THANK YOU to all who came out to the Jo Henley/Grassroot show at Johnny D's on Friday night. It was a huge success! Boston-area photographer Richard Chase (who took the photo below) was there to capture some of it. You can find more of his excellent work here.
We are thrilled to share with you the official music video for "Deep in the Dirt," the first single off Around These Parts. Our good friend and filmmaker (and cartoonist, musician, documentarian, concert promoter, and a dozen other things) Jon Dorn and I had a brief conversation about the general idea for the video, but other than that, this is really Jon's work. I have long admired his sensibility and style and felt his ability to tell a story would shine through in "Deep in the Dirt," and I was right. This is not the band lip-syncing to the song. We aimed for something more cinematic, and Jon and his film production company Four String Films delivered in spades. We hope you enjoy it! And, of course, please share!!
Andy & JH
As I clack away on my laptop, knocking back my second cup of coffee, the snow has finally stopped falling outside. It's piled up against the house nearly to the roof. This seems like nothing but a cruel joke at this point.
But I must confess that, aside from the relentless and sky-high mountains of snow, there is much to like about these New England winters. Later today, after I shovel away what's come overnight, I'll play outside with the kids, get something slow-cooking on the stove for dinner tonight, crack open a bottle of wine, and work on some new songs that have been knocking around inside my head this week.
These cold days are also the best times to gather indoors, order up a pint, and enjoy live music together, and we are thrilled to be playing several awesome shows in the coming (cold) weeks--and they are all FREE SHOWS!
The biggest of these is Friday, February 27, at Johnny's D's, opening for our good friends Grassroot. Johnny D's is one of the best live music venues in the area and we are super excited to return. It's been a couple years. Oh, and if you haven't heard Grassroot yet, check 'em out. Jeremy, Dan, and Co. have one hell of a band, blending classic rock, funk grooves, and blues, but with an entirely modern and fresh approach. I've been a fan since the first time our bands shared a bill years ago and was blown away by their musicianship. They also happen to be a nice bunch of dudes. As for Jo Henley, we are still riding high from the December release of our new album Around These Parts and will be playing many cuts off that record, as well as digging into our back catalog for a few deep cuts and plenty of fan-favorites. Music starts at 8pm sharp. We expect to fill up the room, so be sure to get there on time, grab a seat, and hang with us!
The following afternoon, Saturday, February 28, we will be back at T-Bones Roadhouse in lovely Plymouth for a 1-5pm afternoon show. As always, there is no cover at T-Bones, the beer is always flowing, the BBQ is always smoking, and the jams are always deep and adventurous. 3 sets starting at 12pm. Come on out!
But before we get to the Johnny D's/T-Bones weekend, we are back at one of the North Shore hippest spots, the Gulu-Gulu Cafe in Salem, MA, for a special show on Saturday, February 20. Always lively, always happening, with a fun staff, excellent food, and one of the most eclectic beer and wine menus out there. We are playing from 9-midnight. It's always a blast to play the Gulu. Join us!
Saturday, Feb. 21, Gulu-Gulu Cafe, Salem, MA 9pm FREE
Friday, Feb. 27, Johnny D's (opening for GRASSROOT), Somerville, MA 8pm FREE
Saturday, Feb. 28, T-Bones Roadhouse, Plymouth, MA 1-5pm, FREE
On Monday we officially released our brand-new studio album, Around These Parts. You can purchase your copy on CD by going here. In addition, through this Friday, we are offering a FREE DOWNLOAD of the whole album in high-quality digital format. (If you are a cereal-box reader when it comes to album art and lyrics and/or prefer your music in a more tangible format--guilty as charged, I am--then you will want to pick up a hard copy; this is our most elaborate CD packaging to date.)
Last December, we packed up our instruments and a couple suitcases and headed to Upstate NY to start laying down tracks with longtime producer Tim Lynch of The Recording Company. We had some songs we really liked and a general theme, but unlike previous albums, these were not songs we were overly familiar with or knew precisely how we wanted them to sound. But that made it exciting. We wanted to be surprised and see where the muse took us. In my head, though, this was always supposed to be a winter (or wintry) record, something to listen to on those cold days that are short on daylight and make you want to cook stew and sip wine or a cup of coffee and spin vinyl and dig deep into a good long book. Ben and I had been listening to a lot of old folk-country records, like Waylon and Johnny and Jerry Jeff Walker--we wanted our songs to set a mood and tell stories. The characters in these 10 new songs are on journeys--always figuratively, as we all are, but in many cases literally too. Characters who have lived life. Hardened folks. Good people who live simple lives that haven't always panned out. I love these characters. I know some of them well. We all do.
The first track borrows its title from Jack Kerouac's On the Road. These are road songs; roads that promise to lead somewhere better, but often fall short. Most importantly, though we romantically tell ourselves otherwise, roads do not go on forever. All roads end.
