A new interview with Joe Henry always leaves you with plenty to absorb. So enjoy this one with The Bluegrass Situation’s esteemed Stephen Duesner, as part of their ongoing The Producers series.
They begin with a discussion of the new Hayes Carll album, but there are plenty of insights from JH on his role as record producer.
I guess it’s no secret that I’m very excited about the new Hayes Carll record Lovers and Leavers – first, because it’s a new Hayes Carll record (following a five year wait), and second, because it was produced by Joe Henry.
The album will be released next week on April 8, but you can listen to the whole thing at Rolling Stone now, accompanied by a substantial article. Carll will host his gathering of the Drunken Poets’ Society this weekend in Port Aransas, Texas, then promote the album’s release with a brief Texas tour before embarking on a late-April UK tour. He’ll hit much of the United States throughout the summer (tour dates here).
I have to confess that I somewhat glossed over the release of Birds of Chicago’s Real Midnight back in February. Having received the Kickstarter digital copy back in November, it just kind of fell below my radar when it was officially released. In fact, I really only started spending quality time with the album over the past two weeks, and it is something quite special.
As luck would have it, our old friend, Josh Hurst, has revamped his own website and has just reviewed Real Midnight. As he often does, he finds the perfect words to describe the spirit of this album. As you may recall, Real Midnight was the final album recorded at Joe Henry’s Garfield House studio. Jay Bellerose plays drums on the record, and Rhiannon Giddens provides vocals and fiddle on a couple of tracks.
Also, be sure to check out Josh’s recent reviews of Lucinda Williams’ The Ghosts of Highway 20 and Tedeschi Trucks Band’s Let Me Get By, two of my other favorite releases of 2016.
UPDATE: Over The Rhine recently announced that Birds of Chicago will be joining the lineup of their Nowhere Else Festival over Memorial Day weekend (see below post for more details).
Also, you should definitely check out their recent Folk Alley Sessions. Here’s “Remember Wild Horses”…
A couple of other noteworthy tracks produced by Joe Henry are now available:
- Aimee Mann recorded a version of The Carpenters’ “Yesterday Once More” for the new HBO series Vinyl. It was produced by JH, and you can listen to it on Stefan’s site or purchase the track from iTunes.
- Hayes Carll has released another track from his upcoming JH-produced record, Lovers & Leavers. “Sake of the Song” can be heard over at Rolling Stone or purchased from iTunes (separately or included with the album pre-order). The album will be released on April 8.
Bonnie Raitt returned from a long recording hiatus with the release of her last record, the widely acclaimed Slipstream. The seeds of that record were sown in the basement of Joe Henry’s former residence, Garfield House. Though much of Slipstream was comprised of tracks recorded later and produced by Raitt herself, four of the tracks from those Garfield sessions – including two Bob Dylan songs and two JH-penned songs – were included and considered among the highlights of the record.
Today Bonnie Raitt releases a welcome follow-up titled Dig In Deep. Though the record largely contains new recordings (once again produced by Raitt), she felt the inclusion of another song from the Garfield House sessions was appropriate, this one written by JH himself and titled “You’ve Changed My Mind.” From the Chicago Tribune’s Greg Kot:
On “Dig in Deep,” she ties together devastating performances of Bonnie Bishop’s “Undone” and Joe Henry’s acoustic “You’ve Changed my Mind,” with her own stark composition, “The Ones We Couldn’t Be.”
Check out the song and whole album today.
The long-awaited new record from Hayes Carll will be released on April 8. Lovers and Leavers was produced by Joe Henry and promises to highlight Carll’s more introspective songwriting.
NPR Music is featuring the track “The Love That We Need” and does not disappoint. This is going to be a helluva record.
(BTW, over the holidays, I was fortunate to see Carll at The Mucky Duck in Houston. All of the new material he played was top-notch, and he was joined on a few songs by singer-songwriter Allison Moorer, who also co-wrote “The Love That We Need” along with Jack Ingram.)
Joe Henry adds a pretty serious Nashville record to his production resume today with the release of The Traveling Kind, the second duo record from Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell. Which is not to say (obviously) that the album at all embraces the prevailing aesthetic of popular Nashville, but the album is a JH rarity in that none of his regular cohorts appear on it. Instead, Harris and Crowell are surrounded by Music City stalwarts like guitarists Steuart Smith and Jedd Hughes and bassist Byron House. It was recorded at Sound Emporium and The House of Blues, with recording and mixing by Justin Neibank.
To my ears, this record is both a continuation of and an improvement over their 2013 collaboration Old Yellow Moon. Here are a few review links:
UPDATE III: A great performance of “The Weight of the World” as performed for Rolling Stone (link also has a video for “The Traveling Kind”). Jedd Hughes, who appears on the record and tours with the duo, provides lead guitar.