Jo Henley is not a person, but rather a Boston-based roots-rock band formed by longtime musical collaborators Andy Campolieto and Ben Lee, known for its exciting blend of rock, folk, country, and bluegrass that their fans affectionately refer to as “new roots.” Inspired by everything from Hank Williams to The Rolling Stones to Phish, Campolieto and Lee, along with drummer Mike Dingley, combine traditional roots music with modern rock to create a sound all their own. Live, Jo Henley shows are spirited, high-energy events that showcase their carefully crafted songs and sparkling instrumental prowess.
In 2008, Jo Henley independently released their first full-length record, Sad Songs and Alcohol. A 12-track collection of tattered tales of lost love and broken dreams told against a backdrop of acoustic guitars, fiddle, mandolin, banjo, train beats, and weepy steel guitars, Sad Songs and Alcohol caught on with roots and indie music fans across the country, spending close to 6 months on the national Americana charts' (AMAs) Top 100–without any label support. Over the next year, the band toured up and down the East Coast and as far west as California, building a passionate following along the way
For their highly-anticipated followup, Inside Out, Jo Henley teamed with producer Rob Loyot (Girls, Guns & Glory, Sarah Blacker), and three veteran members of the Trey Anastasio Band: drummer Russ Lawton, keyboardist Ray Paczkowski, and bassist Tony Markellis. With its heart- and road-weary story-songs that roll easily from folk to straight-ahead rock to honky-tonk to R&B at the drop of a dime, Inside Out quickly became a fan favorite
In February 2011, after spending much of the previous year on the road, building its ever-growing fanbase, Jo Henley signed with Plimro Records, and in an inspired 5-day session at Seasound Studio with producer Mark Bryant (Jake Hill, 3rd Left), the quartet recorded a new album titled Mohawk. Inspired by the birth of his first child, Mohawk is frontman Andy Campolieto’s way of describing his life and hometown of Schenectady, NY, to his son. Brimming with everything from historical narratives about events such as the Schenectady Massacre of 1690 and the building of the Erie Canal, to personal and often painful explorations of his own upbringing in the blue-collar city in Upstate New York, Mohawk is first-rate Americana in the truest sense of the word.
2012 started off as the most difficult year for the band with the unexpected passing of Ben's father a few months earlier. Reverend Lee, in addition to being a beloved father, husband, minister, and philanthropist, was a huge Jo Henley fan, as well as a skilled carpenter who, together with Ben, handcrafted most of the electric guitars heard on every JH record and live performances. His passing left a gaping hole, but it was also a catalyst for a cathartic, dynamic period of reflection and creativity, with the band finding solace--and joy--in making music together, just as they've done for so many years. In January, Ben and Andy headed north to a cabin in a secluded section of Vermont's Northeast Kingdom and returned 3 days later with demos of songs that would set the framework for a new Jo Henley album. The rest of the material followed quickly.
Recorded over a week in June at The Recording Company in Upsate NY with two old friends, producer Tim Lynch and bassist Tony Markellis, The Fall Comes Early is a deeply personal look at universal themes of life, death, relationships, and time. Everything Jo Henley is all about is here: jangly midtempo rock, train-beat folk, '60s Nashville country, heel-thumpin' bluegrass. The album's centerpiece is "Big City," an 8-minute mini-symphony that is among the most ambitious tracks the band has ever recorded. The Fall Comes Early was released in December 2012.
In the meantime, you can find Jo Henley winning over new audiences up and down the East Coast, out west, and in a town near you.