A blog for Joe Henry fans

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. 

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