Monday, February 21, 2011

Joe Henry Collection

Revered among songwriters and pundits for both his music and producer skills, Joe has been making records for twenty-five years. From his early alt-country leanings (backed by The Jayhawks),to his more recent jazz excursions, Joe Henry oeuvre spans several genres while retaining class, integrity and a sense of adventurous spirit.

01 Richard Pryor Addresses A Tearful Nation
02 Stop
03 Rough And Tumble
04 Fat
05 Mean Flower
06 Curt Flood
07 Monkey
08 Skin And Teeth
09 This Afternoon
10 Civilians
11 Fuse
12 Trampoline
13 Angels
14 Ohio Air Show Plane Crash
15 Fireman's Wedding
16 Parade


#1,2,3,5 - Scar
#4,6,7,8,11,13 - Fuse
#10 - Civilians
#12,14,16 - Trampoline
#9 - Tiny Voices
#15 - Kindness of The World

Tuesday, February 08, 2011


01. Make It Always Be Too Late (J.Currie)
02. Crestfallen (J. Pernice)
03. Rocket Man (E. John, B. Taupin)
04. Just Getting By (J. Currie)
05. The Rain Song (M. Caputo)
06. Hesitating Beauty (W. Guthrie, J. Tweedy)
07. Sleeping With The Lights On (M. Bronleewe, T. Lassen)
08. Waterloo Sunset (R. Davies)
09. Noise And Confusion (A. Wauters)
10. So Sad (D. Everly)
11. Once (R. Buckner)


The game plan for the debut album by Yep seems straightforward enough. Al Chan (of The Rubinoos) and Mark Caputo (of Belleville) teamed up and cherry-picked some of their favorite songs from all over the pop continuum. They demonstrated great taste and impressive record collections in the process, creating a songwriters’ universe in which Don Everly, Ray Davies, Woody Guthrie, and Elton John stand shoulder to shoulder with Joe Pernice, Justin Currie, Teitur Lassen, Richard Buckner and Alan Wauters. The songs (ten covers and one Caputo original) are presented in rich, uncluttered arrangements. Around them guitars twang and jangle, occasionally kick up some distortion but never enough to kill the mellow buzz. Producer John Cuniberti finds the exact right balance between technologically pristine and organically natural.

And then those voices enter the picture, and suddenly nothing seems straightforward anymore. The vocals of Chan and Caputo wind around each other in such stunning harmony that they invoke a sense of utter timelessness. It’s like the Everly Brothers smashcut into a new millennium. And that’s not to suggest an old-fashioned approach. There’s no rose-tinted grasp at the past here, just as there’s no auto-tuned plasticity begging for mainstream approval; this is a simple, unadorned flexing of talent that should intimidate other singers and delight everyone else.

Some music just seems to stand outside of time, completely impervious to passing trends and fleeting style. It makes its own rules, defines its own sense of cool. A pantheon of greats already inhabits such rarefied air. Is it possible that Chan and Caputo have joined them? Yep. Yep. A thousand times Yep.

Andrew McEvoy