Hoboken. Sinatra, the classic Guild guitars, and Brando in On the Waterfront. Helluva town.
That Jersey locale is also the official origin of The Delevantes, the act Bob Delevante and his brother Mike first became notorious with, though they hailed from nearby Rutherford. They debuted on Rounder Records, cut two landmark CDs and recorded with the best, played the big TV shows, the whole bit. One of the finest duos of the 90s, without a doubt.
It's a pleasure to hear new music from Bob Delevante, it's been a few years. This is his second solo release; Porchlight in 1999 was an inspired and acclaimed solo beginning.
Along the way, he has also become a much-admired photographer and graphic designer, and his work in this domain has graced many album covers, books, and magazines. (His work on the CD by German singer songwriter Markus Rill blew my mind, and he just won an award for a Julie Lee CD on Compadre Records, we sure like her.) This album is subtitled 'A Collection of Songs and Photographs' and several art shots taken by the artist in SC and NJ are included in the package. (Enjoy evidence of his visual talents at his site.)
Columbus and the Colossal Mistake has in spades what too many records lack: great songs. Delevante's plaintive tenor really sells them, too, and a posse of his well-known friends drive them home. Garry Tallent, who plays bass for the Boss, handles the bottom end throughout. Tallent produced both of The Delevantes records, but the solo CDs are artist-produced. My favorite songs, aside from a killer ballad called "An Old Picture Of You," are the rockers, where Buddy Miller or Kenny Vaughn are kicking ass on the guitar, so we'll have them lined up as audio clips on the Listen page. Although Emmylou Harris cameos on "The Things I Long To Hear," there are also beautiful backup vocals by Marybeth Cysewski on a number of tunes, and by Joe Pisapia on one. Nearly a dozen other cohorts contribute to the sessions.
This record is good for your head, and good for your house, and good for what ails you. Very highly recommended.