An Invisible Hour Well Spent With Joe Henry

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Invisible Hour By Joe Henry is a Master Work

 

Producer, arranger and performer Joe Henry has just released Invisible Hour, his first since 2011’s Reverie.

“Sparrow” is a strong opener. Slow, deliberate, ‘Our very blood tastes like honey now’.

In “Grave Angels” ‘We are gathered together, We are hidden from view – In a tangle of laurel, we tear at our sorrow’.

“Signs” is an immediate and intimate delight, even given its epic sweep.  The song talks about youth, about ambitions, a life imagined.  The title track “Invisible Hour” has a gorgeous vibe.  In “Swayed” Henry says ‘I hang ready to be swayed’.

“Plainspeak”

A blind man looks out through your eye,
He hears the color of your sigh;
Tastes a laugh upon your thigh, then roars—
 Oh, let’s be clear, my sighing balladeer:
I want nothing more than
You to hear me now

Alice” (for Alice Munro) is a shorter, simpler affair, although no less poignant.  Listen to “Lead Me On” here:

 

“Every Sorrow” is a bustling, lilting piece

After every sorrow comes a joy,
But every sorrow knows one more

Invisible Hour is rich in imagery, compelling narratives that tell us a lot about ourselves and each other, steeped in humanity and its inherent weaknesses.  Redolent of feelings of and for the flesh.  The arrangements and musicianship are what you would expect from a craftsman and master producer.  This is a deeply felt and deeply affecting work.  The stories will take some unravelling, unlocking its many secrets.  I am not there yet but am relishing working on it.

 

Recording Date: Jul 2013

The musicians:

Jay Bellerose – Drums
Jennifer Condos – Electric Bass
Joe Henry – Acoustic Guitar and Vocals
Levon Henry – Clarinet and Bass Clarinet, Tenor & Soprano Saxophones
Greg Leisz – Acoustic Guitar, Mandola, Mandocello, Weissenborn
John Smith – Acoustic Guitar, Mandola, Backing Vocals
David Piltch – Upright Bass (“Invisible Hour” and “Lead Me On”)

The Special Guests:

The Milk Carton Kids (Kenneth Pattengale & Joey Ryan) Backing Vocals
Lisa Hannigan Vocals on “Lead Me On”

 

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JOE HENRY AUSTRALIAN TOUR DATES

Tuesday 9th September The Basement, Sydney NSW
Tickets: thebasement.com.au ph: 1300 438 849

Wednesday 10th September The Basement, Sydney NSW
Tickets: thebasement.com.au ph: 1300 438 849

Friday 12th September Melbourne Recital Centre, Melbourne VIC
Tickets: melbournerecital.com.au ph: 03 9699 3333

Saturday 13th September Meeniyan Town Hall, Meeniyan VIC
Tickets: lyrebirdartscouncil.com.au

Sunday 14th September Brisbane Festival. Brisbane QLD
Tickets: brisbanefestival.com.au

 

Thanks to Gaynor Crawford

Author: Rob Dickens

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  1. Heath Cullen To Support Joe Henry’s Australian Tour | robdickens101 - […] Joe Henry’s tour will put on display his atmospheric new release Invisible Hour – read my review here. […]

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