed by our own
unrelenting and misshapen desires;


She of all time and none;

She the winter of ’29, the
spring of ’33 ––the fall of ’63 wherein
churches burned and pilgrims
sank before harbor;
she not only of Sam’s fierce grace and slide
but of Ray’s grim crawl, Georgia to Washington,
carrying red dirt in his cuffs
and fish sandwiches wrapped in waxed paper;


She not only of Martin but of Malcolm;

She of scrubbed hands and tired feet,
the childless and the over-run with children.


She not of industry but of mystical vision:
smokestack, sack-
cloth and ashes; thunder and
chain lightening; she of unmarked graves,
and words beyond ringing words; she of


fire and fury and breathless wonder, the gospel
according to love and loneliness and bound for
no other glory but that of she
who has been
and


remains ex-

actly what you

first took
her
to


be that bright
after-


noon calling
from
a passing


car the
very


voice of

god
herself she


 is.

JH

RIP Steve Lippman (Flip)

Last sunday, Steve Lippman (AKA Flip) suddenly passed away. We wish everyone close to him strenght in these difficult times.



Steve Lippman was a filmmaker. He made 2 short movies with Joe. 

- Just last month, Steve's short movie Life Saving, a Short Film in 4 Chapters with Joe Henry was presented to the audience.

- In 2003 they made a film 'Tiny Voices'.

Sleep well,
Stefan & Family




https://vimeo.com/channels/stevelippmanflip

maandag 13 augustus 2018

At Lincoln Center... 'He's a serious guy'

 Embed from Getty Images

Mavis Staples throws a party for our right to fight at Lincoln Center headlines newyorkmusicdaily about last saturday's show.

Her voice has weathered over the years, but her message and presence have not. The heir to a seven-decade, politically fearless soul music legacy is as relevant today as she was in 1962, when she marched throughout the South with the family patriarch, Pops Staples, and put her life on the line.

Joe had the privilege to warm the stage for her.
He’s a very serious guy, choosing his words carefully as he addressed the crowd..... Playing acoustic guitar, using both standard and open tunings, he led his six-piece band through a breezy set of slow-to-midtempo parlor Americana ballads..... He’s the missing link between Leonard Cohen and Wilco. newyorkmusicdaily wrote about him.

 Embed from Getty Images

His set included songs like 'Hungry', Sparrow' and 'Lead me on' (Thank you Sarah for this info).

As a surprise guest, Joe welcomed Amy Helm on stage to sing 'Odetta' with him. It's also the latest single for het upcoming album 'This too shall light', produced by Joe.



Greetings,
Stefan

vrijdag 10 augustus 2018

3 USA shows added for November

Tomorrow Joe is performing as an opening act for Mavis Staples .






Yesterday, his official website added 3 new solo concerts in November.



November 15 : City Winery, Chicago
November 16 : The Dakota Minneapolis
November 19 : The Ark Ann Arbor

For info and tickets, visit his website.

donderdag 9 augustus 2018

Songwriting Masterclass at Burren College (+ticket info on concert)

More details about Joe's concert at Burren College of Art. (October 13th) are available.  Tickets are also available as of now.

We already knew Lisa Hannigan and Glen Hansard will join the stage, but that's not all.

Joe, Lisa and Glen will lead a songwriting Masterclass that day for 25 people.
Also the concert has a limited number of seatings of 100.

You get it : no time to loose, and book your tickets.


It doesn't surprise me that the concert will be exclusive for 100 spectators, seeing the outsides of the venue....





I  hope you manage to get your tickets. Enjoy it all !
Greetings,
Stefan. 

dinsdag 7 augustus 2018

Aspen Ideas Festival

Joe's lecture during the Aspen Ideas Festival is online. Enjoy it !

https://www.aspenideas.org/session/ghost-song-songwriting-discovery



Earlier on we already received Joe's story on Harry Belafonte during this festival.  

Thank you David for finding it.




maandag 6 augustus 2018

Amy Helm on her new Album

In a little more than a month 'This too shall light', the new album by Amy Helm will be released. The album features musicians Doyle Bramhall II, Tyler Chester, Jen Condos, and Jay Bellerose, as well as a background vocal section consisting of Allison Russell, JT Nero, and Adam Minkoff.(source)

 

Amy Helm did an interview with Chronogram and naturally, one of the Subjects was this new album and working with Joe. But the article brings you up to date with her entire career. Make sure to read it !

Apparently Joe almost mixed an album for Levon Henry ! Well how about that.

...Recorded quickly and with a minimum of fuss with Grammy-winning producer and musician Joe Henry in Los Angeles, it has a looser, palpably spontaneous feel that fits its artist well. "Making this record felt liberating," Amy enthuses. "I'd already met Joe and I was a big fan of the productions he'd done for Bettye LaVette, Allen Toussaint, Susan Tedeschi, and other people, and I really wanted to work with him—when Larry Campbell and I were coproducing Dirt Farmer for my dad, we'd actually talked about having Joe mix it, but that didn't work out. So I was more than happy to surrender to his direction, and we did the new album totally live in the studio in four days, without belaboring anything. My band just threw our shit in the room and started playing, Joe set the compass from there, and it was amazing. I pulled in some songs we'd been doing, and he chose some really good ones for us to do, too."

Besides the reflective title track, which was written by MC Taylor of Hiss Golden Messenger and Josh Kaufman (Bob Weir, Josh Ritter), This Too Shall Light's standout cuts include covers of the Milk Carton Kids' "Michigan" and, interestingly, "The Stones That I Throw (Will Free All Men)," a lost, gospel-tinged single recorded in 1965 by Levon and the Hawks during the brief period between their leaving rockabilly singer Ronnie Hawkins and hooking up with Bob Dylan en route to becoming the Band. "I've always really loved the whole vibe of that song," Amy says. "It's just a great, straight-up rock 'n' roll dance tune."(Chronogram)

Not mentioned in this interview is a cover of Joe's Odetta.




woensdag 1 augustus 2018

Studio version of the 'Shine a Light' songs.


Hey all,

Well, did I almost choke in my coffee this morning....

I was reading an interview in Hot Press with Gavin Glass, And there I read :

The studio he’s talking about is the rightly-famed Orphan Recordings, where he’s steered a myriad of Irish and international acts. “The Eskies, The Young Folk, The Sprockets, anyone and everyone. My favourite is probably Billy Bragg and Joe Henry. They toured America doing field recordings, Woody Guthrie and Lead Belly songs, but they couldn’t use it so they re-did the whole thing in one day in Orphan, facing each other over two microphones.


