Compared to the much-lauded Midnight at the Movies, Harlem River Blues
is more mature and increasingly nuanced, while still embracing the raw voice and clean sound of previous standout tracks like "Mama's Eyes." Harlem River Blues
kicks off hot with the title track’s choir of backing singers and electric guitar, slow dances through a decrepit tenement on "One More Night in Brooklyn," and swings à la Jerry Lee Lewis on "Move Over Mama." "Working for the MTA" is a modern day railway ballad, embracing the labor movement in classic folk singer style over some heartbreaking pedal steel from Calexico's Paul Niehaus. With percussive guitar, killer standup bass lines by Bryn Davies, and a guest appearance from Jason Isbell, this record hums along like a 6 train jumpin' the tracks and heading straight for the Tennessee state line.