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Joe Henry — Invisible Hour [2014]

Joe Henry — Invisible Hour [Jun 03, 2014]

USA Flag             Joe Henry — Invisible Hour
♠   Roots–rock singer–songwriter who eventually incorporated elements of jazz, R&B, electronica, and more.
Born: Charlotte, NC
Location: c
Album release: Jun 03, 2014 (U.S.)
Recording Date: Jul 24 — 26 & 31, 2013
Record Label: Edel Germany
Duration:     60:22
Tracks:
01. Sparrow      7:24
02. Grave Angels      5:31
03. Sign      8:58
04. Invisible Hour      4:02
05. Swayed      5:17
06. Plainspeak      5:25
07. Lead Me On      4:31
08. Alice      2:45
09. Every Sorrow      4:58
10. Water Between Us      5:02
11. Slide      6:30
2014 Worksongs under exclusive license to Edel Germany GmbH. earMUSIC is a project of Edel. ©
So sleep here with me
And I’ll keep you close
For now while I try
To live up to you.
You can’t see the challenge of this,
I suppose, but
Time is a dare
And I’m trying to.
Personnel:
♠   Jay Bellerose Drums
♠   Jennifer Condos Electric Bass
♠   JH 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”)
-Special Guests- 
♠   The Milk Carton Kids (Kenneth Pattengale & Joey Ryan) Backing Vocals
♠   Lisa Hannigan Vocals on “Lead Me On”
REVIEW
By ANN POWERS, May 25, 201411:03 PM ET
♠   Eternal love may sound great on paper, but in reality our most serious commitments break us as surely as they make us. To wed is to promise to accompany someone through the hope of romance into terrifying midlife and aggravating old age, enduring whatever ordinary disasters hit. To believe in a deity is to accept that all–powerful being's cruelty, or even apparent apathy, as well as its wonder. To invest in a personal vision — a vocation, an artistic quest — is to acknowledge that it may fall apart.
♠   Joe Henry has been married 27 years. The son of Christian parents, he found his own psalms in songs. As a singer–songwriter, he’s spent his life homing in on a sound — part folk, part jazz, part indescribable — that brings profundity and poeticism down to earth. He knows how commitment can fetter a person even as it frees him. “I take this to be holy / if futile, uncertain and dire,” he sings in Grave Angels, the song from Invisible Hour that most clearly addresses the subject of marriage, which Henry has said is at the heart of this, his 13th solo album. “Our union of fracture, our dread everlasting,” he continues. “This beautiful, desperate desire.”
♠   Gilding these sentiments with joy and awe, Grave Angels is a celebratory dance, with zigzagging clarinet (played by Henry’s 22–year–old son, Levon) and a kicky Irish drum part. Other songs on Invisible Hour, like the warmly vulnerable “Swayed” and the pleading “Plainspeak,” also couple gloom with streaming daylight. Henry embraces the hard stuff that comes with the long haul. The ambiguity that colors his lyrics is full of promise: Risk brings the spirit and the flesh to life.
♠   Henry's lyrics read remarkably well on the page; the settings he's devised for each song work like hidden extra verses, enriching his narratives. Henry, a renowned producer as well as a solo artist, let the mostly old friends who joined him in his South Pasadena home studio — drummer Jay Bellerose, bassist Jennifer Condos, pedal–steel player Greg Leisz — make their own choices within roomy arrangements that put his smoky voice in dialogue with whatever instrumentalist gently takes the lead.
♠   Sometimes the band has fun evoking other deep thinkers — "Lead Me On," which features a guest vocal from Lisa Hannigan, evokes the Bob Dylan of New Morning; the bluesy "Alice" seems to be based on Alice Munro's short story "Train," with the influence of Leonard Cohen apparent throughout. Levon Henry's reeds, recalling klezmer, add more poignancy.
♠   In many ways, though, Invisible Hour is Irish. Dubliner Hannigan co–wrote the title song with Henry and the novelist Colum McCann; the late Seamus Heaney, along with Henry's wife Melanie, receives the album's dedication. As in much Irish literature, humor, fatalism and mystical beauty collide here, in tales spun by wanderers aware of their own limited nature but determined to seek beauty nonetheless. Physical distance, the drip of time and pain that curtains the heart may separate these lovers from each other, but they keep returning. In "Sign," the long, plainspoken deathbed confession of a deaf adventurer, Henry gives the rogue a last redemption: the vision of a girl who sat in front of him in school dozens of years before. She's like one of William Butler Yeats' sprites, made of longing and delusion. Hope doesn't die until the body's last breath.
♠   In that ruminative title track, Henry reveals the fundamental reason for human pain and the will to overcome it: we "come alive in bodies that are not our own." This is a spiritual declaration — one that could be Catholic, or Buddhist, or simply Universalist. ♠   It's the idea that we're all bound together, despite the barriers created by our egos and our skin. "I've come back to plead and dance," Henry sings. "To forgive us both all in advance." Forgiveness sustains the unions we dare to call eternal, for as long as we shall live. (Fortaken: http://www.npr.org/)

