Joe Henry U.S. tour to kick off this week (and maybe the return of a blog?)

JH_Duke

First, the important stuff…

Joe Henry has a brilliant new album, Thrum, which was released at the end of October.  Though it mines similar musical territory as the albums he’s released in the past decade, it offers its own twists and turns.  To my ears, it combines the dark density of Blood From Stars with the intimacy of Invisible Hour.  Notably, it marks JH’s return to a recording studio, following his string of Garfield House records that began with Civilians.  What that all adds up to I’ll save for (hopefully) another blog post.

To mark the album’s fresh release, JH will embark on a whirlwind tour of the U.S., kicking off with an artistic residency in Durham, NC (Nov 30 – Dec 2, detailed in this Indy Week article).  Appropriately, Thrum will receive a full public airing at the Baldwin Auditorium on JH’s 57th birthday.

These performances will be followed up with North American performances as follows:

  • Dec 3 – Charleston, WV @ Mountain Stage
  • Dec 4 – Sellersville, PA @ Sellersville Theater
  • Dec 5 – Vienna, VA @ Jammin’ Java
  • Dec 7 – Boston, MA @ City Winery
  • Dec 8 – New York, NY @ Le Poisson Rouge
    show moved – Brooklyn, NY @ San Damiano Mission Church
  • Dec 9 – Woodstock, NY @ Levon Helm Studios
  • Dec 10 – Freehold, NJ @ Concerts in the Studio (accompanied only by Levon Henry)
  • Jan 13 – Los Angeles, LA @ The Sanctuary at Pico Union

A European solo tour will kick off on Feb. 1 in London.

Now, in case you might be wondering, is the Joe Henry Blog back or just poking its head out?  That’s a good question that would require a lot of backstory on my part.  What I can say is that my reasons for somewhat abandoning the blog are still valid, but I find myself occasionally wishing I had place to simply pour some of my JH-related thoughts.  Which is to say I feel no need to be a one-stop-shop for all JH news but maybe there are things I still need to say that adhere a bit closer to the original mission of this blog.  Maybe what I’ve always been wondering is how does my life and the world around me make more sense when there is a Joe Henry song pulsating somewhere in my mind.

Maybe it just felt strange to let the release of a Joe Henry album and the beginning of a tour pass by unremarked.  That’s enough reason for now.

I’ll leave you with this haunting performance by JH and Levon of “The Glorious Dead,” one of two songs on Thrum that incidentally made their debut more than three years ago at the Wild Edges show in Durham…

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