13 Songs, 32 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

High Flying Bird (1964) marks the peak of Judy Henske’s career in folk music. Her gutsy vocal style — suggestive of Dave Van Ronk crossed with Janis Joplin — is reined in just enough here to catch the subtleties of the album’s well-chosen cache of tunes. The breadth of Henske’s reach is little short of amazing — she embraces everything from elegant torch songs (“Till The Real Thing Comes Along”) to evocative blues numbers (“Blues Chase Up A Rabbit”) and full-throttle Western ballads (“Lonely Train”). Her trademark wry humor lends extra spice to the hard-charging “Charlotte Town” and the bawdy “Oh, You Engineer” (co-written by Henske with the legendary Shel Silverstein). If that weren’t enough, she helps pioneer the folk-rock genre with her saucy take on “Duncan & Brady” and her absolutely riveting rendition of the title song. Even at her most brash, there’s a tenderness and open-hearted quality to her treatment of these tunes. Judy’s backup combo — particularly 12-string guitarist John Forsha — spur her on with dagger-sharp playing. High Flying Bird remains a neglected mid-‘60s classic, a testament to Henske’s uniquely prodigious talents.

EDITORS’ NOTES

High Flying Bird (1964) marks the peak of Judy Henske’s career in folk music. Her gutsy vocal style — suggestive of Dave Van Ronk crossed with Janis Joplin — is reined in just enough here to catch the subtleties of the album’s well-chosen cache of tunes. The breadth of Henske’s reach is little short of amazing — she embraces everything from elegant torch songs (“Till The Real Thing Comes Along”) to evocative blues numbers (“Blues Chase Up A Rabbit”) and full-throttle Western ballads (“Lonely Train”). Her trademark wry humor lends extra spice to the hard-charging “Charlotte Town” and the bawdy “Oh, You Engineer” (co-written by Henske with the legendary Shel Silverstein). If that weren’t enough, she helps pioneer the folk-rock genre with her saucy take on “Duncan & Brady” and her absolutely riveting rendition of the title song. Even at her most brash, there’s a tenderness and open-hearted quality to her treatment of these tunes. Judy’s backup combo — particularly 12-string guitarist John Forsha — spur her on with dagger-sharp playing. High Flying Bird remains a neglected mid-‘60s classic, a testament to Henske’s uniquely prodigious talents.

TITLE TIME

More By Judy Henske

You May Also Like