Have we all been fooled ?... I couldn't believe it !

What is it, that we are actually hearing on that album? Real field recordings? or a manipulated studio recording?  3 People can answer that question, and I asked 2 of them : Joe himself and Ryan Freeland.

I can now say, that the words in that interview are (not a little bit) misleading. Joe and Billy did indeed record all those songs again in a studio, but the versions on the 'shine a light' album are all really recorded during the trainride.

In fact, the recording in the studio happened near the end of the U.K. leg of the 'shine a light' tour.  That implies that : While Joe and Billy were recording these songs in the studio; the 'shine a light' album was already on sale for months.

So, why make these studiorecordings ?

JH :
It was recorded in case a use presents itself for the songs without the travel noise. 
If and only if....

Today, there are no specific plans on the horizon for those versions. 

Well, now I can close my eyes, finish my coffee, and imagine I'm at a railroad station. Don't you just love that background noise ? 
Greetings,
Stefan

Edit August 2nd : 
Today, apologies have been made towards the artists, and a promise for necessary changes has been done. As for now, the article is not anymore available to everyone, only to subscribed readers. 

dinsdag 31 juli 2018

Glen Hansard joining Joe on stage


According to author Phil Hanrahan, Joe Henry will be joined on stage by Glen Hansard at his gig at Burren College of Art. (October 13th)





















If this info is indeed correct, it's a wonderful favor-in-return, from Glen towards Joe. A few months ago, Joe was a guest at Glen Hansard's concert in L.A.

...And I think this is the Towerhouse...



Edit August 1th 
This info has been confirmed. Also Lisa Hannigan will be on stage during that show.

zaterdag 28 juli 2018

Mid-summer update

A Short Film in 4 Chapters


A few weeks ago Steve Lippman released his short movie : Life Saving, a Short Film in 4 Chapters with Joe Henry.

Steve Lippman also directed some videoclips, which where used as promotion for 'Thrum'. It looks like this new Short Film has also come out of these sessions.
In this wonderful poetic film, you'll find Joe, together with Levon, playing some songs from 'Thrum' plus a narrative spoken by Joe. All these combined with the wonderful images. I usually seek words to describe what art does to me, but I'm going to limit it this time to explaining that this film blends in perfectly with everything I have already thought about, experienced around, and heard from 'Thrum'.

Steve Lippman accompanies the release of this clip with some musings on the time that has passed since he met Joe. A 'Mosaic of his memory' he calls it.  Make sure to read that.

I first met and collaborated with Joe Henry in the autumn of 2003, directing a short experimental film, Tiny Voices, featuring music from his album of the same name and fragments of hard-boiled monologues Joe wrote and spoke....continue reading.



Circling around this clip we discover two things to look forward to : In his musings, Steve Lippman writes :   "He(Joe) became part of the creative team of an ambitious project of mine not yet made."
And also : Joe's son, Levon. informs us that "Joe will be more publicly poem-ing in the near future..."(source : Facebook)

Ireland Performances

 

In the beginning of the month, I already discovered that Joe was performing a show in Ireland. That turned out to be just 1 date out of 5. Info and tickets about these dates you'll find on Joe's official pages.

I remain tempted to cross the waters over there, but it's a period for me that looks like it will not offer any time for such a luxury. But I'll keep that door open.


Apart from these 2 items there is not a lot of news to tell. The only thing that you can discover regarding possible productional projects, is a reply from Ryan Freeland to Joe on FB saying : "I'm all yours in 2 weeks". 

Greetings to all,
Stefan



donderdag 5 juli 2018

Performance in Ireland

1 more before we leave for the holidays.

According to http://bluegrassireland.blogspot.com/ Joe will be performing on september 15th at Leap Castle in Ireland.

Veteran promoter Tom Stapleton sends this message to all patrons of his shows at Leap Castle (above), Co. Offaly, between Birr and Roscrea, Co. Tipperary:

Lucy and myself thank you for support and interest in Leap Castle gigs and hope you continue to enjoy them. We are taking a break for the summer and will return with the great Joe Henry 15 Sept. Have a lovely summer.


Enjoy the Holidays,
I'll be back in a few weeks.
Greetings,
Stefan. 

zondag 24 juni 2018

Producing Rising Appalachia

Joe has spent his time at Stinston Beach SF, taking again the producer's seat. This time for Rising Appalachia

Led by the collective voice of sisters Leah and Chloe, and joined by their beloved band – percussionist Biko Casini and bassist/guitarist David Brown – Rising Appalachia is a melting pot of folk music simplicity, textured songwriting, and those bloodline harmonies that only siblings can pull off.
They bring to the stage a collection of sounds, stories, and songs steeped in tradition and a devotion to world culture. Intertwining a deep reverence for folk music and a passion for justice, they have made it their life’s work to sing songs that speak to something ancient yet surging with relevance. Whether playing at Red Rocks or in rail cars, at Italian street fairs or to Bulgarian herbalists, this fiercely independent band has blazed a unique and colorful path across the globe. 11 years into their movement, Rising Appalachia believes that the roots of all these old songs are vital to our ever evolving soundscape.


Here are some words from Rising Appalachia about this recording : 

There is no one we could have been more thankful for or inspired to work alongside. He listened to every take with cunning ear, sat through over 70 hours of live tracking, called forth the absolute finest in each of us, made room for the muses, & just generally held the role of “mystic” in the BIG seat of “producer” (NOT an easy task to combine those roles. Nor are we an easy band, full of our own headstrong madness and prowess!). And PLUS he out-dressed all of us for a whole week

We were cautious, nervous, unsure if we would feel like we “sold out” to an industry we have, by design, resisted. We courted the process slowly, and up until the last second we were skeptical about what this person would actually DO to our rustic, raw, and rebellious sound.
We were not an easy sell.


Joseph Lee Henry, a hat tipped off to you & a deep bow. You wrangled perhaps the most beautiful work out of us up to date & we incredibly inspired by the process you evoked. 



