Joe Henry On World Cafe

fromWXPN

Listen Now

31 min 10 sec
 
Joe Henry. i i

hide captionJoe Henry.

Courtesy of the artist
Joe Henry.

Joe Henry.

Courtesy of the artist

Set List

  • "Odetta"
  • "After The War"
  • "Dark Tears"
  • "The World And All I Know"

Since his 1986 studio debut Talk of Heaven, the Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter and producer Joe Henry has defied convention. Known best for his country-inspired work, Henry reinvigorates each new release by injecting hints of soul, blues, jazz and funk. He's produced albums by Aimee Mann, Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint, and House star Hugh Laurie.

Henry's latest album, Reverie, ventures even deeper into new musical territory. He recorded and produced the album in his South Pasadena basement studio, aiming to forge a "raw, raucous and messy" sound. He left his windows open — with microphones attached — to capture the sounds of passing traffic and shouting neighbors. With a backing band that included T-Bone Burnett's drummer Jay Bellerose, Tom Waits' guitarist Mark Ribot, pianist Keefus Ciancia, and guest vocalist Lisa Hannigan, Henry granted his players free license to let the music come as they felt it should. The result is a stripped-bare blend of blues and folk, its sonic naturalism starkly contrasted with Henry's nuanced musicianship.

Today's session of World Cafe showcases Henry without the street noise — he performs a solo set of four songs from Reverie with just his voice and acoustic guitar.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.