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A Musical Life: Joey Henry

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Joey Henry is a storyteller. For the past six years he has been traveling the country sharing stories as the banjo player and one of three singer-songwriters for the Kansas-based trio, The Calamity Cubes, along with bandmates Brook Blanche and Kody Oh. When not touring with The Cubes, he focuses on his solo project, Joey Henry's Dirty Sunshine Club and occasionally gets back to his indie roots by providing words and vocals for the Lawrence based Old Canes (Saddle Creek records) and “noise banjo” for the Kansas City based High Diving Ponies.

My name is Joey Henry. First and foremost I think of myself as a storyteller. I celebrate storytelling in as many facets as possible.

I grew up taking my music as medicine and that’s kind of the way I want to make my music. So, these days, my weapon of choice is my banjo. Me and Banjo go out and have a good time wherever we can, have group therapy sessions all over the country.

I’m married to a band called The Calamity Cubes. Me and Brooke Blanche and Kody Oh travel the country and tell our stories. Once people started telling me and us where the music has gone with them and what it’s helped get them through it became more apparent that this is the best way I could serve the world.

You have to be open to the energy around you and you don’t always know when exactly it’s happening but if the song needs to come out it’s going to come out no matter where you’re at. You don’t always know at the time who the ghost is or where it’s coming from. You just channel it when you can and eventually it’ll make sense.

I’m not a preacher and I’m not a religious man but I’m a spiritual man and I feel like if I can channel my sadness and help others to get through theirs then we’re all working together and it helps tame my anxiety at the same time. It’s something like I don’t feel like I have a choice but to keep on doing.

Jedd Beaudoin is host/producer of the nationally syndicated program Strange Currency. He has also served as an arts reporter, a producer of A Musical Life and a founding member of the KMUW Movie Club. As a music journalist, his work has appeared in Pop Matters, Vox, No Depression and Keyboard Magazine.