Saturday, August 27, 2011

Musical Interlude -- Wade in the Water -- Judy Henske

Cherish is a word.

Yes, we love Judy Henske here, and we thank Hip Hop Republican for featuring her on this week's play list for the New York City Hurricane, or as we call Irene in this family, Hurricane Ikie.

Surprised Henske hasn't appeared on Boom3 before, must have posted her over on the FaceBook thing, not here. We know Miss Henske because she appears in every Burke novel by Andrew Vachss, well, every one but one, don't think Burke plays her songs in Terminal. Burke does play Henske's Wade in the Water in Blossom, and that's the only time he also plays Patti LaBelle, with her Bluebelles. What more proof could there be of Burke's flawless taste -- LaBelle and Henske in the 60's.
Prowling around, usually in NYC, on some child-saving mission or another, Burke is always sliding a tape into his car's player, usually a Henske tape. Refined tastes or no, one of the least complicated heroes in literature Burke is not a character we've recommended to many, brutal as Vachss's Burke stories can be. Hey, most of our delicate friends can't take the truth like Burke delivers it. 

We saw Miss Henske at a little coffee house, Java Joes, in Ocean Beach, California, just a few blocks from the OB Muir Street compound, a few years ago, probably 1999, when we still lived at the beach. Perfect night. That was her loving husband accompanying her on the keyboards, Jerry Yester, I think, formerly of The Association. Small world.

Left OB in 2000. What was I thinking?


Pansy Burke said...

Michelle dragged me to this white-hot new club in the Village. Apparently, retro was in. The place reminded me of the club where I’d first seen Judy Henske—the goddess of torch-singing—live. I think she’d been on the card with Dave Van Ronk that night; I don’t know where he is, but I do know that Judy can still bring it.

The club even had a Joan Baez type . . . a tall, dark-haired girl with an acoustic guitar and the transported look of a solo violinist. She only did one number, but she drove it:

A long time ago when we weren’t at war
Even then we knew he was a political whore
His daddy tasted blood, so the son wanted more
And he’s still killing today
She carried that torch all the way to . . .
And now the little weasel stands alone
A single step from his Magic Phone
You know he’ll never call our soldiers home
Haliburton’s still got its bills to pay
. .. . . and closed to a standing O.

Andrew Vachss, TERMINAL, P. 94

contento said...

Pansy! Good to see ya. Thanks for stopping by.