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Keeping it real

14 Aug 2014

Keeping it real Image

American singer-songwriter and four time Grammy Award winner Joe Henry is touring Australia and will play at the Melbourne Recital Centre.

Henry will play on the Elisabeth Murdoch Hall stage on Friday, September 12 touring his new album Invisible Hour. Henry has called Invisible Hour his favourite album so far. “I feel with this album I have reached a balance between an expanded poetic ambition and emotional clarity,” he said.

Joe Henry’s songs incorporate a variety of styles including rock, jazz, soul, blues and folk among others.  In this album, he leans towards folk and soul.

When questioned, Henry had trouble picking a favourite song on the album, and nominated two instead. “Either Slide because I love the mystery it contains or Sign because I love the way the narrative unspools,” he said.

Over the course of his career Joe Henry has collaborated with a number of other American songwriters including Don Cherry, Victoria Williams, Gary Louris and many others. On the current album there are guest appearances by Lisa Hannigan and The Milk Carton Kids.

There are also many who Henry would like to work with in the future. “Sonny Rollins, Bill Withers, Prince, Merle Haggard to name a few,” he said.

Henry, who is also a producer, is gearing up for the release of Look Again to the Wind: Cash’s Bitter Tears Revisited. The album, which is a tribute to Johnny Cash’s Bitter Tears means a lot to Henry.

“Johnny was my first musical hero. I feel I owe the man a debt and helping to realise an album he felt had never really been heard is meaningful to me,” he said.

Henry has been in the industry for more than 20 years and says the industry has kept him real.

“The key for me has been to just try and be authentic and faithful to what is uniquely mine to offer and not to look to a changing industry for validation or permission,” he said.

His tour will include songs off his new album as well as a few songs from the past that are rarely played anymore.

During his time in Australia, Henry will be supported by Heath Cullen, an Australian singer-songwriter.

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