Just a few odds and ends out of the Joe Henry universe (and nearby galaxies)…
- First, JH and Levon should be wrapping up their brief Australian tour, which has been accompanied by some favorable press (a particularly nice article and interview in the Sydney Morning Herald).
- JH will be returning stateside to appear very shortly thereafter at the Americana Music Festival in Nashville. Joe’s official showcase will be at City Winery on September 18, but I’m sure he’ll be seen around the festival elsewhere.
- JH recently participated in a social media fundraising campaign for MusicCares. Various artists challenged three friends to post a picture of themselves with an album “that has made your life better” (along with a $5 donation to MusicCares). Stefan has the low-down over at his blog.
- A few notes from some friends and associates…
- Over The Rhine will be releasing yet another Christmas album. Blood Oranges in the Snow will be released on Nov. 4 and is described by Karin and Linford as “reality Christmas.” (I don’t believe that JH had any hand in its production, but well worth your attention nonetheless.)
- The Milk Carton Kids will be touring this fall again with Sarah Jarosz, featuring “collaborative performances” between the artists. Full schedule here.
- Some of you may know that I’m a shameless and die-hard Lucinda Williams fan. Her new record (the double-album Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone) will be released on her own label on September 30. At one time, JH was the rumored producer on this project. However, in his place, frequent JH accomplice and all-around string master Greg Leisz became the co-producer (along with Williams and manager Tom Overby) and also contributes his guitar wizardry to nearly every track. Bill Frisell, who collaborated with both JH and Leisz most notably on Civilians, lends his distinctive guitar work to two tracks (and is rumored to be featured on more tracks on yet another Lucinda record due sometime next year). Several tracks have made their way online through various outlets, but if you want to hear what magic Frisell and Leisz can conjure, feast your ears on the album’s closing track, a cover of JJ Cale’s “Magnolia” (nine-plus minutes long!). In my book, a Joe Henry album and Lucinda Williams album in the same year is pretty much all I could ask for.
- And last but not least, this fall will see the release of two Bob Dylan projects. First, the long wished-for Complete Basement Tapes will be released on Nov. 4. A semi-related companion called Lost On The River: The New Basement Tapes will be released on Nov. 11. That record will feature Dylan lyrics from the period written into songs and performed by a talented group comprised of Elvis Costello, Rhiannon Giddens, Jim James and Marcus Mumford. JH mentor T-Bone Burnett oversaw and produced the whole thing. No doubt, Joe Henry is smiling.