This record was incredibly fun to make, and we are equally as proud of how it turned out. A lot of talented people put a lot of hard work, time, money, and love into this one, and I think it shows. Bassist Tony Markellis is back once again, as is past full-time JH band member and current frequent guest Jordan Santiago on fiddle and mandolin. We also are thrilled to share with our fans the beautiful voice of the immensely talented Hayley Sabella, a dynamite singer-songwriter in her own right. And of course Tim Lynch lends his keyboard talents throughout the record.
I have quite easily listened to this record hundreds of times from front to back over the past 6 months, in various stages of completeness, and I still am not tired of hearing it. I love these characters, their stories, the way the record sounds sonically, our friends who guested on it, and I had a whole lot of fun putting together the artwork and 12-page booklet that goes with it.
So, for the next couple of days, you will be able to download FOR FREE Around These Parts in its entirety on our Music page. If you are inclined to offer a donation, that would be very much appreciated, or better yet, pick up a "real" copy on CD. But more than anything we just want as many people to listen to this record as possible. So…listen and SHARE!
Help us get this music out there! And check out the attached track, "The Last Monkey Maker."
Andy & JH
AROUND THESE PARTS
Nowhere to Go But Everywhere
The Last Monkey Maker
Deep in the Dirt
Wait Till May
Follow My Light
One More Night
Around These Parts
Andy Campolieto (vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica)
Ben Lee (electric and acoustic guitar, dobro, banjo)
Mike Dingley (drums)
Tony Markellis (electric and acoustic bass)
Hayley Sabella (vocals on "Deep in the Dirt" and "Wait Till May")
Jordan Santiago (violin, mandolin)
Tim Lynch (keyboards, percussion)
Produced by Tim Lynch and Jo Henley
Recorded and mixed by TIm Lynch at The Recording Company, Esperance, NY.
Assistant engineer: Rick Sullivan
Mastered by Alan Douches at West West Side Music
All songs written by Andy Campolieto, except "Bayley-Hazen Road" and "Route 81": music by Ben Lee and Andy Campolieto
A BIG, warm thank-you to all who came out to our CD release party last week at the The Spire for our new live album Jo Henley Live at The Spire. It was an exciting night with some of our favorite musicians and collaborators joining us, and better yet our good friends at Four String Films captured a bunch of it on video, so look for that very soon.
In the meantime, we are just a few days way from the release of our brand-new studio album we've been diligently working on for the past year, Around These Parts. This one is going to be special, folks. A lot of talented people put a lot of hard work into this, and from a songwriting standpoint I can honestly say that this ranks among the finest stuff the guys and I have ever written and recorded. I will share more details over the weekend, including sneak previews, pre-sale info, tracklisting, etc., but until then, all you need to know is that on Sunday, November 23, we will make our debut at Atwood's Tavern in Cambridge, MA, and celebrate the release of Around These Parts. This will be the very first time the new album will be available for purchase, so this is a very big deal for us. We are playing two sets starting at 9pm on the nose, and it's only $5 to get in. Not to mention, Atwood's is one of the finest venues to see roots/Americana music in this fine city of ours. So mark your calendars and come join us on Sunday, November 23!
See you there!
Andy & JH
UPDATE: Our brand-new Jo Henley Live at The Spire record is HERE. Those of you who ordered a pre-sale copy, it has been mailed and should be at your doorstep any day now, if it hasn't arrived already.
We will have copies on sale for the first time at our our Jo Henley Live at The Spire CD release party, which will be take place on Friday, November 7 at, appropriately enough, The Spire. (Visit their website and reserve your tickets today!) It was a pleasure to work with Mark Bryant again, who recorded and produced it, and we are all really excited to share it with the world.
Here is the track list:
Gonna Make it Right
Save the Last Dance for Us
Mohawk > Over the Pine Plains
Sad Songs and Alcohol
You can order Jo Henley Live at the Spire on CD for $15, which includes shipping, and which also comes with an immediate digital download. Or, if you prefer just a digital download, you can purchase it for $10 on our Music page.
In celebration of the occasion, click below for a free download of "The Fire." We hope to see you all there at our CD Release Show on Friday, November 7!!!
On June 21, we had the wonderful opportunity to play to a full house at the gorgeous new performing arts center in downtown Plymouth, MA, called The Spire, and have the whole show recorded by producer and friend Mark Bryant for a future live album release. It was an incredible evening on a beautiful summer night, and we couldn't be happier that it was captured and can be shared with our fans who have been clamoring for a live album from us for years.
Well, the time has finally arrived to unveil "Jo Henley Live at The Spire" and celebrate its release with a return to The Spire on Friday, November 7! We will have some special guests joining us, including the incomparable Tony Markellis on bass, as well as a few other surprises to help create another memorable night at The Spire!
Mark your calendars and reserve your tickets today!
The String Benders open the show. Music starts promptly at 8pm.
Happy August, friends!
I've had the Ben Folds Five song "Where's Summer B.?" stuck in my head all day. Probably because, although it is still August, and my tomato plants are just hitting their stride, there has ever-so-gradually been a crispness creeping into the air, as if to remind us that, alas, summer is winding down.
But it's not gone yet. There are still warm days remaining on the calendar. There are still many more cookouts ahead. And there is still plenty of music to be made before it's all said and done.
