Well, I haven't disappeared entirely, and I wanted to assure all of you Joe Henry fans that I'm still here, and I'm still committed to making this blog something worth checking out from time to time.
2010 was capped, of course, by the release of Over The Rhine's The Long Surrender, which was not only my favorite record of the year but probably is my favorite Joe Henry production to date. I suppose that is largely a product of the fact that OtR is also one of my favorite artists. But beyond that, it just seems to me a rare pairing of such kindred spirits. It's amazing to hear Karin Berquist and Linford Detweiler drift so close to the space that JH so comfortably occupies in his own songwriting, that elusive intersection of music and poetry. They have never been better, and it's only fitting that a producer of Joe's caliber was there to shepherd the effort (you might check out Josh's revised list of his favorite JH productions).
2011 promises to be yet another big year for Joe Henry. I only have hearsay of several projects, but each of them will be exciting and unique in their own right. The Hugh Laurie project, completed in October of last year, spanned multiple recording sessions and one can assume that it will see the light of day shortly (though I've not heard about any labels or release dates). The collaboration with Rosanne Cash and Billy Bragg was delayed from its planned November recording date but is apparently still very much in the works with projected sessions for March.
Most exciting, however, is the whisper on the wind that Joe Henry himself is about ready to record another album of his own, most likely in the early part of 2011. Assuming that is true, we are very likely to be blessed with another masterpiece this year. I have no doubt that plenty of other projects are lurking in the near future, but any or all of those projects hold the promise of a big year for Joe and his fans.
As a small token of my gratitude for your continued support, I"m going to be having a little contest in the coming days. I've got a seed of idea that might make it a bit unique and fun so I hope you'll check back later in the week for the details.
I haven't blogged much lately – and have pretty much abandoned my other blogs – but I hope you'll take me at my word when I say that this has been a wonderfully rewarding endeavor, primarily due to the kind words of support I've received from my fellow Joe Henry fans. I've enjoyed so much hearing from kindred musical spirits, literally from all over the globe. I'll be dedicating my blogging efforts in 2011 solely toward making this a site worthy of the artist to whom it's dedicated – and his loyal fans.