Joseph Lee "Joe" Henry
born on 2/12/1960
Alias Joe Henry
Joe Henry (born December 2, 1960) is an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and Grammy award winning producer. He has released 12 studio albums and produced multiple recordings for other artists.
Henry was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, grew up in the Detroit, Michigan area, and graduated from the University of Michigan.
1985 to 2005
Henry moved to Brooklyn, NY in 1985 and began performing in local music venues. He released his first album "Talk of Heaven" in 1986. The album earned him a recording contract with A&M, which subsequently released the albums Murder of Crows in 1989 and Shuffletown in 1990. Shuffletown, produced by T-Bone Burnett, represented a shift in musical direction towards the "alt country" genre. Henrys next two recordings, Short Man's Room (1992) and Kindness of the World (1993), utilized members of the country-rock band the Jayhawks. The song "King's Highway" was later recorded by Joan Baez. For his 1996 album Trampoline, Henry incorporated guitarist Page Hamilton of Helmet and a reviewer at Trouserpress called the album "idiosyncratic broadmindedness." 
1999's Fuse was recorded with producers Daniel Lanois and T-Bone Burnett. The album was called an "atmospheric marvel" by one reviewer and Ann Powers of the New York Times wrote: Henry has "found the sound that completes his verbal approach."
Scar, released in 2001, featured jazz musicians Marc Ribot, Brian Blade, Brad Mehldau and saxophonist Ornette Coleman on "Richard Pryor Addresses A Tearful Nation." According to Allmusic's Thom Jurek, the album is a "triumph not only for Henrywho has set a new watermark for himselfbut for American popular music, which so desperately needed something else to make it sing again." [Joe Henry at All Music Guide]
2003's self-produced Tiny Voices album was Henry's first recording on Epitaph's Anti label. Jurek described this album as "the sound of....electric guitars in an abandoned yet fully furnished Tiki bar in Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles." [Joe Henry at All Music Guide]
Henry's wife talked him into letting her send Madonna a demo of his song "Stop," which was reworked and recorded as "Don't Tell Me" (from Madonna's 2000 album Music). Henry's own tango-tinged version of the song appeared on Scar and was featured in an episode of "The Sopranos." Henry and his sister-in-law recorded a duet, "Guilty By Association," on the charity album Sweet Relief II: Gravity of the Situation, and collaborated on the songs "Jump" on Confessions on a Dance Floor, "Devil Wouldn't Recognize You" on Hard Candy, and "Falling Free" on MDNA.
In the early 2000s, Henry was an inaugural member of the Independent Music Awards' judging panel to support independent artists.
2006 to present
After producing the Grammy-award-winning album Don't Give Up on Me by Solomon Burke, Henry produced additional records and in 2006 opened up a home studio where he often collaborates with recording engineer Ryan Freeland and Los Angeles-based musicians such as Jay Bellerose, Greg Leisz, David Piltch, Patrick Warren and Keefus Ciancia. In September 2006, Henry and Loudon Wainwright III began composing the music for the Judd Apatow movie Knocked Up in Henry's home studio. Some instrumentals were used as background score for the film while other songs appeared on Wainwright's 2007 Strange Weirdos which Henry produced.
In 2007, Henry released Civilians, which was described as "a rich, acoustic affair that returns us to Henry's rootsier sounds". The final track on the album, "God Only Knows," was used in a "TCM Remembers 2008" TV commercial. Bonnie Raitt's 2012 album Slipstream, which Henry produced, contained versions of two songs from Civilians.
In 2009, Henry released his ninth solo record, Blood From Stars which incorporates orchestral blues with guitarist Marc Ribot, pianist Jason Moran and his son on saxophone. The album focuses on facets of blues with a sprinkling of jazz, rock and pop and traces the rugged history of American storytelling.
In May 2011, Henry released the album Reverie with simple acoustic instrumention on guitar, upright bass, piano and drums. "When you listen to Reverie, especially on headphones, you can hear traffic in the background or a neighbor calling her dog. It's not always a pristine recording environment. Henry not only left the windows open at his basement studio, but also put microphones on them." "But there was this singer-songwriter environment, this post-Dylan fallout, of people who think that pages of your diary set to music are songs, and that the more 'honest' songs are, the better they are. And that's the greatest misconception of American popular music: that if you're being honest, you're being entertaining."
Henry has been described as "a modest-selling 'critics darling' with a reputation for pushing the envelope" and who writes "songs [that] dont fit into an easily defined box" and instead draws influence from folk, blues, jazz, rock and country.
Since 1987 Henry has been married to Madonna's sister Melanie Ciccone and they have two children.
