Artist Notes

On Joe Henry:
It was a hunch on both of our parts that we could make an album together. As it turned out it was a no brainer. We both work fast and were musically on the same wavelength. I work best with musicians who are as willing as I am to wing it and he assembled a group of players who did just that. Meaning invent each song from scratch.

Whistle Down The Wind
Tom Waits is as exquisitely gloomy as I am, but can craft a heart wrenching lyric from that gloominess. Lyrics like “The wagon of rain,” “the road as wet as the sea,” and “a place where the circus never ends,”—to name just three of the many pictures he paints in this song—speak directly to my heart and musical sensibilities.

Be Of Good Heart
Be Of Good Heart is a kinder, gentler farewell song than some. There is no subtle accusation or self righteousness. Just a suggestion that the parting lover leave with no guilt and kind intentions

Another World
I recently heard someone say that pessimism is a waste of time. I’m trying to heed that suggestion. In which case, I would stress the beauty of this song as well as its darkness. As to its accuracy, it’s anyone’s call.

Civil War
Joe sent it to me and I got as far as “he rose to show what hats are for” and I saw the little hat on the table and that was all I needed to give the song a try. Not every line makes sense to me, but that doesn’t seem to matter. It’s a swelling of emotions put to music.

The Things We Are Made Of
I had not heard this Mary Chapin Carpenter song until we were sharing the stage together in 2017. The combination of her words, guitar arrangement, and vocal simply knocked me off of my feet. I almost didn’t attempt it because I felt her version might be definitive. But I think the guys and I made a minor masterpiece out of it.

The President Sang Amazing Grace
I heard Zoe Mulford sing this while listening to KPFA, the Bay Area’s listener supported radio, which so often blazes trails in current music of all genres. Whatever gripes I might have about President Obama, he cannot be faulted for the deeply moving moment this song describes. He didn’t bluster or use platitudes or break down. No, on that day and in that place, the President sang Amazing Grace.

Last Leaf
Yes the song is romantic and nostalgic, plus it reminds me of myself at this stage of my life. Waits is also terribly funny. The audience is so busy repressing laughter at the Eisenhower line that they miss the line in the last verse “I’m like some vestigial tail”

Silver Blade
A brilliant song. It’s like a bookend to Silver Dagger at the end of this nearly sixty-year career. Josh manages to make the song sound like something I would have picked up in Club 47 when I was 18. The guitar instrumental is stunning. Reminds me of the guitar break in Willie Nelson’s “Pancho and Lefty”, one of the best I know.

The Great Correction
There’s not a single line in this song that doesn’t have meaning. I don’t know if the light shines brightest in the darkest times, but we can reach for the light switch and shout until the walls come a tumblin’ down!

I Wish The Wars Were All Over
This little song reminds me of the Malvina Reynolds protest song “What Have They Done To the Rain?” It’s just a whimsical hope of a better world to come. Will a better world come? I don’t know. But we have to do our work for a just and loving society whether the end comes tomorrow or whether we are still holding fast for generations to come.

For more information, please contact Asha Goodman 615.320.7753, Louis D’Adamio or Carla Sacks 212.741.1000 at Sacks & Co.