Joe Henry uses T-Bone Burnett's favoured drummer Jay Bellerose on his latest album, along with Americana stalwarts like guitarist Marc Ribot and bassist David Piltch.
The tone on Reverie is raw and abrasively acoustic, with a patina of background noise giving it the feel of a back-porch recording: it's music with a five o'clock shadow. Henry's stubbled delivery pitched somewhere between Randy Newman and Tom Waits as he negotiates the galumphing waltz "Strung" and the ramshackle cakewalk groove "Sticks & Stones", which best exemplifies the album's mythopoeic blues mode. Best of all is "Deathbed Version", on which Ribot's sprightly, skeletal National steel slide licks fit perfectly between Bellerose's shaker, Henry's growl, and the distant strains of a howling dog.
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