In 2013, Henry and his brother David released a biography of Richard Pryor, titled Furious Cool: Richard Pryor and the World That Made Him.
|2013||Over the Rhine||Meet Me at the Edge of the World||Great Speckled Dog||Producer.|
|2013||Hugh Laurie||Didn't It Rain||Warner Bros.||Producer.|
|2013||Billy Bragg||Tooth & Nail||Cooking Vinyl||Producer.|
|2012||Natalie Duncan||Devil In Me||Verve||Producer.|
|2012||Rodney Crowell/Mary Karr||Kin||Vanguard||Producer.|
|2012||Bonnie Raitt||Slipstream||Redwing|| Producer.
Writer/Co-Writer of several songs.
|2011||Meshell Ndegeocello||Weather||Naive||Producer & Co-writer on several songs.|
|2011||Joe Henry||Reverie||ANTI-||Recording Artist/Singer/Songwriter/Producer.|
|2011||Hugh Laurie||Let Them Talk||Warner||Producer.|
|2011||Over the Rhine||The Long Surrender||Great Speckled Dog|| Producer.
Co-writer on two songs: Sharpest Blade & Soon.
|2010||Aaron Neville||I Know Ive Been Changed||Tell It Records|| Producer.
Included guest musician Allen Toussaint.
|2010||Mose Allison||The Way of the World||ANTI-||Producer & Co-writer w/ Mose on the title track.|
|2009||Joe Henry||Blood From Stars||ANTI-|| Recording Artist/Singer/Songwriter/Producer.
Featured the song Stars, which was originally written for HBOs Six Feet Under.
Also featured guest musician Jason Moran.
|2009||Carolina Chocolate Drops||Genuine Negro Jig||Nonesuch||Producer.
Grammy winning record.
|2009||Ramblin Jack Elliott||A Stranger Here||ANTI-||Producer.
Grammy Winning Record.
|2009||Salif Keita||La Differénce||Universal Classics||Producer.|
|2009||Allen Toussaint||The Bright Mississippi||Nonesuch||Producer.
Grammy Nominated record.
|2008||Loudon Wainwright III||Recovery||Yep Roc||Producer.|
|2008||Rodney Crowell||Sex and Gasoline||Work Song||Producer.
Grammy Nominated Record.
|2007||Joe Henry||Civilians||ANTI-||Recording Artist/Songwriter/Producer.|
|2007||Loudon Wainwright III||Strange Weirdos||Concords|| Producer.
Wrote 4 of the songs.
Music written for and to accompany the film Knocked Up.
|2007||Mary Gauthier||Between Daylight and Dark||Lost Highway||Producer.|
|2006||Elvis Costello/Allen Toussaint||The River in Reverse||Verve||Producer.|
|2005||Various Artists||Our New Orleans: A Benefit Album for the Gulf Coast||Nonesuch|| Co-Producer.
Dirty Dozen Brass Band, & others.
|2005||Various Artists||I Believe To My Soul||Work Song||Producer.|
|2005||Bettye LaVette||Ive Got My Own Hell to Raise||ANTI-||Producer.|
|2005||Susan Tedeschi||Hope and Desire||Verve||Producer.
Grammy Nominated Record.
Featured the Blind Boys of Alabama.
|2005||Aimee Mann||The Forgotten Arm||SuperEgo||Producer.|
|2004||Ani DiFranco||Knuckle Down||Righteous Babe||Co-Producer.|
|2004||Jim White||Drill a Hole in That Substrate and Tell Me What You See||Luaka Bop|| Producer (7 tracks).
Featured guest musician Aimee Mann.
|2003||Joe Henry||Tiny Voices||ANTI-|| Recording Artist/Songwriter/Producer.
Guests musicians Don Byron & Ron Miles among others.
|2002||Solomon Burke||Don't Give Up on Me||Fat Possum||Producer.
Grammy Winning Record.
|2002||John Doe||Dim Stars, Bright Sky||Artist Direct||Producer.|
|2001||Joe Henry||Scar||Mammoth|| Recording Artist/Songwriter/Co-Producer w/ Craig Street.
The song Stop was featured on the HBO television show The Sopranos,
and was covered by Madonna under the title "Dont Tell Me".
|2000||Teddy Thompson||Teddy Thompson||Virgin||Producer|
|1999||Joe Henry||Fuse||Mammoth||Recording Artist/Songwriter/Producer.|
|1999||Shivaree||I Oughtta Give You a Shot in the Head for Making Me Live in This Dump||Capitol||Producer.|
|1998||Kristin Hersh||Strange Angels||Rykodisc||Producer.|
|1996||Joe Henry||Trampoline||Mammoth|| Recording Artist/Songwriter/Co-Producer.
Co-Produced w/ Patrick McCarthy.
|1994||Joe Henry||Fireman's Wedding||Mammoth|| Recording Artist/Songwriter/Producer.
Featured members of The Jayhawks.
|1993||Joe Henry||Kindness of the World||Mammoth|| Recording Artist/Songwriter/Producer.
