The Jo Henley Band

April 15, 2014


Jo Henley    no longer confused with Don Henley

Jo Henley brought their A game to T Bones in Plymouth Sunday night. The New RootsMAH092008-e1382971743523-1024x945 sensation from Schenectady made the pilgrimage to one of their favorite open air venues,T Bones in the heart of America’s Hometown, Plymouth Ma. to showcase their brand of American music.  Front man, Andy Campolieto,  in my opinion, is among the greatest singer songwriters in the business today. Campolieto has written, recorded and performed more than 60 original songs on five CD’s. From  his first CD, Long Way Home, to their upcoming new release, Around these Parts,  Andy Campolieto serves up one masterpiece after another. Each song is dynamic in width and breadth bringing to life vivid characters, historical events and diverse places.  As you peel back the layers of this man’s genius  and “get deep in the dirt” the lyrics become embedded in your mind. A wordsmith of the highest order, Campolieto has an uncanny ability to lace original American literature and prose with musical prowess to perfection. Campolieto lyrics are unpredictable and often disguised by the whimsical addictive hooks of his electric folk guitar. Whether he is channeling the groom of Martha May aboard an 1890′s steamboat in the song, The Kittie West, or speaking to insincere mourners from the grave in, Deep in the Dirt, Campolieto  provides glimpses of transparency in darkness vs light and  good vs evil using the masquerade of rock and roll.


Now add to the mix The Great Ben Lee on guitar. An expert luthier whose custom crafted guitars are ornate and practical with inlaid pearl, polished hardwood and modern hardware. These alone would be enough proof of  his greatness before he ever even put pic to string but his talent only begins with manufacturing guitars.  At each outing Lee takes his homemade marvel to a higher level delivering jaw dropping riffs that blur the digits and blow the mind. A complicated array of custom pedals, fuzz boxes and reverb allow Lee to morph from Willie to Trey and everything in between seamlessly. Truly a great versatile American guitarist of the highest order who is just now catching his stride toward stardom.

Now add in heartthrob Mike Dinghy on drums. Boyish  good looks along with jackedMAH0920071-300x220 stick holders and  a stellar musical resume from keyboard to violin,. Dinghy uses sticks, brushes, boots and stamina to hammer out the intricate percussion that  define  The Jo Henely “new roots” sound. Dinghy completes the original  trio and sets the foundation for the Jo Henley brand.

1234551_10201771087269588_584410651_nJo Henley has had their fair share of great bassist come their way through the years but have finally found one that fits like a glove, Kyle Stephens. His willingness to lay low and play second fiddle to Campolieto and Lee in his first year has allowed him to slowly infiltrate the menu and add his own signature to the stew. Stephens burst into a quick bass solo at one point Sunday that thrilled the T Bones faithful and revealed the mastery of this humble collaborator while cementing his place in infamy with Jo Henley.

Jo Henley also made the world premier of their new single, Around these Parts, the title track of the new album. An instant classic that had me wishing I was recording. Deep in the Dirt,  The Last Monkey Maker, Bayley-Hazen Road also made their world premier making the release of the new CD in June that much harder to wait for.

As a long time music fan and ameture music writer I have seldom been so enthusiastic about new original music. Without going any further over the top for this band, I’ll just say I have not awaited the arrival of a new cd like this in thirty years.

Next up for Jo Henley is the Banner Irish Pub in Rockland May 2nd. The Banner is known for great food and drink at a great price with an outdoor smoking area.