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Judy Henske

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Editors’ Notes

No demure coffeehouse damsel, Judy Henske stood out from her female folk-singing peers by virtue of her big-boned frame and raw-throated vocals. The essence of her free-ranging stage act is documented on her self-titled 1963 album. Judy’s assertive personality and stinging wit are here along with her knack for barrelhouse blues, macabre murder ballads and comedic singalongs. She doesn’t mind making sport of a time-honored tune, whether it’s a folk piece like “Ballad of Little Romy” or a revivalist hymn like “Salvation Army Song.” She coaxes something eerily magical out of the children’s ditty “Hooka Tooka” and testifies with abandon on the spiritual “Wade In The Water.” Henske likes to come on strong, but she can soft-pedal her belting as she chooses, as evidenced by the nuanced drama in her reading of “Love Henry.” Judy’s tongue-in-cheek song introductions are as entertaining as the tunes themselves. By turns raucous, fervent and sly, Judy Henske stretches the boundaries of the folk genre on this album and has a rollicking good time in the process.

Customer Reviews

LILAC WINE

Judy's Lilac Wine is ripe. I also like a version by Eddie Skuller. great song!

thrilling

I don't really know how to explain how much I adore this singer. She is ridiculously brilliant. Just totally sublime and hilarious. J'adore.

Awesome

I've listened to Judy Henske since I was a kid and have worn out the album. She has an amazing amount of soul and rhythm. Wade in the Water, Hooka Tooka, I Know you Rider - the list goes on. I love it!

Biography

Born: December 20, 1942 in Chippewa Falls, WI

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '90s, '00s

Success is a matter of luck as well as talent. Given different circumstances, Henske could have certainly been a much bigger star than she was. Instead she's a hazily remembered figure, known if at all for some recordings that faintly prefigured folk-rock, and tangential associations with more famous performers. Her strong, bold,...
Full Bio
Judy Henske, Judy Henske
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Customer Ratings

Contemporaries