Happy summer daze, friends! Thanks to all who came out to our shows last weekend at T-Bones on Saturday and the Lion Eyes Ride for Sight, a fundraiser to raise money for the blind, hosted by the Rockland Lions Club. Our friend Ari joined us on drums and helped Ben, Kent, and I take some old jams to very new places, as well as adding his jazzy touch to some of our latest material. I'm headed down south to the mountains for some writing inspiration and to visit some old friends for the next couple of weeks, but we we have some excellent shows lined up for August, including headlining Woburn's Horn Pond Summer Concert Series on Friday, August 21, and a return to the Gulu-Gulu in Salem, MA, on Saturday, August 22. Both are free shows, so come on out!
We weren't going to say anything until it was 100% finished, but rumors have been leaking so we might as well come clean: Ben and I have been quietly making a new Jo Henley record, which we will be wrapping up in early August and expect to release by the end of the year. It started off as just something fun to do over the week between Christmas and New Years, challenging ourselves to push the boundaries of roots-rock and the "sound" that Jo Henley has become known for, but what was supposed to be a simple EP quickly sounded so fresh and exciting that we decided to keep following the muse, writing new material, and here we are, just about to start mixing. I don't want to say too much about it, except that we think our fans are really going to be surprised--and happy--with this one. We'll share our first single with you later this summer.
But wait, there's MORE! Those of you who have come out to see our acoustic shows the past few months, including our late-May show at Club Passim, know that we have a new partner-in-crime in vocalist Rebecca Turner. This spring, Ben and I had wanted to play a string of duo gigs, but we didn't necessarily just want to play stripped-down versions of our Jo Henley songs. We wanted something new and different instead. We wanted to fuse the rootsy-jammy sound that is our bread-and-butter with the old-school country and folk duets along the lines of George and Tammy, Gram and Emmylou, and so on. Lyrically, I wanted the challenge of coming up with songs that could be sung as male/female dialogue and different viewpoints than what we typically do in Jo Henley, and musically the starkness of the acoustic guitars and melding of my and Rebecca's vocals opens up whole new worlds. It has been a tremendous experience so far and we are having a blast. Two weeks ago we headed to The Recording Company to track a couple of these new trio songs and they turned out amazing. We hope to have full EP completed later this fall, so be on the lookout! (By then we will also have a name for our trio, too. If you have any suggestions, let us know!)
In the meantime, please keep in touch, look for us on Facebook, and check our show schedule often as we have a bunch of new ones in the works, both as the full Jo Henley and our trio. I feel super lucky to keep doing what I love to do with such amazing folks.
Thank you for your continued support, friends. See you at the shows!
Andy & JH