It took us many many MANY years to welcome another soul into our creative process. 13 to be exact exact...13 years where Chloe and I have conceptualized, produced, mixed, mastered, arranged, designed, tracked & touched EVERY single step of our recordings. We have taken deep pride in that laborious and mired process; the intense love & labor of birthing new work into the world. This time we opened our doors tentatively to a “producer”... a big wig in the studio with us. An outside ear to help guide and steer our song-babies. We were cautious, nervous, unsure if we would feel like we “sold out” to an industry we have, by design, resisted. We courted the process slowly, and up until the last second we were skeptical about what this person would actually DO to our rustic, raw, and rebellious sound. We were not an easy sell. 👁 👁 👁 Meet Joe Henry: in fact a legend, a true genius at his craft, some strange combo of John O’Donhue, Duke Ellington, Rasputin, & Tom Waits...with the soul of Billy Holiday & the eye of Frank Sinatra. He is an actual wizard! There is no one we could have been more thankful for or inspired to work alongside. He listened to every take with cunning ear, sat through over 70 hours of live tracking, called forth the absolute finest in each of us, made room for the muses, & just generally held the role of “mystic” in the BIG seat of “producer” (NOT an easy task to combine those roles. Nor are we an easy band, full of our own headstrong madness and prowess!). And PLUS he out-dressed all of us for a whole week đŸŽ© Joseph Lee Henry, a hat tipped off to you & a deep bow. You wrangled perhaps the most beautiful work out of us up to date & we incredibly inspired by the process you evoked. Glad to be joining your ranks of greatness alongside : TBone Burnett, Joan Baez, Solomon Burke, Bonnie Rait, Allen Toussaint, Aaron Neville, Meshell Ndegeocello, Salif Keita, Ani Difranco, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Madonna, Rambling Jack Elliot, Betty Levette, Liz Wright, and so many other proud musicians who have called you into their process. You are a wild legend. @joehenrymusic #risingappalachia #newalbumintheworks #joehenry
Een bericht gedeeld door Rising Appalachia (@risingappalachia) op

vrijdag 22 juni 2018

This too shall Light

Rolling Stone has more info on the Upcoming Amy Helm album.

It will be entitled 'This too shall light', and it will be released on September 21st.

The album will  feature originals alongside covers of songs by T Bone Burnett, Allen Toussaint, Blossom Dearie, Rod Stewart and even her late great dad Levon Helm's old group the Band.

'Recording took four days in L.A. , with no vocal overdubs and two takes or less on almost every song. To keep things fresh, Henry even went so far as asking Helm not to get to know the songs too well before the recording.'

"He (JH) did not want me to get too familiar with them," Helm says. "He wanted it to be undiscovered, and he had a very specific thing he wanted us to emulate – Delaney & Bonnie's album Motel Shot, which is very loose and live. That was our true North."

Listen to the title track:

 

woensdag 6 juni 2018

A few new live dates solo.



Joe announced 3 new solo performance dates : 12, 13, 14 July in Seatle, Portland and San Fransisco.

Check his website !

update 14 June.
Joe + band will be the supporting act for Mavis Staples during Americana Fest NYC on August 11th.
This is a free event. Seating is first come, first served, and gates open one hour prior to the performance.

vrijdag 1 juni 2018

Big Ears Knoxville (Book project)

Exciting News !

Photograher Kate Joyce is working on a photobook with photo's made during the Big Ears festival 2014-2018.



The book will consist of approximately 90 photographs, a download card with a selection of audio recordings from performances at Big Ears between 2014-2018, and essays by Rachel Grimes and Joe Henry.

The photographs were made under the influence of music. The book is a distinct visual experience that developed out of, and exists precisely because of, Big Ears.

More than 200 artists and bands have performed Big Ears between 2014-2018. During the five years that I traveled to Knoxville for Big Ears, I photographed some of the people on this list, but not nearly all of them. Of those I photographed, just a few will be in this book. I heard many of the performances, many were memorable and a few were life changing. I photographed during some of these performances, but most of them were un-photographable (better heard than seen). Sometimes I only photographed a sound check or rehearsal.

During my time at Big Ears, I also walked around Knoxville, leaving the theaters and clubs to make pictures on the streets. As I wandered, my mind remained tethered to the musical event.(Kate Joyce)

Find all the info on her website : https://www.kate-joyce.com/big-ears-knoxville-2018

In 2016, Joe Henry performed at the Big Ears Festival together with Marc Ribot.  


woensdag 23 mei 2018

Joan Baez, Brussels. 21 May 2018



When Joan Baez made her breakthrough, and became one of the important people in music, I wasn’t even  born yet. As a matter of fact, by the time I was 10, There was already a 2nd autobiography. Yep,  I’m just a 41 year old kiddo.  Off course, over the years you learn about her, what she stands for, and how important she is, and so there I sat Monday evening in Brussels BOZAR to see her perform. Unlike the most of the audience, I didn’t have a long history with her Music, or some kind of nostalgia. But if there is 1 thing the evening has proven, it is that you don’t need that history to enjoy her show.
At 77 (you read that correctly) she can sing beautifully, her guitar playing is so clear and she stands on that stage with strength, integrity and grace. A lot of today’s and tomorrow’s popular acts can only humbly bow in respect for that. If you see her perform, you understand why she is the legend, why she is that statue she became.

Joan entered the stage on her own for a few songs in a ‘Woman and guitar’ style. After a few songs she got backed up by, what she called, her Big Band consisting of Dirk Powell on strings and Piano and her son Gabriel on Percussion. She embraced her audience with warmth, and even put herself in a more difficult situation by trying to address the audience regularly in French. She sometimes had to think and search for her words, but it showed us how comfortable she is on stage. Most artists wouldn’t dare to do that, I’m sure. The audience appreciated this big time, and the first time they heard here speak French, it was welcomed with a big applause. It even got better when a music stand was brought on stage, and she asked us to wish her luck. And then she gave us a wonderful version of George Brassens’s 'Chanson pour L’Auvergnat’. A song dedicated to people who help out those who are treated as outcasts.



But it wasn’t over with baffling us in understanding our culture of French Chansons. As a matter of fact, it seems it baffled her as well. Near the end of show, during a 1th (of 3) encores, she started singing ‘Le temps des cerises’, a song dating back to 1866 written by Jean Baptiste ClĂ©ment. She didn’t say what she was going to sing, she simply asked us to help her out. When she sang the first few words, she literally had to step back 2 steps to take in the overwhelming sound of a sold-out Bozar singing along immediately.  It was no surprise to me that something like that would happen. If I want my mother to sing a long with something, I just have to put on this song, and she’ll start singing it from th heart. This is part of our cultural Heritage. The song was inspired by a trip of ClĂ©ment in Flanders and coming across a house surrounded by cherry trees. It was a controversial song at the time, since it was also interpreted as a metaphor for the ongoing Revolution happening in Paris at the time.

