I had the privilege of chatting with one of my musical heroes this morning – singer/songwriter/producer-extraordinaire Joe Henry.
I mentioned that I’d been particularly inspired during a day of heavy writing yesterday after spending time with one of my favorite volumes of poetry, Rilke’s Book of Hours. One of the poems there seemed inspired by Joe’s own work, specifically the song “Light No Lamp When the Sun Come Down” (although I know that this is chronologically impossible).
Lo and behold, it turns out Professor Joe treasures that volume of poems as well.
Anyway, during our conversation, he happened to share some rather exciting news, and with his permission, I’m quoting him here:
just yesterday i finished recording an album in the basement of old gospel and spirituals with aaron neville…14 songs in 3 days; then a day with a quartet of gosepel singers. the band was allen toussaint at the upright piano and in the same room as jay bellerose, patrick warren, david piltch and chris bruce (greg lesiz sitting in a day). i go straight into mixing tomorrow with my engineer ryan freeland; and even as bleary as i am today -and thrilled to have my house empty- i can’t wait. going by, it felt as deep as any music i have had anything to do with.
Coming from the producer of great albums by Allen Toussaint, Mary Gauthier, Solomon Burke, and so many other great musicians, well… I’d say this new is reason to rejoice.
And all the more reason to be excited about his upcoming sessions with Over the Rhine.