"Eliza" has existed in a couple of different forms over the course of the past year, but it found its true identity as a moody, noirish cowboy murder ballad. Check it out here from The Extended Play Sessions.
Last month, I returned to The Recording Company in Upstate New York to track a new song I recently wrote called "Old Glory." Tim Lynch engineered and co-produced it with me, and he also added Wurlitzer. This was my first foray into recording anything outside of a band context, and while it was in many ways a nerve-racking experience, I had some things I wanted to sing about and this seemed like the most personal and direct mode of getting it out into the world. More generally, I made a goal to myself late last year to create as much art as I can, whether it be music, writing, photography, or anything else, and to put it out there. The act of creating and sharing can be intimidating, but in a world that suddenly feels very chaotic and awash in bitterness and darkness, I wanted to challenge myself to shed my own rays of light as best I know how.
This is going to be a big year for the band, with some very exciting things in the works that we can't wait to share soon. In the meantime, check out "Old Glory" and let me know what you think in the comments below. I'd love to hear your feedback.
Spread light and love,
This week I had the fine pleasure of chatting with Brian Carroll of Red Line Roots, which is...man, I don't even know how to describe Red Line Roots. It started off as a local music blog that covered the Americana/roots scene in Boston, but Brian is a relentless worker and talented gent whose interests in film and photography and his passion for all-things music have turned RLR from a blog into a multimedia platform. He also just so happens to be a killer singer-songwriter in his own right.
After our chat, when Brian asked me if he could post a track off the upcoming album, I knew this was the best place and best time to put it all out there, so we gave Brian the green light to stream the whole thing. Please follow the link below to check out my conversation with Red Line Roots and by all means, STREAM THE NEW RECORD!! This is a happy day!
As we ANXIOUSLY await the release of our brand-new record Burning Down the Dark, which you can pre-order today and get your copy before it officially launches October 14, I thought this would be a perfect time to take a glimpse in the review mirror.
Easily one of our favorite shows this year was a taping back in April for "The Extended Play Sessions," recorded at The Fallout Shelter in Norwood, MA, in front of a live studio audience. Just about every name-brand roots music act that passes through the Boston area hopes to score an appearance on The Extended Play Sessions, so it was not an invitation we took lightly. Bill Hurley and his crew do an incredible job with not the technical side--the audio and video production--but the whole experience. The Fallout Shelter has tremendous vibe and draws audiences that are knowledgeable and passionate, which makes it in so many ways an idyllic place to put on a show. As you will see, our friend and talented singer-songwriter Hayley Sabella joined me for "Deep in the Dirt," a song she lent her vocals to on our last record. Hayley also opened the show and won over a room full of new fans. The evening was also a chance for us to reconnect with an old buddy of ours--Rob Loyot, who recorded and produced our album Inside Out, sat in with us for much of the show on saxophone and percussion. It was a night I won't soon forget. If you missed it, you're in luck, as it's all right here in glorious HD.
Rumor has it we will be back at The Fallout Shelter later this fall for a release party for our new record, Burning Down the Dark. Stay tuned for more details!
Andy & JH
Well, friends, at long last, here it is: the very first single off our upcoming album! While the new album really runs the gamut from both the biggest and loudest songs we've ever recorded, as well as our quietest and sparsest, "Ghosts Between My Bones" is the best introduction to the warm, reel-to-reel, analog sound we were going for. Our longtime producer and friend Tim Lynch really worked hard with us to capture the essence of a '70s vinyl sound--nearly everything we tracked was either recorded straight to tape, or at some point run through tape, and we couldn't be happier with the results.
In October it will be 10 years since we released our debut EP Long Way Home. I remain as proud of that 7-song EP today as I did then, and yet when I listen to "Ghosts Between My Bones" I can hear all the time from then till now that we have put into our craft. I hear all the struggles and all the successes, all the peaks and all the valleys, all the miles, all the sweat, all the tears. This is a special day for Jo Henley.
In the coming days and weeks we will update you on all the exciting happenings coming up, from release parties to videos to shows, but for today we are thrilled to be able to share this, this first taste of what's to come. We hope you enjoy it, and we would love nothing more than for you to share it with your friends and family. Spread the word!!!
Andy & JH
After a brief hiatus while we each took a couple weeks off for some summer vacationing, we are refreshed, recharged, and chomping at the bit to get back to business. Next week we have two excellent shows (three, if you could a private party in Maine).
On Wednesday, July 27, Ben and I will team up once again with our friend Tony Markellis for an intimate trio show in lovely Saratoga Springs at the Mouzon House. The Mouzon House's charming patio is the perfect setting for these acoustic trio shows, and with the track season about to begin and the weather forecasting nothing but blue skies and sunshine, this is sure to be a beautiful night for live music. We hit the stage at 7pm. Come join us for drinks and some top-notch creole-inspired food.