Quand nous chanterons le temps des cerises
Et gai rossignol et merle moqueur
Seront tous en fĂȘte 
(When we sing of cherry time
and the happy nightingale and the mockingbird/mocking blackbird
all be celebrating)

Monday evening was an evening full of old songs and new songs from her latest album. We received a wonderful ‘The President sang Amazing Grace’, and an impressive ‘Whistle down the wind’. I say impressive, because since I heard Joan Baez do this, I identify this song completely with her. As if T. Waits wrote it for her, before he even knew it. Those who know me personally, understand this is a big thing for me to say.
From the latest album, the song ‘Another World’ originally from ANOHI, proved how songs still can grow after they have been recorded. In resemblance with the album version, this was a much stronger performance. The soundman put a reverb on the microphone, so you’d litteraly could hear the words disappearing. (Or where that reflections coming from the acoustics of the room ? I was sitting under a balcony.) Anyway, it fits perfectly with this song. “I need another world, this one’s nearly gone" she sings. It’s a song originally about taking care of this earth, because we are destroying it. But when someone sings it at this moment in a life, it easily becomes a song about mortality.
Diamonds and Rust’, a song about her relationship with Bob Dylan was performed as a duet with a fantastic strong voice by Grace Stumberg. The lighting was set, so that we could see 2 huge shadows in the back. It was like the song was sung by 2 ghosts from the past. It only strengthened the already strong version of this song. At a moment Joan started laughing out loud, and explained the need to change the lyrics from ‘10 years ago’ to ‘50 years ago’.
The entire show was build up with strong performances of the songs, very early on we received 'Deportee (Planewreck at Los Gatos)' (Guthrie) A song about deported Mexicans, who’s plane never made it to Mexico. They had no names, they where just called Deportees. It got the house quiet, and I must admit, when it was done I kept myself from standing up to applaud for it. It’s a song from 70 years ago, but still so relevant. Especially over here, where we live in a hardened atmosphere against refugees. A couple of days ago a van full of refugees, was shot by the police. A 2 year old child died…..

“They where only refugees”

This is an atmosphere that hangs in the air with a big part of the population around here, and it angers and frightens me. I guess it also did with a lot of others in the audience. Only for that song already I thank you Joan Baez.

'Imagine' from John Lennon, was the first encore and became a sing a long. A few more songs to go  and then she came back a last time and signalled us she needed to go to sleep and so did we. 

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do 
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living in peace

There are so man reasons to thank her for this concert. Everyone will have their reason. It is clear now, that no matter if you’re old or young, this is a must see concert. So go out and enjoy her music live while you can. Because this is her :


Fare thee well tour.



Greetings,
Stefan.

Setlist : 
There but Fortune / God is God / Farewell, Angelina / Whistle Down the Wind / Silver blade / It’s all over now, Baby Blue / Deportee (Planewreck at Los Gatos) / The things that we are made of / Diamonds & Rust /  Me and Bobby McGee / Another World / Chanson pour l’Auvergnat / The President sang Amazing Grace / Joe Hill / Seven Curses / Silver Dagger / The House of the Rising Sun // Imagine / Le Temps des cerises // The Boxer // Swing Low Chariot

zaterdag 19 mei 2018

'Love in Wartime' : what it does to me


In my last post about this album I didn’t give you a huge description of this album. You had to discover it yourself.

I wrote that after I went to see Birds of Chicago in Den Bosch. That’s where I purchased the album, and I listened to it a lot since then. You still must discover the album yourself, but I want to give you here my personal reception of this album. What it means to me.

The title of the album ‘Love in Wartime’ is a very accurate choice for a title, and after you have heard the title track, there is no way that love didn’t reach you. It is such a warm song. The album is also full of musically strong songs. 'Lodestar', for example, has a wonderful build up, and 'Baton Rouge' is a worthy praise of this city. It’s a place full of history and art, but at the same time it has its social difficulties to deal with. When you get to see BOC, this is 1 of those songs that will lift you up. It will make you start to dance and dream. Hearing this song live, is going to be one of your long-lasting memories.

The album’s first words are making sure you understand what you are going to receive in this album. In a nice up-tempo 'Never go back' we are urged to act now, and start to love. 
“I’ve come here today
To give you the news
There’s time for it all
But no time to lose”
So let's get on with that. 



'Try' is 1 of those songs that show us what great singers BOC are. It sounds like a profoundly cry-out to ask us to find that lost spark in ourselves. That spark that gave us the energy to fulfill our dreams. Dreams of a better world. Somehow down the road we gave up on that.
"I don’t think that I can carry
This heavy load all on my own
But man if you’re still in game
You and I can carve our names
In hidden caves and giant oaks"

Vocally, Musically and lyrically they touch you when you hear it, and I’m sure we all can see that spark after hearing this song. Do we answer it, or do we ignore it ?  There are so many people I personally like to address this song to.

"you used to swim against the tide
Now you use your intelligence to justify giving in"

'Roisin Starchild' is maybe my favorite song of the album. First of all it’s another example of what a great singer Allison is. But even more important is the notion that I can’t think of another song that is so heartbreaking and at the same time extremely hope-giving. How do you do that ? It’s a gift if you can write and sing like that. There is not 1 time I listened to it, without becoming a little emotional.

And then we end at the core of this album. ‘We need a superlover’. And we all can be that. The song gently rocks you like a little baby. But it doesn’t rock you asleep. It rocks you into a ………

 you know the answer.


Greetings,
Stefan

woensdag 9 mei 2018

Heath Cullen, Jim Keltner & Joe

'The Industry Observer' published an overview of Australian fundings for Musical projects.

One of them stated :

Singer songwriter Heath Cullen receives ...  to record a new album in LA with Grammy award winning producer Joe Henry and drummer Jim Keltner .

Heath Cullen, was the opening act for Joe's 2014 Australian tour. 
and for Jim Keltner, is there anyone he hasn't worked with yet ? Check his credits at allmusic.  He was for example a musician on Joe's own 'Tiny Voices'.



