Joe Henry Reverie

Joe Henry Reverie
Although all of Joe Henry's albums over the past decade contained sublime moments, there were just as many other ones where he was reaching for something beyond his grasp. On Reverie, Henry's 12th release, he strips things down to the bare essentials: his voice and acoustic guitar, accompanied by pianist Keefus Ciancia, and his frequent rhythm section of upright bassist David Piltch and drummer Jay Bellerose. The space allows Henry's songs to breathe better than anything since mid-'90s triumphs Short Man's Room and Kindness of the World, on which he collaborated closely with the Jayhawks. Henry has evolved into a more compelling lyricist and arranger since then though and songs like "Grand Street" and "Dark Tears" display the confidence of a songwriter who has absorbed a substantial chunk of blues and jazz while possessing a strong sense of America's cultural identity. Reverie is sure to stand as one of Henry's finest accomplishments. (Anti/Epitaph)