Then on Saturday, July 30, we return to legendary Club Passim in Cambridge, MA, for a full-band afternoon show starting at 3pm. It's always an honor to step onto Passim's subterranean stage, where so many of music's greatest acts have performed before us, and share our music. Tickets will be available at the door, but if you want to make sure you get a great seat, get them earlier by going here.
See you at the shows...and stay tuned for exciting news about our upcoming studio album due out in September!
Andy & JH
Friends, we have some outstanding local shows this month to kick off the summer! On Friday, June 10, Ben and I are playing a special duo show at Cape Ann Brewing Company in Gloucester, hosted by our friends at Evolvement Music. This will be our first at Cape Ann Brewing Company and are really looking forward to it. If the taproom is anywhere as excellent as its beer, it'd going to be a fantastic night. Music starts at 8pm.
Then we have two full-band shows the following week, starting with Jo Henley's return to the one and only Atwood's Tavern in Cambridge on Thursday, June 16. We hit the stage for 2 sets starting at 10pm. Atwood's is practically ground zero for the Boston-area roots-rock scene and it's always pleasure to play that room. Great people, great food, great sound. What's not to love?
And two nights later, on Saturday, June 18, from 1-5pm, we are back at T-Bones Roadhouse in America's hometown, Plymouth, for 3 monster, jam-filled sets! I am in love with the way this band has been firing on all cylinders and cannot wait to share what we have been up to lately. We've got brand new songs, fresh takes on old ones, and a bunch of surprises. Come spend the afternoon with us!
New show announcements coming later this week, plus a sneak peek at the first single off our upcoming album release! Lots of exciting news in the works. Stay tuned...
Andy & JH
Last weekend, Ben and I had the privilege of participating in Caffe Lena's Folk-A-Thon, a weekend-long celebration and fundraiser for the country's oldest, continuously-run folk venue, located in beautiful Saratoga Springs, NY. We played a duo set of mostly brand-new material from our upcoming record, due out in August, a couple old chestnuts, and a cover of Dylan's "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go." We chose that song because it seemed fitting: the Folk-A-Thon was a goodbye, of sorts, to the old venue, the old stage, before renovations begin--the same stage on which Dylan himself stood on numerous occasions in the club's early years. "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go" is, to my mind, one of the finest goodbye, end-of-relationship songs ever penned, striking the perfect balance between sadness and hopefulness. It is painful and poignant and beautiful. Last weekend was the first time we played it live, and, to quote Tony Markellis, "No one got hurt," which is to say it was well received.
But, if I am being honest, I originally learned "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome" not for the Caffe Lena event, but rather to play at my friend Carole's memorial service. She was a lover of the arts, a huge supporter of the band, and just an incredible person in general. I was honored to have been asked to play a tune or two, and I immediately knew I wanted to do Dylan's song. But, due to a series of unexpected personal reasons, I was unable to attend. At the time, those reasons were dire enough to be valid excuses for missing the service, but now, 6 months later, they feel flimsy. I wish I had a redo.
Today is Mother's Day, and we will be playing at T-Bones in Plymouth, the town where Carole made her home, spread joy, and left her mark on the community. Ben and I are going to play "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You're Gone" today, and though it's 6 months too late, one's spirit never leaves us. It's never too late to pay tribute.
As I mentioned, the new record is 100% done. Shortly we will post sneak previews, pre-order information, and so on. Also, be sure to check our show schedule; new gigs are being added all the time, including Wednesday, May 25, in Saratoga Springs, NY, at the Mouzon House, with Tony on bass, which happens to be my 40th birthday (yikes! 40? Is that possible?). I hope to see many familiar faces from the 518!
Happy Mother's Day, y'all!
Andy & JH
In an attempt to summarize our show at The Fallout Shelter, I have written and deleted this post at least five times. Words can't do it justice. To fully understand, you have to experience it yourself. Look up their schedule and pick one. Bill Hurley and his team at The Extended Play Sessions bring in the best Americana and roots acts working today and put them up on a glimmering stage in front of an intimate, engaged audience--and film it all in glorious HD. It is an amazing experience to be a part of, and one that we will not soon forget. Hayley opened the show and dropped jaws with a gorgeous set of all new material, and Rob Loyot, who recorded and produced our album Inside Out, added blistering saxophone and percussion to our set. Hayley later joined us for a reprise of our "Deep in the Dirt" duet from Around These Parts. The whole evening was a gem.
We are excited to share this glimpse into our performance at The Fallout Shelter. The rest of the episode will air in a couple months, and if this snapshot is any indication, it's going to be special. Enjoy!
Friends, we are thrilled to announce that on Friday, March 11, Jo Henley will perform a live show at The Fallout Shelter in Norwood, MA, to be filmed for an upcoming episode of The Extended Play Sessions. Better still, the amazing Hayley Sabella will open the show and an old friend of ours, Robert Loyot, who recorded and produced our album "Inside Out," will join us on saxophone and percussion.