Some info on 'The Industry Observer'.
The Industry Observer is a B2B news and analysis tool for the Australasian industry.
Helping record labels, artist managers, peak industry bodies and rights-holders navigate the local and international markets with honest, insightful content, The Industry Observer is just as accessible to the local songwriter with international ambitions as it is to a major label chairman.
The Industry Observer was founded in January 2017 by Seventh Street Media, Australia’s largest music media publisher with Tone Deaf, The Brag, Don’t Bore Us and J Play under its umbrella.

I must say, I am a bit disappointed they headline it as 'Free Money for...'.
A lot of people are going to work for that money, and that's just to start with...

Greetings,
Stefan

donderdag 3 mei 2018

Love in War

Today, ‘Love in War’, the new album by Birds of Chicago is released. It follows the EP 'American Flowers', which was released last November.
If you loved their 2016 Album ‘Real Midnight’, you have no other option then to continue their story. Where ‘Real Midnight’ was Chapter 1, 'American Flowers' is the last page preparing you for Chapter 2 : 'Love in War'.

'American Flowers' is musically close to Real Midnight, but addresses already the thoughts from 'Love in War'.
‘Real Midnight’ showed us the need to look after each other, in darker times. ‘Love in War’ has this idea as a starting point. It’s the continuing saga. We live in troubled times, and sometimes we don’t see the love, but it is there. It is people like BOC that show us this.

The song American Flowers is already a seed for that. In true Woody Guthrie style it shows us the good things that are happening in the world.  The things that we pay too little attention to, because it are only the problems which we discus.

I have seen American flowers all across this land
From the banks of the Shenandoah, along the Rio Grande
Do not fear the winter blowing in the hearts of men
I have seen American flowers they will bloom again

Leonard Cohen told us the light comes in through the cracks, BOC show us the flowers growing out of dry land.

Alright Alright is a song that sounds like a spring day, and you’re part of a fun dancing street parade. A song for our Children, their future, a future that our generation is preparing for them. How can and should they take it further ? If we make it alright, then they will be alright.
The EP ends with Allison spoiling us with the gift of her voice, and proofs she is ready to become a great French-speaking Jazz singer.


You can feel it near and far
It fades the moon and blinds the stars
That’s a Super lover
Are you a Super lover ?


'Love in War' begins with a song that expresses the urgency to love, but maybe the most important song on the album is Super lover. What do we need to rise above our current troubled society ? We need a Super lover, Something we can all be.

You know.... I could give you my song-to-song interpretation of it all, but you must discover it yourself. It’s a story about love and life. And it’s packed in a work of Art. I really love the cover design of the album. In fact : I already regret not buying the Vinyl version, for the simple reason to put that stunning artwork on display in the house for every visitor to enjoy.



They already know this, I'm sure of that, but we never say it enough. I really love Birds of Chicago. As a band, but also each of them as a human being. They are the most warmest people you can imagine, and they are currently touring in Europe. I went to see them and had a wonderful evening. An evening full of comfort, laughter, dancing,… Life.  A concert in 2 parts. Before the break, they spread a musical blanket all over us and made us feel at home. And now that we felt comfortable, a more joyeus 2nd part of the show entertained us all. And even lifted us from our chairs.  When the houselights went on again, I saw happy people, going back in the world with renewed spirits.

Greetings,
Stefan

This evening Birds of Chicago have 1 more show in Belgium, and then it is of to Ireland, the UK and Scotland.

dinsdag 1 mei 2018

'The Nomad' by Guy Pearce


'The Nomad' is the upcoming album by Guy Pearce produced by Joe Henry. It was recorded in the summer of 2016. 


'The Nomad' was an very personal and raw experience for me. It came as a result of my marriage ending in January of 2015. After going on the road to tour ‘Broken Bones’ in February I then started work on new material. As much as it delves into the melancholy at times it does allow for that beautiful ‘silver lining’ that keeps us going in life. It was such a joy to collaborate with my old pal Joe Henry at ‘United Recording’ in LA. What an amazing and historic studio, and working with the musicians Joe invited in was a truly inspiring and uplifting process.


Yesterday Guy Pearce announced that it will be released on July 6th.



On his website you can find the tracklist, lyrics, Credits,...

1 year before recording this album, Guy already shared a version of the titletrack with us.



To celebrate the release of this album, Guy will perform a one-off intimate show at the Playhouse Theatre in Melbourne this 8 July.  tickets 
(source)

zondag 29 april 2018

Filming/Taking pictures during concerts


It was during Lizz Wright’s concert in Brussels that I really got confronted again with the consequences of smartphones during live concerts. For example, in the past I’ve seen people checking their social media during concerts, but it is another thing that I’d like to talk about this time:

Taking pictures or filming during a concert. 


The thing that frustrated me the most was the filming, or taking snapshots using a flashlight. If I’m at a concert I’d like to focus on the stage, not the seats around me. Because that’s what the flashlight does. It illuminates a huge part of the audience and takes away your focus from what’s happening on stage. If someone is sitting in front of you, and is filming, you are distracted by that little screen. What people do during a show is not really my business, but the person in front of me was even showing the clip he just filmed to his companion sitting next to him, and because of that, they completely missed out on the song being performed live in front of us, and it was affecting my experience of the concert. There you had Lizz Wright, singing ‘Grace’… live. You will never be able to have such an experience looking at a screen. You just have to witness it completely live and feel what that does to you!

I decided a while ago, not to do it anymore. Yes, you read it correctly: ‘Decided’ and ‘not anymore’. Indeed, I used to do it occasionally. What was the reason I did it? It turned out to be a question much easier to ask, then to answer. It really got me thinking. I concluded that I did it because, on social media, I liked (and still like) to share my experience of concerts, and with that, I wanted to offer some visuals with it. I am one of those ‘smartphone less’ dinosaurs, so I took a small camera with me, that fitted in my jacket or in my backpack. I was conscience, in advance, that I was going to take pictures. I didn’t do it with every concert. The one concert was dearer to me than the other, and that triggered me to take pictures. So there lays the reason I completely stopped doing it.

If the concert is so dear to me? Why don’t I simply enjoy it? Why am I occupying myself with that device, instead of just enjoying the concert? I truly have a much bigger experience of a concert if I just look at it and am not trying to look at a camera to check the frame.

So that’s me dealing with this issue. I didn’t evolve to stopping with it, I actually decided it at a certain moment. You will read a little further that there still are sometimes events that I am taking pictures. It’s always work related, so I’m not really enjoying a night out, but I’m actually at work. I’m not saying this to look for excuses, I just want to paint the entire picture.

