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Judy Henske Live


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Audio CD, Live, June 11, 2002
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 11, 2002)
  • Original Release Date: January 1, 1963
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Collector's Choice
  • ASIN: B0000631QA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #264,846 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Low Down Alligator
2. Empty Bed Blues
3. Ballad Of Little Romy
4. Wade In The Water
5. Hooka Tooka
6. I Know You Rider
7. Lily Langtree
8. Lilac Wine
9. Love Henry
10. Every Night When The Sun Goes In
11. Salvation Army Song

Editorial Reviews

On this live LP, Henske, as she would throughout most of her career, eludes easy categorization. There's barrelhouse blues with a touch of Broadway belting, there's Dixielandish jazz, there are folk standards, and there's plenty of standup comedy between the songs. The husky, almost raunchy voice makes most of this worth hearing; one is tempted to describe her as one of the great White blues singers, except that there's a theatrical quality to much of her delivery that originates from pop traditions. She's at her best when she eschews the jivey jazz for a more straight folk-blues approach (on "Wade in the Water," "I Know You Rider," and "Love Henry"). ~ Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 9 customer reviews
This album remains my favorite.
JA
So turn down the lights, pour yourself a cup of java, light up a smoke and drift back to a much simpler time when beat was cool daddy-o!
J.L. Smith
Too see her live was amazing and this is probably the closest most of us can get.
J. Carey

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Gregor von Kallahann on September 14, 2002
Format: Audio CD
There was a kind of whimsical humor that was popular in the 60s that is doubtless lost on today's edgier, more jaded crowd. That's certainly even more the case when,as occurs on Judy Henske's 1963 debut, some of the gags refer to television commercials of the day ("Mother, please, I'd rather do it myself," and "Can't you keep Billy's bicycle out of the driveway," both tips of the hat to Anacin commercials of the era). Judy Henske's intros are probably in a class by themselves, and many fans who had the vinyl album--as well as a number of new fans, I hope--will find themselves charmed by such off-the-wall remarks as "This next song dates back to the Appalachian Mountains" (sounds ALMOST logical, right?) or "And now, a special treat--ANOTHER song!"
Of course, if the singing and playing didn't hold up, no amount of wit and whimsy would sustain this album. Fortunately, Judy Henske was also in a class by herself when it came to tearing through a Bessie Smith blues number with startling power and conviction(and this years before Janis Joplin and Tracy Nelson would emerge on the scene) or giving her own unique take on old English or Appalachian folk ballad. She was the un-Baez of her era, proving that you didn't have to be demure and lady-like to have a career in folk music.
Or did you? Sadly, Henske made only one other record for Elektra, which was then one of the premiere folk labels, and then bounced around a bit between Mercury and Reprise, and ultimately making producing some joint efforts with then husband Jerry Yester for Frank Zappa's Straight label. All her efforts are worth hearing and most well worth trying to dig up, but it would not be inaccurate to say that her early promise was never fully realized, at least commercially.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Tony Spadaro on March 1, 2002
Format: Audio CD
If you haven't heard Judy Henske what she does is pretty much beyond explanation. If you have heard her - you don't need any explanation.
Through fire and flood and the other calamities of life I've managed to preserve or replace about a dozen of my favourite lps from the early 60s -- This one and "High Flyin' Bird", Judy Henske's second album are among that dozen. She is the only living person who can compete with Bessy Smith on "Nobody Knows You When You're Down & Out" - unfortunately that cut is on another album which didn't survive.
Some of the comedy on the album gets old fairly fast. For many years I've listened to a tape I made of it, which cut out the comedy -- it was pretty good but after a few hundred hearings you can live without it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By JA on August 12, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I heard Judy Henske in a live performance at Western Washington State College in the mid-1960s. I had already been listening to this album for over a year and was in absolute bliss as I sat there watching and listening to her sing, tell short stories, and give one of the very best performances I have ever attended. This album remains my favorite. It is live, it is fun, and it is just downright real. Sit back and enjoy an amazingly unique singer.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J.L. Smith on January 1, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I was rummaging through a used record shop in the early 80's when I stumbled across this album in the dollar bin. It was probably the best buck I ever spent! This 1963 live performance is a wonderful example of the coffee house experience,But wait not exactly, as it has elements of jazz, barrelhouse, Americana, comedy....jeesh it's got a bit of everything. Does anybody wonder why this remarkable performer has managed to stay under the radar of the general public? I don't. Eclectic to a fault, unable to pigeonhole this artist, as her selections run the gamut. She has the ability to serenade sweetly and turn on a dime and get low down and dirty.
There are those who complain about the topical humor in the intros. And I understand it to a point. Is it dated? Yes, it was recorded 45 years ago for goodness sake. But taken in it's context and time, it is a brilliant and entertaining show that I would have loved to have been in the audience for. Look at it as a snapshot of 1963, sharing an evening with one of the most underrated talents of our lifetime. The repoire this artist shares with her audience is one that most entertainers would die for.For those who prefer to hear only the music from this show. Judy has taken the time to re-edit this show, separating the intro from each track. Allowing you to program them out on playback. An Official bootleg if you will.
So turn down the lights, pour yourself a cup of java, light up a smoke and drift back to a much simpler time when beat was cool daddy-o!
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Format: Audio CD
Way back(!) in the 60's, I discovered an LP version of this item by Judy that my godfather (cousin) had bought in NYC. He told me he really liked it, so I played it on his stereo and I've gotta admit I was floored. I realize not everyone likes the various comedy intros but, for me, they served to enhance my experience of her music. One of the songs in particular, "Lilac Wine", demonstrated her fine singing talent: a beautiful, soulful tribute to romantic love with its comparison to a kind of joyful intoxication (not the usual significance attributed to a fine wine). I love the intro, also, to her "Love Henry", featuring a dialog with a bird in a tree.
The blend of street-mission preaching, albeit a trifle gruff, with the rousing "Salvation Army Song" seemed more meaningful than Judy herself might have intended, but nonetheless made a bold and honest point, I'm sure.

I'd always promised myself that, if I ever had the opportunity, I'd re-discover this album and get a copy for myself, if only to reminisce about the good times I had back then. Now, I've found it, bought it and added it to my collection of favorites. If I can, I plan to write Ms. Henske a "fan letter" (at my age, yet!) to thank her for giving something of her talented self to the rest of us to enjoy! (Gotta find an address for that, I guess...)
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