Late last year, legendary singer/songwriter Joe Henry stepped into the KEXP studios, where he debuted a couple new songs from his then-untitled thirteenth album. Today, KEXP is proud to share the video debut of “Slide,” a track from that album, now titled Invisible Hour, released last month on his own label, Work Song. As he explains on his website, “I am very proud of the work, and am thus, for the first time, releasing it myself (in partnership with my management on our own Work Song label), in recognition of the changing landscape and in the spirit of true ownership in every sense of that word.”
For nearly 30 years, Henry has racked up several Grammy Awards for his work producing an eclectic range of artists, from Solomon Burke, Madonna, Emmylou Harris, Aimee Mann, and Elvis Costello, just to name a few. He brings that same meticulous craftsmanship to his own work, and claims Invisible Hour to be “a defining moment for [him] personally and as an artist.”
The songs on the new album are warm and folky, with his tender, yet strident voice singing knowingly about marriage — “marriage as a verb, not a noun,” he defines in the album’s liner notes. The balladeer has been married for 27 years to Madonna’s sister, Melanie Ciccone. Their 22-year-old son, Levon, plays clarinet on the album. The spirit of family resonates throughout the release, giving Invisible Hour a special intimacy. Check out the video for “Slide” below, and click here to watch his 2013 in-studio session at KEXP.