Filming or taking photos during shows is something that happens very commonly these days, but not everywhere. For example in theater it is generally accepted not to use a camera. But theater is, like concerts, a live stage art. Why does it work there, and not in all stage arts? During Classical concerts there is also a bigger tendency to keep the device in your pocket. Is it because these are more formal events? Is it because we learned in school, with such arts, that you should focus on the play in order to experience it all, and not distract artists or other audience members? No one ever told us, the same counts for more popular shows. I think it does.
So why do we do it during concerts? Reflecting on that, the following possibilities came to mind.

  • You want to give the opportunity to others, who were not there, to have a glimpse of the show. This is something that already existed long before smartphones and social media were invented. Bootlegs have been made ever since music could be recorded. The differences with the past are that bootlegs used to be rare, because not everyone had the gear, and you really had to do it sneaky. If you got caught, you had no taping. Also, the rest of the audience weren’t distracted by it, since it happened sneakingly.
  • Perhaps you just want to take a bit of the experience home with you, to re-live it in the following days. Personally, I don’t think that is possible. You missed an experience during the show, and never can re-live it afterwards.
  • It could be a reflex. We are so used to doing everything with our phone. From the moment we wake up, we are almost constantly involved with it. It becomes hard to leave it in your pocket. It feels weird not using it.
  • Perhaps you were asked by someone else to take footage for them. A position where I find myself sometimes in. Although I’m not a professional photographer, at that moment I’m making work-related pictures. The organization is in these cases informed of what and why I’m taking pictures. But I am aware that I probably am distracting other people.
  • Maybe you just want to show your friends, and the world that you were there, and they missed out.
  • Quite possibly there are other reasons as well….

 How do we need to deal with this phenomenon? I don’t know. The one audience member is more sensitive to it than another, and the same goes for artists. Some artists integrate the use of devices in their shows, others don't want you to use it. An artist can address his audience about it when he prefers that you don’t do it. As an audience member it is tougher to speak up about it. You have a slight chance to piss of the ones who are filming, and completely ruin the evening for yourself, and everyone around you.

There is another element about it. Now I only spoke of shooting yourself, but what with clips you find on the internet, clips other people made? I use them on social media, even on this blog. I am aware these are made in a fashion I just criticized. In a way, these are all documentations of something that happened. You have the ‘official information’ coming from live DVD’s, professional photographers, official live streams…. And then you have the ‘unofficial footage’, and that can also be worth it.
There are events that happen, maybe one time, maybe only in 1 continent, … where no ‘official’ footage exists. (or is released). Yes, then I’m happy someone else filmed it.
Sometimes someone filmed in such a specific angle or view, you can witness something closely that you were normally never able to see: A solo from a musician, an unforeseen moment,…. Yes, then I’m happy someone filmed that.

When I went to see Jack White perform a few years ago, the audience was asked not to take pictures or film during the show. There would be enough good pictures of every show on his website. Off course that didn’t stop people doing it, so now he doesn’t want people bringing their smartphones. I don’t see how you are going to organize that on such a scale. He is sensitive to it, and I think we should respect that. But what would make it possible for people to keep the device in their pocket? …. I don’t know.

All I want to ask or give as a reflection on this phenomenon are 2 things: If you like to film, don’t use flashlights. They are extremely annoying. And secondly, I’d like you to ask yourself: “Why am I filming/taking pictures?  Is it really worth it for me, or others? "

I hope to see all of you at concerts and enjoy it together. And yes, it is true, if you got to shoot something that shows us something of exceptional value, then I’m glad you shot it.
Greetings,
Stefan.

Note: Brussels venue Ancienne Belgique (where I saw Lizz Wright) participated in an audience survey.
  • 30% of AB visitors would welcome a ban on filming with smartphones was 1 of the results.


zaterdag 28 april 2018

Bremenconcert February 10, 2018 is available


(Brussels, 5 February 2018)


On February 10, Joe performed in Bremen, Germany. It was recorded for a radiobroadcast.  The concert was part of the tour to promote his latest album 'Thrum'.

The radiobroadcast is now available as a download.
you can find it on German blog 'Radiohoerer' . the 'Link Zur Datei' leads you to the file. I downloaded it, and faced no problem at all. 'Radiohoerer' seems to be a really interesting blog. It has a lot of great livemusic as a stream or download.
Great discovery !

Anyway, in my humlbe opinion this is an excellent recording, of a great show with stellar performances of several songs. It brings back memories to when I went to see him, although I think his playing in Bremen sounds a little more gentle than what I witnessed in Brussels. No critique at all, every concert is different, and I wished I also could have attended this one. 

Playlist :
from this year's tour :
Trampoline / Lead me on / After the War / Climb / Believer / Now and Never / Sold / Odetta / Our Song / God only knows / Grave Angels / Short man's room / Hungry / Keep us in song / Eyes out for You /// Love is Enough / For the Good Times
From his 2014 concert in Bremen : 
Invisible Hour / The Man I keep Hid / You can't fail me now / Monkey(cut off)


But I went to see him perform in Brussels, this was my experience.


woensdag 18 april 2018

Grace, Lizz Wright & Brussels




Yesterday morning, the newspaper reported of a Gay-couple who have been attacked in the center of Brussels on Monday night.... I hope I didn't scare you away now, but I wanted to start with the knowledge that I'm not naive in it all. We live in a world we all have things we don't understand. A group of people don't want to open up for things they don't understand, and within that group there are people who want to aggressively scare away, the things they don't understand. A few months ago, there was a wave of organized vandalism in the city. It wasn't the first and it won't be the last reporting of such things. No, I'm not naive in it...

But on Monday evening I was in that same Brussels to go and see Lizz Wright perform. I saw a different reality. It was real because I witnessed it, so it's also reality. One that doesn't make it to the newspapers.

It started when I stepped off the train and found my way towards the exit. A refugee addressed me, like he probably tries to address as many people as he can to try to make his family make it through today (to start with). As a farewell he said: “Thank you for looking at me."
With that 1 sentence he explained the most important thing when we don't understand each other. Don't turn away, open up, listen and look at each other.