The Extended Play Sessions Fallout Shelter is an incredible place to see live music. It blew my mind the first time I stepped foot inside. Seating is limited, making it an intimate listening experience, plus there is free food and beverages, all for a suggested donation of a mere $25. You simply cannot find a better deal than that. Shows at The Fallout Shelter are NOT open to the public, but anyone who wants to attend and be part of this special night can reserve a seat by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also feel free to message me with any questions.
PS: Everyone in attendance will receive one of these limited-edition posters!
2016 is going to be our year. We kicked the year off in style with a return to Rockland on Friday night, taking the stage to a packed house at Players Sports Bar. With our bud Amer Saab joining us on keyboards--a vintage Wurlitzer--we were ready to dig into some deep jams, and the crowd was right there with us. It was a special night. We debuted some new covers, including a funky, adventurous Scarlet > Fire, and introduced some brand-new songs that I can already tell will be in regular rotation in our live shows for years to come. So many times I found myself closing my eyes, smiling wide, feeling the music wash over me.
The success of Friday's show has us itching for T-Bones this Saturday, January 30, from 1-5pm in Plymouth. Don't miss this one; we've got some surprises in store for you!
Check back soon--we have new merch on the way (stickers, hats, and other swag), new gigs to be announced shortly, and of course we are putting the finishing touches on a new record, due out this summer. 2016 is our year. Jump on the train. Enjoy the ride with us.
See you at the shows,
Andy & JH
This morning I awoke to a thick patina of frost on the autumnal landscape of fallen leaves and pumpkins, and, in my garden, the cold-hardy Brussels sprouts and collard greens. I'd fired up the ol' charcoal grill over the weekend to smoke some turkey legs and watch the sky change colors as I drank dark porter and kicked a soccer ball around with my kids, wringing out every last drop of fall from the air before winter rolled in. Truth be told, I have a soft spot for winter. Dressed up in gunmetal-gray and earthy browns initially, and then, before long, downy white snow, winter means braises and soups and bold red wines and pilly wool hats and a warm house and a good book. My old Martin sounds better to my ear while strummed overlooking a snowflake-filled sky. Sure, come February, I will lust over the promise of an impending spring, but until then, there is much to love about this time of year and I intend to romanticize it all out of proportion.
This Friday, December 4, Ben and I head to Saratoga to join Tony Markellis for the winter portion of his ongoing music series at Mouzon House. The three of us have worked a whole lot together over the years, and we always have a lot of fun. More than just fun, though, we make some fine music together. Jo Henley has many faces: duos, trios, full-band, electric, acoustic, and so on, but no matter what, at the very heart of it all, are the songs. That's the foundation upon which all the rest is built, and when the three of us play together, the songs shine. They are broken down to their essence, allowing the stories, the narratives, to unfold. We dig deep, this trio, so you can safely expect we will be playing songs that span our discography, from our very first EP to brand-new tunes. We go on at 7pm. The patio is heated and enclosed, and Saratoga is sure to be sparkling this time of year. Join us!
Looking ahead, we have a full-band show at Aeronuat Brewing Company on Thursday, December 17. We played Aeronaut for the first time in October and loved it. So much fun! Outstanding beer, super nice people, and a just overall a great vibe. We hope to see you all there, Boston-area friends, for what is likely to be our last show of 2015.
Andy & JH
I once heard Jason Isbell refer to fall as his favorite day of the year. In Alabama that might be true, but here in New England we are fortunate to have at least, oh, I don't know, 5 or 6 days of fall. Give or take. Despite what the calendar says, temperature-wise today felt more like a very late fall day, and I found myself craving something autumnal for dinner, so whipped up a batch of maple-cider roasted chicken and a big ol' pot of fluffy, buttery mashed potatoes as the wind outside howled through the trees and kicked up leaves and tossed them around the yard.
There are a couple more to come, but as of this writing I have two Jo Henley shows to announce in the coming weeks. The first is next Friday evening, October 9, at Aeronaut Brewing Company, a terrific craft brewery and taproom in Somerville, MA (14 Tyler St.). This is happening spot with a cool vibe, great beer, and we are really looking forward to making our debut there. We play the happy hour slot, from 6:30-8:15, and it's free, so come on out and have some fun with us next Friday night.
The only place that can rival is craft brewery is? An artisinal distillery of course! Lucky for us, we have been invited to play a special Halloween-themed show on Friday, October 30, at Silo Distillery in beautiful Windsor, VT(3 Artisans Way). This one is going to be fun. The good folks at Silo make hand-crafted, small-batch spirits, which I, and we as a band, are very much looking forward to sampling. Aged whiskey, bourbon, gin, moonshine, vodka, and more--they do it all and all of it well. I can't think of a better place for a Halloween party, so we hope all of our Vermont fans will be sure to join us. We'll play a bunch of JH songs and are guaranteed to get into some deep jams, but we are also working up a bunch of surprise cover songs for just the occasion. If you are inclined to come in your Halloween costume, that would be awesome. But we won't hold it against you if you don't. It's going to be a fantastic night either way! We play from 5:30-7:30, so come early and help us sample the, ahem, spirits!
Happy fall. See you at the shows!