News from Joe Henry

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.

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet has two passions: writing fiction, and celebrating art — music, cinema, photography, literature — through writing and teaching. He is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” — Through a Screen Darkly. And his four-novel fantasy series, The Auralia Thread, which begins with Auralia's Colors, was published by Random House. He speaks at universities and conferences around the world about understanding art through eyes of faith. He is earning his MFA in Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University, where he has worked for 11 years as an editor, writer, and communications project manager. His work has been recognized in The New Yorker, TIME, The Seattle Times, IMAGE, Ravi Zacharias International — and Christianity Today, where he served as a film journalist for more than a decade. He recently began a weekly column called "Listening Closer" for Christ and Pop Culture.

  • Julio

    He mentioned on his site that he had some contact with Harry Belafonte as well! :) Mr. Henry is an amazing producer and musician, so I’m looking forward to anything he’s got on deck.

    And a thanks to you for bringing his work to my attention! Will there be more lengthy article/interview posted somewhere?