The Mighty Jo Henley Band, Live at the Rock.

September 4, 2013


T Bonez on the Plymouth Waterfront, just steps from Plymouth Rock, was the venue for this latest awe inspiring performance by Jo Henley. Just as they had blown the door open for the summer of 2013 through the open windows of this seaside eatery on a sunny sunday in early June, the mighty Jo Henely Band brought a fitting close to the summer last Sunday night.  Jo Henley is Andy Campolieto, Mike Dingy and the amazing Ben Lee.


1A5A2277-300Andy Campolieto is a serious modern day  singer songwriter who has amassed an encyclopedia of original recorded music on five CD’s. Each new release surpasses the last as every track leaps from the disk and becomes embedded in your heart and mind after only a few plays. From masterpieces like, “The Kitty West”  with it’s simple rhythm and rhyme lines like “There’s a band playing Dixie on the deck as the Captain lights his cigarette” to soul wrenching tracks like “Save the last Dance for us” where Campolieto laments “promised I’d never let you down,,, for long, like you let me down,,, for good”, demonstrating his  lyrical mastery over and over. His poetry and prose blends heartbreak and history, destiny and desire along with a hundred human emotions that ride a glass surfaced  sea upon hauntingly familiar tradewinds.  Names like Cat Stevens, Robbie Robertson, Tom Petty and Rob Thomas come to mind as you watch this rising star unleash his resonating repetiteur of creations  through the Jo Henley Band. However Andy Capolieto is not like any one of them. He is an authentic original.

As if Campolieto were not enough to earn the band the greatness they deserve you add 1A5A2275-300in Ben Lee. Even the guys name has stardome written into it. Ben Lee is as good a guitar player that God has put on this earth in my lifetime. He sails seamlessly through intricate riffs that are so intense and complicated that the cheers cry out from the crowd long before the songs have ended . Ben is one of those one in a million players who builds his own guitars, as well as a myriad of foot pedals and  fuzz boxes that allows him to jump from rock to bluegrass to calypso, country and and back to classic with a sound that it is truly his own.   I found myself on several occasions searching the stage for a banjo, a Les Paul or a tortured stratocaster only to find he was working his magic from his own generic handmade electric. Like Young, Clapton and a handful of guitar gods through the years, Lee has a signature sound that somehow remains distinct and familiar despite a dozen genres and styles.  Ben Lee is a true original, searing licks, rolling rhythms, sliding steel, bouncing banjo and stellar strumming creating an entirely new genre in music industry known as New Roots.

1A5A2314-300Mike Dingley the bands drummer is also an original. Sticks, brushes, hammers and peddles Mike is not just a drummer he can play fiddle piano and organ also. Mike drives the bands sound with tenacious    thunderstorm of complicated back beats, ticks, tacks and quick taps along with some of the finest stick work in the business. This precise percussionist is the perfect fit for Jo Henley and one more pillar in the foundation of this new genre of music. Dingley works just as hard off the stage as on for Jo Henley. Managing gigs recording sessions and promotional efforts keeps Dingley pounding the pavement as often as the skins.


The band has had their share of bass players also. Four in all since I became a fan. They all complimented  Jo Henley but for one reason or another were not able to permanently complete these pioneer trio of the New Roots movement.

Jo Henley Coming to an I pod near you soon!


Please help support this great band by liking their facebook page. Jo Henley

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