A blog for Joe Henry fans

donderdag 30 augustus 2018

Producing Rhiannon Giddens

The Ghost is out of the bottle....

Photographer Laura Aurora spoke out loud, what all of us were (well I was) hoping...

"Had an amazing few days filming behind the scenes with @rhiannongiddens and @fraturrisi who have just recorded an INCREDIBLE album with @joehenrymusic producing, making magic happen."

This is some of the most exciting news concerning Joe's production work for me. Ever since 'Tomorrow is my Turn', it was verry natural for me that one day, Rhiannon would also work with Joe behind the desk. T bone Burnett is Joe's Mentor, and Rhiannon and Joe have worked together on previous occasions  (Carolina Chocolat Drops, Wexford Carols, Birds of Chicago,...)

So yes, I'm really looking forward to this one.


zaterdag 25 augustus 2018

dinsdag 21 augustus 2018

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.


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

remains ex-

actly what you

first took

be that bright

noon calling
a passing

car the

voice of

herself she



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


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.


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 !

dinsdag 7 augustus 2018

Aspen Ideas Festival

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


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 ? 

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.