In House #1634: Costello & Toussaint's The River In Reverse; Blind Boys of Alabama in Salt Lake City Tonight
The chameleon-like qualities of Elvis Costello are rather well-documented at this point. Over the years, his muse has led him to collaborate with everyone from George Jones to the Brodsky Quartet, and just in the past couple of years or so he's released a rock album, a blues-roots album (with his other band, the Imposters), an orchestral work, and a live jazz album backed by a 50-piece Dutch orchestra. What's more, these projects never come across as dabbling on the part of Costello, instead nearly always sounding fresh and well thought out-- his passion that exists for seemingly all things musical no doubt a major reason for this.
Costello's latest collaboration sees him joining forces with the legendary New Orleans musical figure Allen Toussaint, an artist known for his own work, as well as numerous production and arranging projects. The River In Reverse features re-workings from the Toussaint back-catalogue (including "Tears, Tears, and More Tears"), as well as five new co-writes between the duo. Apparent throughout is the Katrina-borne streak of protest in the lyrics of Costello on songs like the title track, "Broken Promise Land," and "International Echo." It all adds up to a soulful and authentic effort protesting the treatment of a great American city, while at the same time celebrating its past and, one would hope, its future.
Allen Toussaint & Elvis Costello
Meanwhile, the Blind Boys of Alabama, on a seemingly endless touring schedule, hit Salt Lake City tonight, playing the Kenley Amphitheatre. The group's most recent release is last year's Atom Bomb, issued on Peter Gabriel's RealWorld label, and once again full of their signature gospel-blues reworkings of pop songs like "Spirit In the Sky," as well as old gospel tunes like the Cold War-era title track.
Blind Boys of Alabama
In House #1634.
Focus: New collaboration from Elvis Costello & Allen Toussaint, The River In Reverse, plus the Blind Boys of Alabama in Salt Lake City tonight and new music from the Black Keys, Prince and more.
Costello & Toussaint, from The River In Reverse:
"Tears, Tears, and More Tears" (MP3)
In House PODCAST #114