It stopped being reasonable to describe singer-songwriter Joe Henry as “alt-country” at some point during the second Clinton administration. And his new album Blood From Stars, due out August 18, shows he has no intention of turning back the clock.

There are moments when Henry’s weathered tones veer close to Tom Waits territory, and the album features regular Waits collaborator Marc Ribot on guitar and coronet (as well as Henry’s own son, Levon, on sax.) But Blood From Stars is every bit as hard to pigeonhole as you might expect from a CD which was inspired in part by both his recent production work with New Orleans blues-funk legend Allen Toussaint and Henry’s fondness for the poets Allen Ginsburg and e.e. cummings.

The result is an atmospheric set packed with beautiful, but unsettling, laments like “Progress of Love” and “Channel.” We were lucky enough to grab the latter track as an exclusive download for your terpsichoreal enjoyment.


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