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Joe Henry

Joe Henry

Fact Sheet

OccupationSinger, Guitarist, Songwriter  
Birthplace  USA
Joe Henry is a singer, songwriter, guitarist and record producer. Henry's first few albums were country or alt-country affairs, and earned mostly positive reviews.

1996's Trampoline saw Henry stretching out a bit, employing metal guitarist Page Hamilton and sounding less like country or folk music. One review noted tha album's "idiosyncratic broadmindedness(.)"

Fuse (1999) continued Henry's experimentalism with its trip hop shadings. One review of the album states that Fuse has "real weight, emotion and beauty that is both unmistakable and unforgettable."

Scar, released in 2001, was seen as a breakthrough: Henry's evocative songs had only traces of his early career's country sound, and band on the record was mostly jazz musicians (Marc Ribot, Brian Blade, Brad Mehldau among others), including an appearance by saxophonist Ornette Coleman--in a very rare cameo--who steals the show on "Richard Pryor Addresses A Tearful Nation."

Scar earned very positive reviews, including one by Thom Jurek, who wrote that Henry "has moved into a space that only he and Tom Waits inhabit in that they are songwriters who have created deep archetypal characters that are composites metaphorical, allegorical, and 'real' of the world around them and have created new sonic universes for them to both explore and express themselves in. Scar is a triumph not only for Henry who has set a new watermark for himself but for American popular music, which so desperately needed something else to make it sing again."

2003's self-produced Tiny Voices was another masterstroke, inspiring more praise from reviewers, including the typically verbose Jurek, who who wrote the album was "the sound of Hemingway contemplating the Cuban Revolution with William Gaddis, the sound of Buddy DeFranco and Jimmy Giuffre trying to talk to Miles Davis about electric guitars in an abandoned yet fully furnished Tiki bar in Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles."

Henry produced Solomon Burke's 2002 Don't Give Up On Me, which won Best Contemporary Blues Album at the 2003 Grammy Awards. He has also produced Aimee Mann's '70s concept album The Forgotten Arm, slated for release in March 2005.


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