1. Monkey (4:01)
  2. Angels (5:42)
  3. Fuse (4:18)
  4. Skin and Teeth (3:52)
  5. Eat (3:25)
  6. Want Too Much (5:44)
  7. Curt Flood (3:49)
  8. Like She Was a Hammer (4:27)
  9. Great Lake (5:31)
  10. Beautiful Hat (3:57)
  11. We’ll Meet Again (4:25)


Release Date: Mar 9, 1999 (U.S.)

Ethan Allen: Engineer

Revert Andrews: Trombone

Carla Azar: Drums

Richard Barron: Engineer, Machines

Curt Bisquera: Drums

Jennifer Condos:Bass

Gregory Davis: Trumpet

The Dirty Dozen Brass Band: Special Guest

Alex Dizon: Hair Stylist

Jakob Dylan: Vocals

Joe Gastwirt: Mastering

Kevin Harris: Saxophone

Joe Henry: Organ, Bass, Guitar, Percussion, Keyboards, Vocals, Engineer, Machines

Randy Jacobs: Bass, Guitar, Talk Box

Daniel Lanois: Bass, Claves

Roger Lewis: Saxophone

Jean McClain: Vocals

Jamie Muhoberac: Organ, Piano, Keyboards, Piano (Electric), Machines, Mini Moog

Melanie Nissen: Artwork, Photography

Dave Palmer: Piano, Keyboards

Mike Piersante: Engineer

Nick Raskulinecz: Assistant Engineer

Greg Richling: Bass

Brian Swartz: Trumpet

Mike Terry: Assistant Engineer

Efrem Towns: Trumpet

Freddie “Ready Freddie” Washington: Bass

Chris Whitley: Guitar

Anthony Wilson: Guitar




I’ve been boxing for the last couple of months, training for what I believe will be The Big Fight (aren’t we all?). My trainer, Robert (an ex-contender who looks like Bob Hoskins standing on the shoulders of William Burroughs), tells me I’m a natural; if only I wasn’t so scrappy. And 37 years old, and off-balance, and didn’t dance around so much, leaving my right side exposed, inviting the heavy hands of any and all comers. “If only…,” he says, I might have a shot. My shot (“remember Charlie, that night at the garden…?”). But what does Robert know? I’m still young, and besides – I know more than a few scrappy people who’ve made their bones dancing in the ring. But all said, working the heavy bag has been like a vacation. I guess I bragged one too may times about how well and easily I slept, for now the world looks different from under the gauzy hood of random insomnia. (“Right,” my wife laughs. “Random” like Lee Oswald happening upon a private and unobstructed view of the street on Parade Day). But then, who’s got the time to sleep when there’s so much work to do?

This project all started in a converted upholstery shop where I would steal a half hour at a time whenever the baby was napping, recording directly through the business end of a Playskool baby monitor. The songs themselves just appeared like dandelions – popping up in clusters, seemingly overnight. I rarely had to leave the yard, the dark angels hovering at my shoulder, whispering profanity and lewd suggestions in my ear. Soon enough the voices start to sound like your own and then it’s time to seek professional help, which I received from some likely and unlikely sources. Yes, they’re all here in one form or another, working off all manner of personal debt to Yours Truly: Randy Jacobs, Carla Azar, T-bone Burnett, Chris Whitley, Daniel Lanois, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Anthony Wilson, Jakob Dylan, Dizzy Gillespie…(Robert Wagner was unavailable, touring with Seal, I heard). And so what we have in the end is a puzzle of desperate characters (not me, surely, though I do hold copyright); figures like scarecrows struggling against their own weaknesses, lying their heads off, flapping like sails against thick grooves and wobbling like a bent bicycle wheel. Characters who sing like William Burroughs while thinking they sound like Bobby Womack (is there any-thing sadder?). All this narrated by the voice of George Seedorff, soundbites of who were recovered in fragments from an old reel-to-reel tape, documenting a night some twenty years ago, in which Mr. Seedorff hijacked an open mic poetry reading near Detroit like Jimmy Stewart in “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” raining (and reigning) upon the unsuspecting audience a Bunuel dream of epic proportion. No, there is nothing sadder. But don’t feel sorry on my account. I’ve got a personal trainer, and plenty of shoulders to stand on. And who knows? If I keep moving, my weak right side won’t be much of a problem. You’ll never lay a glove on me.

Joe Henry

back to top