On June 21, Summer Solstice, Jo Henley kicked off this way-too-short season with a hugely successful show at The Spire, downtown Plymouth's beautiful new performing arts center. The whole concert was recorded for a live album--cleverly titled Jo Henley Live at The Spire--and in the weeks since we have been working with Mark Bryant to get that finished, mixed, duplicated, and ready for the world to hear. We feel this is a great and accurate representation of what a live Jo Henley show is. The song is always the focus, the centerpiece, but there is also plenty of extended jamming, improvisation, and risk-taking. You guys are going to dig it.
In the meantime, we are also putting in the final mixing stages of our new studio album Around These Parts, which we have been working on with Tim Lynch for much of this year. I just received a fresh set of mixes yesterday and was ecstatic with that I heard. This one is going to kill. We took our time and really tried to make sure each song is a gem. Whether or not we succeed is, I suppose, up to the public to decide. But we know we made a strong record, and most importantly, we loved making it. In the end, that's all that really matters to us!
So, sort of unexpectedly, here we are with TWO new albums waiting in the wings, all set to be released this fall! It's incredibly exciting. I have listened to each album about a bazillion times and still aren't sick of them; quite the opposite, in fact--which is saying a lot. These two records represent some of the best stuff we have ever done and we are thrilled to share them with you soon, soon, soon.
We have two big shows coming up this month that we want to remind you about. The first is this Saturday evening, August 23, at the Plymouth Waterfront Festival. It's an all-day event, with food, arts and crafts, music, and lots of other activities for the whole family. We are the headliner and will play from 5:45-7:30pm. Come on down to Plymouth this weekend and check it out--and be sure to stick around for our set!
Then next week, Friday, August 29, we return to one of our favorite venues on the planet, Caffe Lena, in Saratoga Springs, close to my hometown. Summer doesn't officially wave goodbye until late September, but Labor Day weekend is what most of us consider the end of the season, so it feels entirely appropriate that we bookend what has been an outstanding summer for the band with a two-set show at Caffe Lena. We have joining us bassist Tony Markellis for the occasion, as well as our friend and former bandmate Jordan Santiago, who will be sitting in with us on fiddle and mandolin.
Caffe Lena is a special place. We hope to see as many familiar faces, and hopefully new ones too, that can fit in that room. We have a few surprises in store for the occasion, including the debut of a bunch of new material, and we will even be dipping into the Jo Henley catalog and dusting off a few songs that we haven't played in a while.
This is an important show for us. Be sure to reserve your tickets today by going here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/734675
On Monday, moved by the emotional weight of this year's Boston Marathon after all that took place last year, and feeling a bit detached having spent the day away from my adopted hometown for the first time in 13 years--albeit for a good reason: studio time to work on the new album--I decided to post a close-to-done-but-still-unfinished song off our upcoming album on my facebook page and the Jo Henley facebook page called "Wait Till May."
The bluest of our new songs, "Wait Till May" is a reflection on last year's bombing and what it felt like to live in Boston during that time. It opens with the narrator--me, it's fairly safe to presume--wakes up in the middle of the night only to learn that there is a manhunt underway and the city is on lockdown.(Here's what I wrote last April about that day, the days leading up to it, and the days following.) I do not usually write topical songs, but this one flowed; I didn't have much of a choice but to embrace the flow. One of the gifts of being a songwriter is that I have an outlet to deal with moments or periods of struggle and tension. It's not foolproof--I still keep things bottled up, just as we all do from time to time--but I imagine that having a tangible way to process troubling moments is, well, better than not. "Wait Till May" was my therapy. I just so happen to have amazingly talented friends and bandmates and, in this case, guest musicians, to help me turn my therapy into soundscapes.
"Wait Till May," in addition to Ben on electric guitar and me on vocals and acoustic guitar, features the beautiful vocals of Hayley Sabella and the sublime violin work of an old friend, Jordan Santiago. Jordan needs no introduction to most of you reading this. He brings his effortless talents to this track, as well as several others on the upcoming record. And as for Hayley, if you think she sounds amazing on "Wait Till May," then you are in for a real treat when you eventually hear another new one called "Deep in the Dirt." We are beyond thrilled to have both of them on the record.
Speaking of Hayley Sabella, she will be joining us for a very special evening on June 2 at Club Passim in Cambridge, MA. She will play a set of her own before we hit the stage, and we of course will invite her up there to play some songs with us. And Jordan will also be sitting in with us too, which is not only super exciting (and nostalgic) for us, but I know is welcome news to all our fans. Seriously, you do not want to miss this show. I will post more info about our Club Passim performance soon, but in the meantime, circle your calendars, call your babysitters, invite your friends--this is going to be a special night of music.
In the meantime, you can catch us here:
Friday, May 2--The Banner--Rockland, MA. 8pm
Saturday, May 10--Mocha Maya's--Shelburne Falls, MA. 8pm
Saturday, May 17--T-Bones Roadhouse--Plymouth, MA. Noon.
Monday, June 2--Club Passim--Cambridge, MA. 8pm.
See you down the road...
Andy & JH