Featured members of The Jayhawks.
|1992||Joe Henry||Short Mans Room||Mammoth Records|| Recording Artist/Songwriter/Producer.
The song Kings Highway was covered by Joan Baez.
Featured members of The Jayhawks.
|1991||Bruce Cockburn||Nothing But a Burning Light||Columbia||Production associate to T Bone Burnett.|
|1990||Joe Henry||Shuffletown||Mammoth|| Recording Artist/Songwriter.
Featured musicians Don Cherry & Cecil McBee.
Produced by T Bone Burnett.
|1989||Joe Henry||Murder of Crows||Mammoth|| Recording Artist/Songwriter.
String arrangements by Van Dyke Parks.
|1986||Joe Henry||Talk of Heaven||Astor Place||Co-Producer w/ Keith Anderson.|
|Year||Artist||Film & Track or Score||Film Studio||Notes|
|2010||Various Artists||Passion Play (select backing tracks)||Annapurna Productions||Producer & Songwriter of "Orphan in this World".|
|2010||Gwyneth Paltrow||Country Strong (select song)||Sony Pictures||Producer.|
|2009||Joe Henry||Motherhood (original score)||John Wells Productions||Composer/Producer.|
|2007||Joe Henry & Loudon Wainwright III||Knocked Up (original score)||Apatow Productions||Co-Composer/Producer .|
|2007||Various Artists||I'm Not There soundtrack||Celluloid Dreams|| Producer.
Artists included Richie Havens, Marcus Carl Franklin, & John Doe
|2000||Joe Henry||Jesus' Son (original score)||Alliance Atlantis/Evenstar Films||Composer/Producer/Engineer.|
|2012||Madonna||"Falling Free"/MDNA||Interscope Records||Co-Writer w/ William Orbit, Laurie Mayer & Madonna.|
|2009||Madeleine Peyroux||"Love and Treachery"/Bare Bones||Rounder Records||Co-Writer w/ Madeleine Peyroux & Larry Klein.|
|2008||Madonna||"Devil Wouldn't Recognize You"/Hard Candy||Warner Bros.||Co-Writer w/ Timbaland, Danja, Justin Timberlake & Madonna.|
|2006||Madonna||"Jump"/Confessions on a Dance Floor||Warner Bros.||Co-Writer w/ Stuart Price & Madonna.|
|2003||Rosanne Cash||"Hope Against Hope"/Rules of Travel||Capitol||Co-Writer w/ Jakob Dylan.|
|2000||Madonna||"Don't Tell Me"/Music||Warner Bros.||Co-Writer w/ Mirwais Ahmadzaï & Madonna.|
|2007||Jakob Dylan||"Whispering Pines"/Endless Highway: The Music of The Band||Savoy Jazz||Producer.|
|2004||Joe Henry/Ann Peebles||"Until You Came Into My Life"/Sweethearts||Hear Music||Duet Vocals/Producer.|
|2003||Sam Phillips||"Wedding in Cherokee County"/(unreleased)||(unreleased)||Producer.|
|1999||Meshell Ndegeocello||"Wasted Time"/Bitter||Maverick||Duet vocals.|
|1996||Joe Henry/Madonna||"Guilty by Association"/Sweet Relief II: Gravity of the Situation||Columbia||Duet Vocals/Co-Producer.|
|1992||Spinal Tap||"Rainy Day Sun"/Break Like the Wind||MCA||Production Associate.|
- Unknown (Nov 10 2011)Joe Henry and Eclectic and Raucous Reverie NPR, retrieved June 30, 2012
- musicianguide.com. Joe Henry Biography.
- Joe Henry Trouserpress
- Moerer, Keith. Fuse (Amazon.com description). Amazon.com.
- Powers, Ann, Pop Review; When the Main Event is Metaphor, t's Easy to Get Lost., New York Times, March 16, 1999.
- Independent Music Awards - Past Judges
- (Grammy official website).
- Schultz, Barbara. Meshell Ndegeocello. Electronic Musician.
- Marshall, Claudia. Joe Henry Returns to His Roots. National Public Radio.
- Joe Henry: Feeling a Darkness. National Public Radio.
- Reverie: Album Credits. AllMusicGuide.
- Joe Henry's Raw, Raucous 'Reverie'. National Public Radio.
- DeCurtis, Anthony. Regarding (joe) Henry. Orlando Sentinel.
- Scoppa, Bud. Production Notes: Joe Henry. Paste Magazine.
- Whitman, Andy. A Very Personal, Highly Idiosyncratic Musical Overview of the Aughts. Paste Magazine.
- Joe Henry Iceberg Radio
Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Joe Henry
- official website
- Review of Civilians album at Variety
- Joe Henry on the Internet Movie Database
- Interview at Exlaim
- Interview with HitQuarters