Joe Henry schedules winter Midwest dates

JH_2019_4In addition to his upcoming appearance at Big Ears in Knoxville, Joe Henry has scheduled his first tour dates in a long while. Here’s hoping a few more are still to come.

Solo acoustic:

  • Feb. 20 – The Dakota, Minneapolis
  • Feb. 22 – Old Town School of Folk, Chicago
  • Feb. 23 – The Ark, Ann Arbor, MI

Joe Henry’s 115th Dream (with Jay Bellerose, David Piltch, Jason Moran, Levon Henry & Marc Ribot):

  • Mar. 26-29 – Big Ears Festival, Knoxville, TN

Joe Henry’s The Gospel According To Water released today

The wait is over, and today marks the release of Joe Henry’s new album, The Gospel According To Water.

Head over to JH’s website to hear each track and read introductions to each by some of Joe’s close artistic friends.

A few must-reads about the record:

New tracks and video from The Gospel According to Water

With two weeks to go until the release of his new record The Gospel According to Water (November 15), Joe Henry asked some friends on Twitter to introduce tracks from the new album.

You can hear the leadoff track “Famine Walk” over at JH’s website, which was debuted by Rosanne Cash.

Update: Additional tracks are up at JH’s site, introduced by Lucinda Williams, Elvis Costello and Jackson Browne (and more to come, I imagine).

Additionally, there is a new track on Spotify “In Time for Tomorrow”, which features Birds of Chicago on backing vocals.

Finally, there is video shot by frequent JH photographer Jacob Blickenstaff, which is titled 3’40” and set to the debut track “Bloom”

Joe Henry to play album release show at Largo (Nov. 15)

To celebrate the release of his forthcoming record, The Gospel According To Water, JH will appear at Largo at the Coronet on November 15 (also the release date for the album).

According to his social media posts, Joe will perform the album in its entirety with some special guests in tow.

Tickets available here.

New Joe Henry record ‘The Gospel According To Water’ to be released November 15

As many of you probably know by now, in late 2018, Joe Henry received a difficult cancer diagnosis that would sideline his early 2019 tour dates and, without a doubt, present him with unforeseen challenges throughout the year.

JH triumphantly returns with a new album The Gospel According To Water on November 15 – one year to the day after receiving his diagnosis. Originally intended as demo recordings, the two-day sessions blossomed into a fully realized a record with the help of several frequent collaborators. Levon Henry, David Piltch, Patrick Warren and John Smith – all tried and true musical compatriots – dropped in to add their immeasurable talents to the mix.

You can pre-order the vinyl and CD at Joe’s website, as well as order some limited edition prints by Jacob Blickenstaff which were taken at Largo when JH appeared there in July.

In the press release, JH provides his own thoughts…

The album is called The Gospel According To Water. It was recorded over two days this past June —and fairly blind-sided me, when I thought I was merely making reference demos of thirteen new songs ahead of forgetting them. All but two of these songs were written between Valentines and Fathers Days; all having flowered from the black earth of recent experience —namely a cancer diagnosis late last fall that left me reeling —though, as well, set into motion many wild blessings and positive shifts in my life, along with an unprecedented songwriting flurry. 

With only a handful of friends playing in support, I entered the studio and tore through these songs with determination and joyful abandon, then went home. I had let nothing clutter or distract me from their essential and true heart; and upon waking the morning after, I understood that something significantly more had transpired —that the songs as articulated had sparked an ember that somehow remained bright and alive before me, moving beyond my expectations.

I unexpectedly heard the songs as complete, and vividly so; and knew that the casual circumstances had not limited my expression but in fact liberated me from the cloying aim for posterity that can make weighty any session, and landed me instead in a place both unencumbered by the past and unattached to futures.

Though they have all grown out of darkness, I don’t believe any of these songs themselves to be “dark” in nature, nor about the circumstance that prompted their discovery. In them, I hear the re-accessing of my imagination and its greater invitation; hear deep gratitude, and a compassion toward self that I don’t always possess; an optimism I did not know I’d allowed to flourish.

These recordings are raw and wirey and spare because the songs insisted they be. But I believe them to be as wholly realized —as “produced” as anything I’ve touched, as well as being deeply and fundamentally romantic: in love with life, even when that life founders and threatens to disappear; lustfully aglow, not in spite of storm but because of one.

Come November, then, I will hand this all over —while the sky is bright, and leaves are still turning and descending —the days listing as they grow brisk and shorter. 

Just in time for Thanksgiving.

The Light of All We’ve Lost: Over the Rhine gets taken for everything

Josh Hurst – my favorite authority on Joe Henry, not to mention Over The Rhine – has posted a wonderful review of OtR’s new record…

Josh Hurst

love and revelation

The first thing you should know about Over the Rhine: All their favorite people are broken. They’ve spent the last decade closing most of their concerts with a song proclaiming as much, and on Love & Revelation— the first new Over the Rhine collection in close to six years— the prognosis doesn’t seem markedly improved. “I can fix anything except for me,” sings Karin Bergquist on the rough and tumble opener, “Los Lunas,” and what follows is a tender, album-length meditation on all things unfixable— broken love, crumbled empires, breached faith, bodies plundered by sickness and death. Love & Revelation is an album buffeted by trials, hounded by loss, stricken by a grim national mood; to the band’s enormous credit, it’s also unflinching and unsentimental. The wisdom of this record is how it chooses to abide sorrow, sitting with it, letting it linger; the aim isn’t to wallow…

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