I seem to be entering my annual Joe Henry phase. This is day three, which means I’ll go on for another few days or a week grooving in a JoeHenryLovesMeMadly funk. It also means that you’ll be repeatedly urged to love Joe Henry as madly as I do.
I’ve said it before and I’ll surely say it again: If you haven’t gotten addicted to Joe Henry yet, just go do it already. If I promise not to wax poetic about truth and beauty and the American song, will you just take my word for it?
I’ve just looked at a discography and discovered that I don’t have the two earliest, which must be where he got his tag as an alt+country artist. My digital files have different albums tagged as country, pop and folk. But I think you’ll agree this music is none of the above. There’s beauty (and truth, of course) in any one of the albums. Or call me and I’ll loan you a sampler so you can see what you like.
If you don’t love this madly, there must be something seriously wrong with you. For one thing, NPR is letting you preview it for free. Give it a listen, then buy one to keep. Mine is preordered on Amazon.
Click and listen to the whole album. Love it madly.
A week later, I’m still stuck on Joe Henry. If you didn’t obey me the first time, here’s another chance to go listen to some Joe Henry yourself now.
It’s too dark and rainy to be listening to Joe Henry.
But I’m doing it anyway.
If you appreciate a perfect song, or a little poetry, look him up. Click this for starters. Or ask me for a little sample. Just enough to make you want to go buy some more, of course.
Butler and I saw him open for David Byrne at the Roxy some years back. With a groovy band and a female bass player. I was dumbstruck. A few days later, I was mesmerized by the album Trampoline, which I couldn’t stay away from despite the gloom. I’m still trying to erase from my memory the only other time I was fortunate enough to see him. It’s a really bad idea to go to Chastain because you want to see the opening act. (Not that I don’t love me some Elvis Costello, but this was a latterday, very Billy-Joelesque Elvis.) Anyway, the light was just beginning to fade, and my hero Joe Henry walks out on stage, just him and a guitar. And the obnoxious Chastain crowd doesn’t even pause its little tea party. I was ashamed to be a part of that audience.
Trampoline is my favorite, but none of the other CDs have dissapointed me. I guess he’s one of those unpredictables — you never know what the next CD will sound like. Except that he’s never without a kicking bass player.