I had some time before the concert started, so I strolled through the center in that beautiful evening with spring in the air. I witnessed a community full of different people. Ethnical, religious, interests, .... But everyone enjoyed the evening together, made fun together, listened to music and performed together. 2 cyclists bumped in to each other and people cared, helped and comforted. There was no fear at all in the air. Those of you who have been following me a bit know that a couple of years ago I wrote with a different tone when I was here. Also, the center of Brussels is a huge construction site currently. The 4-lane street, that cut the center in 2 is being adjusted to walking space, with water and green elements in it. Small narrow stairs to the subway station are opened and widened. Big ugly, old, empty buildings are taken down, and suddenly beautiful places are connected again. Light is coming in.

It was a wonderful appetizer for Lizz Wright's concert. She presented us a concert of older songs, and songs from her latest album Grace. She opened with 'Barley', followed by an amazing rendition of Neil Young's 'old man'. The evening went from one fantastic experience to the other. What an amazing voice she has. And!... What a talented band accompanied her. Chris Bruce on Guitar, Bobby Sparks on the Keys, Nicolas D'Amato on Bass and Brannen Temple on Drums.
The only thing I missed were those wonderful backing vocals on songs like 'Grace' and 'Seems I'm never tired of loving you'. Wouldn't it be amazing if suddenly a curtain opened behind her, and an entire Gospel Choir was there? The place would have exploded!  A well filled Ancienne Belgique embraced her and the band, and had the most wonderful evening. Several people tried to take that feel home with them on their smartphone, but we all know that is impossible. What we did all hoped for as being possible was that the concert lasted longer. But hey,... the time spent can't be taken away.

What more can I say, then the honest fact that I hope everyone can witness such an evening,

Greetings,
Stefan.

dinsdag 17 april 2018

All the things that I did & All the things that I didn't do

By extending their language to a band and reimagining the boundaries around what acoustic-centered two-part harmony can sound like, "All The Things That I Did and All The Things That I Didn't Do" carries listeners down a river and out into the open sea.(ANTI records)



'All the things that I did & All the things that I didn't do' is the title of the upcoming new release by the Milk Carton Kids. It will be released on June 29, 2018 on ANTI records. 
Today they launched their renewed website, with this info. You can pre-order the album on the site.

According to ANTI recordsit's not just the addition of the band here that creates something new. National politics left Ryan feeling disoriented and mournful. Pattengale’s relationship of seven years ended, and he found himself unexpectedly needing surgery for cancer. (He is cancer-free now, and accidentally broke his cigarette habit in the process.)
Though they didn't approach the new album conceptually, a theme of shattered realities began to emerge out of the songs that sparked to life. Recent events provided a bruising background for the record, yet the project is somehow bigger than any personal grief. Two-part harmonies ride acoustic guitars high above the haunting landscape created by the presence of the band, as if Americana went searching for a lost America.
If previous Milk Carton Kids productions recall plaintive missives from a faraway hometown, these songs sound more intimate, like a tragic midnight knock at your front door.
The album ricochets between familiar styles and experimental songs. "Just Look at Us Now" rejects easy sentiment, suggesting that hindsight only reveals how badly things have turned out. "It's a terrifying place to be," says Ryan, "when everything seemed to be going fine." The stunned "Mourning in America" holds up an atmospheric Polaroid from the Midwest—as Ryan explains it, "what it feels like to live in a country you thought you knew."



They already have 1 song for you to discover on their Spotify page.



Make sure to read at NPR's 'all things considered'  why they released this 10+minutes song, which is epic in length in comparison to their previous work.
The article also learns us, that the album will feature 12 songs. Other songs include :

one of their biggest departures, "Nothing Is Real," neither of The Milk Carton Kids plays guitar. Describing the recording session for it, Pattengale says, "That was one of the days we had maybe ten people in studio. The way that I connected to the song was by playing it on the piano. When we were in studio and having trouble figuring out the angle, I thought, 'Why don't we use the piano, and assign each person a part of what I'm playing?' That song used my piano part almost as if we were writing an arrangement."
Inside the theme of shattered realities that wires the album together, even elliptical songs somehow become direct. The lyrics for "Blindness," when set to music, acquired an unnerving undertone.
Western influences on "Younger Years" gallop over a snaking clarinet and under vocals looking for something to salvage from sorrow ("Love inside our hearts / is the only kind of savior we've been sent"). "You Break My Heart" features Pattengale's solo vocals. Harmony turns "I've Been Loving You" into visceral grief. "For much of my life I've avoided that kind of intimacy and immediacy in my own writing," says Pattengale, "but you have to leave your blood on the page. It's wonderful, but it can also be a terrifying thing."
"Big Time" brings the energy of their live performances into the studio. "The goal was actually to record this one with a string band," Ryan says. "So everybody was in the room together. Lyrically, this one deals in the most hopeful way with some of the themes of the record."
The atmosphere on much of the album is both lush and spare, like waking up at night to find yourself on an ice floe that has drifted far from shore. "A Sea of Roses" traces its narrator's burial wishes, while "Unwinnable War" went through a metamorphosis as it developed. "If these are the sides we're staking out, no one side or the other can win," says Ryan. "We lose sight of the damage the battle does."
The title track, "All the Things…" presents a ledger of the countless tiny moments in a relationship from the vantage point of its passage into memory. ("The story of how the end came to be. How you became you. How I became me.")
(ANTI press release)

 NPR has some words from Joe as well.

  Joe told me(NPR) in an email that he's "been witness to the pan of their shared camera from wide cultural observance to a tighter focus of introspection. Even when gesturing broadly to our national traumas ('Mourning In America,' one fine example). And as they have sharpened their focus, Kenneth and Joey have expanded their sound — opened the fences to invite in fresh characters who throw shade and new depths of color, placing smaller stories within broader frames — acknowledging greater range while amplifying the intimacy inherent to their essential duet.
Joe Henry went on to say that there is "nary a better example of this balance than 'One More For the Road.' We feel the storm gathering. But though this road is dark and perilous, it doesn't go on forever."

And to be complete : 1 more musician is mentioned, that you can't find on yesterday's post.




maandag 16 april 2018

The Milk Carton Kids & Band

A while ago I already posted some little insights on the fact, that a new album by The Milk Carton Kids, produced by Joe, featured also other people then Kenneth and Joey alone.

Over the last few weeks they teased us a bit with short clips on their social media. Today they gave us a small video from in the studio, presenting us everyone around.





