Joe Henry Residency:
Debut of a New Album in Performance:
Saturday, December 2, 2017 | 8:00 pm
For three decades, the singer, songwriter, producer, and author Joe Henry has been shaping and reshaping a working definition of American music that is as rich and rewarding as that of his any of his peers. From his early years as a budding raconteur in Michigan and New York to his major-label run in the late ’90s, the Charlotte native and Los Angeles resident has seen the song as a sacred vehicle for emotional articulation and cultural exploration, a way to scratch at some truth while scrambling quaint perceptions of genre. He is an American folk singer in the bravest sense of the word: his work assimilates a century of this country’s musical ideas and expressions into unforgettable songs. In a unique three-day residency with Duke Performances, Henry will examine his artistry from several distinct angles.
On Saturday night, Henry steps onto the stage of Baldwin Auditorium for a fifty-seventh-birthday concert, playing every song from his new album, Thrum, as well as other tunes from his expansive songbook. He joins the same sterling crew of musicians that shaped Thrum and have supported him for, as he puts it, “the bulk of my working life” — drummer Jay Bellerose, reed player Levon Henry, bassist David Piltch, and pianist Patrick Warren. Henry is an American musical treasure, and this residency is a rare invitation to witness his fascinating artistic process.
“Henry’s lyrics and melodies reveal an exacting craftsman. Henry and his trio have been together long enough that they are able to get quite specific in terms of groove, mood, and feel.”