As you may recall, JH participated in the first ever Fretboard Summit in November of 2015. No doubt, many magical moments took place at this unique event, and you can get a glimpse of it now. Here is a video of JH performing “Eyes Out For You” accompanied by the incomparable Bill Frisell on guitar.
Joe also conducted an amazing interview with David Crosby, and a podcast of that hourlong discussion can be found at FJ’s archive or on iTunes (Podcast #92). The location for the 2nd Annual Fretboard Summit will be announced in late January.
In other Frisell news, he will release a new album on January 29. When You Wish Upon A Star is his very unique spin on classic film music.
And after guesting on Lucinda Williams’ 2014 release Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone, Frisell will appear on all but one track on her new record Ghosts of Highway 20, due on February 5. Like its predecessor, it was co-produced by longtime JH cohort Greg Leisz, who also contributes guitar and pedal steel throughout. Frisell will join Lucinda for her March 4 performance at UCLA’s Royce Hall.
In its most recent newsletter, Fretboard Journalrevealed that Joe Henry will interview multi-instrumentalist Greg Leisz in the upcoming issue, which is due for shipment in the coming weeks. You can subscribe or purchase issues here (there is also a digital iTunes edition available).
Leisz’s playing graced Invisible Hour, and he has long been one of Joe Henry’s go-to players on both his records (see also Civilians) and his productions. Leisz toured last year with Eric Clapton, and he co-produced the new Lucinda Williams record, Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone (due Sep. 30) as well as contributed string work to every track on the album. He is arguably the most in-demand pedal and lap steel player on the planet.
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-albumDown 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 Tapeswill 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.