14 Songs, 1 Hour 1 Minute

EDITORS’ NOTES

Sneaking in a solo career in between production work, Joe Henry is completely focused on this acoustic collection, and a variety of guests further color the long night. These are tunes worthy of a nightclub in a simpler era, when patrons sat back and let the music wash over them. There’s a touch of jazz and cabaret, as if Henry were a distant cousin of Tom Waits. Guitarist Marc Ribot (who's worked with Waits, along with Elvis Costello and many other esteemed names) sits down for a few, while Irish singer/songwriter Lisa Hannigan adds her touch. The tracks were recorded live in Henry’s home studio. There’s a dry naturalness to “Odetta,” a tune that’s halfway to gospel and the Americana cadences of The Band. “After the War” has the somber tone of recovery striking at the tune’s heart. “Room at Arles” is a tribute and spiritual wail for Vic Chesnutt, the late, great genius singer/songwriter from Athens, Ga. “Deathbed Versions” evokes the Delta blues of the early 20th century.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Sneaking in a solo career in between production work, Joe Henry is completely focused on this acoustic collection, and a variety of guests further color the long night. These are tunes worthy of a nightclub in a simpler era, when patrons sat back and let the music wash over them. There’s a touch of jazz and cabaret, as if Henry were a distant cousin of Tom Waits. Guitarist Marc Ribot (who's worked with Waits, along with Elvis Costello and many other esteemed names) sits down for a few, while Irish singer/songwriter Lisa Hannigan adds her touch. The tracks were recorded live in Henry’s home studio. There’s a dry naturalness to “Odetta,” a tune that’s halfway to gospel and the Americana cadences of The Band. “After the War” has the somber tone of recovery striking at the tune’s heart. “Room at Arles” is a tribute and spiritual wail for Vic Chesnutt, the late, great genius singer/songwriter from Athens, Ga. “Deathbed Versions” evokes the Delta blues of the early 20th century.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.5 out of 5
28 Ratings

28 Ratings

Pugmets ,

Unspeakably Awesome

Been a fan of Joe Henry since the early roots rock/folk days. His growth from, say. the very excellent Short Man's Room days to Reverie is like visiting a library of music genres and influences from folk to pop to rock, country, jazz and even American standards. Reverie feels of one piece, a CD to be listened to in full outside on the porch on a warm autumn night with winter just holding back, a snoring dog at your feet and a drink in your hand. All of its parts are awesome on their own but perfect together. One of the reviews here said it's "gorgeous" and it most certainly is that and more. I'm wondering if there's anyone working now who is a better lyricist? Certainly few who can mix pop culture and literary references (is that an e.e. cummings one in Deadbed Versions?) like a modern-day James Joyce. To me, Joe Henry is a national treasure.

Appreciate42 ,

Reverie is masterful

Reverie is an altogether outstanding piece of work. Odetta, Sticks & Sones, Tomorrow is October, Eyes Out for You are all exquisite songs and a good place to start. But there are other songs that take bit longer to unfold, They are all worth the effort.
There may not yet be legions of Joe Henry fans in the world, but for those of us who are in the know, each new Joe Henry cd is a milestone and a course for celebration.

wonder badger ,

one of america

ever since, "short man's room" i have lived with joe henry's music. the best thing is the stillness and the swing of his songs. both pushing outward and inward simultaneously. i remember bringing a bunch of friends from the former GDR to see him at the mercury lounge in NYC and thoroughly enjoying their response to a true american artist in the grips of a musical struggle. how far can you go before your over the edge? go joe go!

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