We can see :
Paul Kowert from the punch brothers : Double Bass
Dennis Crouch : Double Bass
Russ Pahl : Pedal Steel Guitar, Mandolin and Electric Guitar
Brittany Haas : Fiddle and Mandolin
Pat Sansone from WILCO : Hammond Organ, Mellotron and Piano
Nat Smith : Cello, Octave Mandolin and Hammond Organ
Jay Bellerose : Drums
Levon Henry : Reeds

And off Course : Joe Henry with Ryan Freeland behind the Desk .
In my earlier post we also saw Lindsay Loubelly singing with them. On the musicstand in front of her, a song entitled 'Big Time'.

We are expecting 'The Milk Carton Kids + band'. That's for sure now.


maandag 9 april 2018

Bremen concert to be aired on April 14.

Joe's concert in Bremen last February was recorded for radio Bremen. (They also recorded his concert when he toured with Invisible Hour a few years back)

You can listen to it on saturday, April 14th at 22:00h (European time).

You have on the webpage a button 'Jetzt anhören' . That is the livestream of the radiostation. So click that next staurday at 22h.


vrijdag 6 april 2018

The Amy Helm album is on the Horizon.

So far, we had little insights on the upcoming Amy Helm Album that Joe produced.

Poughkeepsie journal gives us the following info.

Helm’s second annual Woodshed Residency Tour comes as she is gearing up to release a new record produced by musician Joe Henry. The album is scheduled for release in 2018. 
Helm and Henry during their own performances dig deep. They share with their audiences a nuanced framework of artistic expression that roars with passion.

Underscoring it all is musical momentum that relies on sharp attention to detail. A project that features Henry and Helm should offer many dimensions. And you can get a sense of it all beginning this weekend.


Update :Timesunion tells us, it will be released in September.

On her new album, slated for a September release, Helm placed control in the hands of Joe Henry, a producer noted for his work with Billy Bragg, Bonnie Raitt, Joan Baez, Aaron Neville and Allen Toussaint.
"I wanted this to really be a Joe Henry record, so I was very happy to hand it over" Helm said. "He has his own environment he creates sonically. I was drawn to how specifically connected he is with the singer; he has a way of letting a voice ring.
"We did the album in a very different way," she said, noting that its 13 songs were recorded live with no overdubs over the course of four days. "None of this was familiar; it wasn't the Barn, it wasn't Woodstock. It was a completely new thing at a studio in L.A. It challenged me to dig in."

vrijdag 30 maart 2018

'God only knows' in the eyes of P. Otten

On this Easter weekend, I'm sharing someone else's thoughts on Joe's song : 'God only knows'

I came across this text this week, and I wanted to give the opportunity to the non-german speakers, a chance to read it. So I made this translation.
You can read the original version on theosalon.blogspot.


This is a song that lures you to look at life with mercy. Because Mercy says: The world is better with you than without you. About "God Only Knows" by Joe Henry.

- By Peter Otten



A friend brought this song to my attention, and after several listens, I thought: it fits wonderfully in these times. In how long it is no longer black against white, lie against truth, fake against news, me against you, yes against no, all these things that are defined against us. We are somehow in a time of sharp contours. No place for the in between. No room for pastel. No resonance space for intermediate tones. "We'd almost lost the heart to know" sings Joe Henry. " How to keep our best in mind."

'The best of me'. At first, I had to think about what that is for me: ‘the best of me’ - It's nice that someone is singing it. I nearly would have forgotten about it. But what is the best of me? I could list all kinds of talents now or things like that. However. Joe Henry seems to be on a different level. The best of you is the ability to look with Mercy to the world.

Mercy is a strange, antique word that we do not use in everyday life so often. I know it from movies about knights: where a warrior swings his sword over someone vanquished and decides in the next second whether victory plays out his power and takes the life of the vanquished, begging for mercy. In movies, It always implies power changes. A warrior lets his power go. And by letting go of his power, the other is left in dependency. He owes the other man that he is well. That he lives on.
But it actually means something else. Mercy is that extra that someone gives without him having to. Without hidden motives. Out of an inner exuberance, a positive mood, feeling of affection. A love for life, creation, or an other person. Mercy comes from an attitude of love for life, love of life, affection for other creatures. Mercy means: The world is better with you than without you. And I want you to be well, that you live well, that you have all the life you need. I want you to have your luck. No matter who you are. In French there is a term gratuitĂ©. It’s not so easy to translate, but it describes much better than the German term gnade, what it is about. GratuitĂ© means that extra that someone gives that’s not at all necessary, that extra that no one releases, gives, puts in the bag - not to buy another one, or to prove his power to him. GratuitĂ© is the more without hidden motive. It is the unnecessary more that no one can simply expect, but that has only one purpose, namely, that you fare well. Your well-being makes the world a better place.

But the world is not like that, Joe Henry knows that. It has an angry face. People are acting unforgiving. The use of will and power does not automatically give you the right, neither yours or our freedom. Automatically nothing works here.

But what should be done? Joe Henry grabs an image. He describes a loving couple who may be embracing down the street. Both lovers create a retreat, "a full retreatment", a retreat, a kind of space capsule. In a sense, the two of them create a secluded, mild perspective on each other - and with that : on the world as well. “The worst of life looks beautiful as it slips away in full retreat " The world is beautiful when viewed from a hideaway. Out of a kind of space rasp, which creates the view for what is actually necessary : that people can be happy.

So this song asks for your refuge, your retreatment, your space capsule.

Perhaps it is the space capsule of the togetherness that attracts people to the exuberance that mercy also contains. Being together, being safe in one another, love - maybe this retreatment - whatever it is – it seduces people to do more.

Sometimes this ‘more’ is no more than just letting go of your own personal interests. Not to overlook one's own weaknesses or weaknesses of others, but not to make one's own attitude the sole standard. Sometimes it's just that: let the joy of life just take you, no matter where.
This is a song that entices you not to forget the best of you: to be gracious to the world, to look at life, yourself and me and others. All this with an attitude of gratuitĂ©, that uncalculated More. With generosity. With an open view. Friendly. Honored. Mildly. Not immediately surmise and see restrictions where there are none. This is not a song for the discerning, but a song that sings of generosity. Because even the God over whom Joe Henry sings, can only be imagined generously, not as a whiner. “God only knows that we mean well, God knows that we just don't know how.” Even when it doesn’t always work.

Now isn’t that a comforting Easter image.  Sing if you can : “But I'll try to be your light in love, and pray that it’s enough for now”.

That’s enough. That’s GratuitĂ©,  that’s the best of you.