Determined to bridge what they feel is an ever-widening gap between roots and pop music, longtime friends and collaborators Andy Campolieto and Ben Lee set out in winter 2006 to form an original roots-pop string band called Jo Henley. The goal was...
Determined to bridge what they feel is an ever-widening gap between roots and pop music, longtime friends and collaborators Andy Campolieto and Ben Lee set out in winter 2006 to form an original roots-pop string band called Jo Henley. The goal was simple: to write and perform acoustic-based songs that were catchy, accessible, and steeped in the spirit and instrumentation of American roots music. To bring their black-and-white sketches into full color, the duo turned to one of New England's finest fiddlers in Tim Weed, and added the seductive jazz-inflected country drumming of Tien-Yi Lee. Led by Andy Campolieto's warm and engaging tenor, as well as Ben Lee's standout fretwork on guitar, dobro, and lap steel, Jo Henley entered the studio in summer 2006 to cut their acclaimed 7-song debut EP Long Way Home. This record became the blueprint for the band’s signature country- and bluegrass-tinged pop sound.
The following summer, armed with a fresh batch of road-tested originals penned by Campolieto, the group recorded their full-length follow-up at The Recording Company in Upstate NY. Sad Songs and Alcohol is a 12-track collection of tattered tales of lost love and broken dreams told against a shimmering backdrop of acoustic guitars, fiddle, mandolin, banjo, train beats, and weepy steel guitars. Featuring the standout playing of bassist Tony Markellis (Trey Anastasio Band), Sad Songs and Alcohol finds Jo Henley in top form and is expected to bring this exciting young band much deserved mainstream attention this year and beyond.
In just over a year’s time Jo Henley has been featured on television, radio, festivals, and continues to win over new audiences with its high-energy performances and well-crafted songs. Jo Henley is a top-notch act not to be missed.
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING...
"Their seven-song album 'Long Way Home' has a rural, serene sound without being static. It has guitars, fiddle and a spry rhythm section with a thumping lope. And it has really, really good songs — reminiscent of Gram Parsons, “Workingman’s Dead” or the less rowdy side of the New Riders of the Purple Sage." Michael Hochanadel, The Daily Gazette.
"No one will ever confuse Jo Henley with The Byrds or The Flying Burrito Brothers. But Lee and his cohorts craft fine alt-country tunes laced with heart-on-sleeve lyricism and deft, tasteful musicianship." Dan Bolles, Seven Days.
PRESS FOR SAD SONGS ANG ALCOHOL...
Michael Hochanadel of the Daily Gazette says, "[Sad Songs and Alcohol is] sincere, strong and sweet music, with an acoustic bluegrass/folk authenticity and tuneful pop sensibility."
Greg Haymes of the Times Union calls the new album "sparkling." He goes on to say, "The disc features a good batch of acoustic alt-country originals by Campolieto, as well as a fiddle-fueled romp through Hank Williams’ "Why Don’t You Love Me (Like You Used to Do)?"
"By aligning themselves with the bland country rock quartet [The Eagles], Jo Henley sells themselves short. The Byrds would be better avian cousins--these bluegrass inflections are more "Eight Miles High" than "Tequila Sunrise." Because on Sad Songs and Alcohol Jo Henley keeps their country stylings poppy enough for the indie kids, but authentic enough for the local barn dance. The gospel flavor that inflects tracks like "Take Me Back" adds some extra punch to the proceedings. The style suits Andy Campolieto's strong tenor as he unselfconsciously belts out the words while legato violin lines dance over bouncy banjo plucking."...Ray Padgett, The Noise