Club Passim tomorrow!

Friends! Tomorrow afternoon--Saturday, May 30--Jo Henley returns to the legendary, subterranean folk venue Club Passim for an intimate, special performance. Ben, Jordan, Kent, and I will be playing a bluegrass-flavored rendition fan-favorite JH songs, some old chestnuts that haven't been played in years, and a couple brand-new ones.

We also are going to officially unveil a new side acoustic trio side project that Ben and I have been working on with our friend Rebecca Turner, a talented vocalist and veteran of the local music scene. If you are fans of the likes of Gillian Welch, George & Tammy, Gram & Emmylou, The Civil Wars, and so on--and how can you not?-- then you will appreciate what we've been up to. We have been hard at work writing new material specifically for this trio and will be playing those songs for the first time tomorrow at Passim. When we started getting together, to find common ground, we came up with a long list of old-school and even modern folk/country songs we all love and wanted to cover, so we will play some of those too, and we have reworked a bunch of Jo Henley songs too, which we think you guys will like. We are having a blast, and although it's required a lot of homework, a lot of preparation, it has been a whole bunch of fun! We are excited to share with you what we've been up to. Merging these two musical worlds is going to make for a great show tomorrow. I hope you will all come out! Tickets will be available at the door, but if you want to reserve a seat, I suggest you get your tickets online ahead of time here: https://tickets.passim.org/ordertickets.asp?p=4601&backurl=default.asp

Show starts at 3pm sharp! And it's all-ages, so bring the kids!

Club Passim, 47 Palmer Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (Harvard Square)

We will be busy all summer along, with plenty more dates to come too, so be sure to check our calendar!

Andy

Upcoming Shows!

Hey friends,

Our spring and summer schedule is quickly picking up steam--this is going to be a great stretch of gigs, with lots of new venues and towns, along with stops at all of our usual favorites. There are plenty more show announcements to come too--as well as some projects in the works that we are really excited to tell you guys about--so stay tuned. This is shaping up to be a special year for us!

Below are our upcoming performances. You can find more details, as well as our entire schedule, here.

  • Saturday, May 2 @ Cafe Nola - Schenectady, NY. 6:30pm (Andy & Ben duo show)
  • Wednesday, May 13 @ Mouzon House - Saratoga Springs, NY. 7pm. (Andy, Ben, & Tony trio show)
  • Saturday, May 16 @ Office Bistro - Plymouth, MA. 7pm. (acoustic show)
  • Saturday, May 23 @ T-Bones Roadhouse - Plymouth, MA. 1pm.
  • Saturday, May 30 @ Club Passim - Cambridge, MA. 3pm (matinee show!)

Every show is important to us, and playing live is what we love to do, but we are especially looking forward to our matinee show at Club Passim on Saturday, May 30. This is a very special venue for us, so we tried to find a day and time that would allow as many folks, including those from out of town, to come out and see us as possible. We also hope to debut that afternoon part of the aforementioned new project we've been working on. This is going to be one show you won't want to miss. Space is limited at Club Passim, so reserve your tickets now to ensure yourself a seat.

See you at the shows!

Andy & JH

The Noise reviews "Around These Parts"

Boston music magazine The Noise reviewed Around These Parts for their April issue. Check it out!

JO HENLEY

Around These Parts                

10 tracks

These guys are great. The ease and grace of their playing comes through like a live performance in the spirited little guitar riffs, and the subtle touches of mandolin and banjo. I’m heartened by the love for earth expressed in the song “The Last Monkey Maker”: “We can tar all our hillsides with roads/ Turn our art into binary codes/ You can’t know where you’re going/ If you don’t know what you left behind/ When the last monkey maker leaves town.”

“Deep in the Dirt” is a sad lament about love and loss, with wonderful vocal support by Hayley Sabella. “Under your knees/ As you free your garden of weeds/ The sky shines in my face/ Under your weight/I feel the ache of your hurt/ And I hear your remorse/ Deep in the Dirt.” “Jericho” flies along under a ripping melody supported with mandolin and impassioned vocal. “I want your love/ I need your love.” Those words have been in many songs; I feel them in this one. Fear is a theme that can find solace in a song. “Wait til May” speaks of some sort of tragic event and the way adults cope. “But we’re alright/ We’re okay/ I tell myself/ We’ll find a way/ The sun will burn away the night/ Wait til May with me tonight.” I wonder if it’s about the Boston Marathon bombing. Hayley Sabella sings on this one as well. I feel like I’ve heard “One More Night” before, even though I haven’t. It has that kind of epic rock sound like The Band or Creedence Clearwater Revival. “I’ve got a chip as big as Brooklyn/ On my shoulder/ I don’t want to hear/ There’s more to life than this/ Next week I’ll pick myself up by my bootstraps/ But tonight/ I’m full of vinegar and piss.”

There is a lot of heart in this CD, culminating in “Around These Parts”: “Dear Katie/ I’m settling in/ Winter’s here and I’m probably drinking/ More than one man should when he’s alone/ Come spring I’ll be hard to find/ I’m moving ’cross the Canadian side and I’m never coming home/ Around these parts I call home.” This album moves along with ardent vocals and guitar playing, telling stories of human life.                       (Kimmy Sophia Brown)

Thank you!

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.

"Deep in the Dirt" Official Music Video

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

Upcoming Shows!!

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

 

Around These Parts - CD Release Party

Dear friends,

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 SpireIt 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

Jo Henley Live at The Spire is HERE!


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:


Inside Out
The Fire
Gonna Make it Right
Bayley-Hazen Road
Save the Last Dance for Us
Clinton's Ditch
Holly
Mohawk > Over the Pine Plains
Promised Paradise
Voyeur Love
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!!!

Enjoy!!!

Where's Summer B?

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


 

Wait Till May

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