NPR : World Cafe

Filed Under:

Joe Henry On World Cafe

Since his 1986 studio debut Talk of Heaven, the Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter and producer Joe Henry has defied convention. Known best for his country-inspired work, Henry reinvigorates each new release by injecting hints of soul, blues, jazz and funk. He's produced albums by Aimee Mann, Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint, and House star Hugh Laurie.

Henry's latest album, Reverie, ventures even deeper into new musical territory. He recorded and produced the album in his South Pasadena basement studio, aiming to forge a "raw, raucous and messy" sound. He left his windows open — with microphones attached — to capture the sounds of passing traffic and shouting neighbors. With a backing band that included T-Bone Burnett's drummer Jay Bellerose, Tom Waits' guitarist Mark Ribot, pianist Keefus Ciancia, and guest vocalist Lisa Hannigan, Henry granted his players free license to let the music come as they felt it should. The result is a stripped-bare blend of blues and folk, its sonic naturalism starkly contrasted with Henry's nuanced musicianship.

Today's session of World Cafe showcases Henry without the street noise — he performs a solo set of four songs from Reverie with just his voice and acoustic guitar.

Copyright 2011 WXPN-FM. To see more, visit http://www.xpn.org/.

NPR

Jack Davis, Cartoonist Who Helped Found 'Mad' Magazine, Dies

Money from a job illustrating a Coca-Cola training manual became a springboard for Jack Davis to move from Georgia to New York.
NPR

Cookie Dough Blues: How E. Coli Is Sneaking Into Our Forbidden Snack

Most people know not to eat raw cookie dough. But now it's serious: 46 people have now been sickened with E. coli-tainted flour. Here's how contamination might be occurring.
WAMU 88.5

The Politics Hour – LIVE from Slim's Diner!

This special edition of the Politics Hour is coming to you live from Slim's Diner from Petworth in Northwest D.C.

NPR

Writing Data Onto Single Atoms, Scientists Store The Longest Text Yet

With atomic memory technology, little patterns of atoms can be arranged to represent English characters, fitting the content of more than a billion books onto the surface of a stamp.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.