Joe Henry, "Blood From Stars"

Album Review

Two years after the release of his acclaimed album "Civilians," noted producer/songsmith Joe Henry returns with "Blood From Stars," his 11th and most ambitious album to date. Henry shines as both artist and producer, deftly blurring the lines between aural architect and impassioned orator. With sly support from longtime bandmates (including bassist David Piltch, drummer Jay Bellerose and guest cameos by Henry's son, Levon, on clarinet and saxophones), "Blood From Stars" spans the stylistic divide. From the church pew cadence on Jason Moran's plaintive piano work during "Prelude: Light No Lamp When the Sun Comes Down" to the electrified grit and lyrical grace on "Channel," the new album is a testament to Henry's singular sonic vision and a masterful mix of history and mystery by an industry veteran who sounds like he's just getting started. --Jon Regen