Credits:
♠   Jay Bellerose  Drums, Percussion
♠   Jennifer Condos  Bass (Electric)
♠   Julian Cubillos  Studio Assistant
♠   Ryan Freeland  Engineer, Mastering, Mixing
♠   Lisa Hannigan  Composer, Vocals
♠   Joe Henry  Composer, Guitar (Acoustic), Liner Notes, Photography, Producer, Vocals
♠   Levon Henry  Clarinet, Clarinet (Bass), Portrait Photography, Sax (Soprano), Sax (Tenor)
♠   Greg Leisz  Guitar (Acoustic), Mandocello, Mandola, Weissenborn
♠   Isa Marcelli  Back Cover Photo
♠   Colum McCann  Composer
♠   The Milk Carton Kids  Guest Artist, Vocals (Background)
♠   Ken Pattengale  Guest Artist, Vocals (Background)
♠   David Piltch  Bass (Upright)
♠   Joey Ryan  Guest Artist, Vocals (Background)
♠   Anabel Sinn  Design
♠   John Smith  Composer, Guitar (Acoustic), Mandola, Vocals (Background)
Website: http://joehenrylovesyoumadly.com/
MANAGEMENT
David Whitehead
Maine Road Management
195 Chrystie St., Suite 901F
New York, NY 10002
212.979.9004
Label Inquiries:
Work Song Inc.
195 Chrystie St #901F
New York, NY 10002
Phone: (212) 979-9004
Fax: (212) 979-0985
Email: info@worksongmusic.com
Press Inquiries:
Brendan Gilmartin
Chart Room Media
61 Ninth St. #B-4
Brooklyn, NY 11215
Phone: (347) 450-3048
Email: brendan@chartroommedia.com
For more info visit www.joehenrylovesyoumadly.com.
DISCOGRAPHY:
♠   Invisible Hour (2014)
♠   Reverie (2011)
♠   Blood From Stars (2009)
♠   Civilians (2007)
♠   Tiny Voices (2003)
♠   Scar (2001)
♠   Fuse (1999)
♠   Trampoline (1996)
♠   Kindness of The World (1993)
♠   Short Man’s Room (1992)
♠   Shuffletown (1990)
♠   Murder of Crows (1989)
♠   Talk of Heaven (1986)
REVIEW
By Josh Hurst
♠   Of course, there’s another Joe Henry song that echoes throughout this latest hour of music, and it is perhaps his most beloved: “I rise and fall with you/ And you can’t fail me now,” he sang once before, and Invisible Hour is nothing if not a collection of love songs that look back over the rising and the falling, over the rough and tumble (“salt and sugar, tooth and nail…”). And true enough: In its elegance and its grit, its reaching upward and inward for the sublime and its kicking up of earth and dust, it offers a bruised and beating heart to us; doesn’t mask the pain of doing so but does bear glorious witness to the transformation that it brings; bids us do the same. Like the love it speaks of, the record stands ready to seduce and change us, if only we allow it. (excerpt; fortaken: http://joehenryblog.com/2014/05/14/joe-henrys-invisible-hour-an-exclusive-review-by-josh-hurst/)
____________________________________________________________

Joe Henry — Invisible Hour [2014]

 

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