- Released: May 29, 2006
- Label: Verve Forecast
Rolling Stone - p.923.5 stars out of 5
-- "Costello's Imposters negotiate Touissant's tricky rhythms jauntily enough, and the Crescent City Horns add warming coloration."
Q - p.1134 stars out of 5
-- "Whole theses could be written about the influence of, and influences on, these men. Or you could just listen to this album and hear them all for yourself."
Q - p.116Ranked #92
in Q Magazine's "100 Greatest Albums of 2006."
JazzTimes - p.90
"[Costello's] juiciest set of tunes and most satisfying record since 1989's SPIKE..."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.964 stars out of 5
-- "This is a great record for and about New Orleans and one of the best the two men have ever made....[With] Toussaint's Sunday-morning piano and Costello's strong plaintive singing in perfect relaxed sync."
- 1.On Your Way Down
- 2.Nearer to You
- 3.Tears, Tears and More Tears
- 4.The Sharpest Thorn
- 5.Who's Gonna Help a Brother Get Further?
- 6.The River in Reverse
- 7.Freedom for the Stallion
- 8.Broken Promise Land
- 9.Ascension Day
- 10.International Echo
- 11.All These Things
- 12.Wonder Woman
- 13.Six-Fingered Man
Personnel: Elvis Costello (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, tambourine); Elvis Costello (guitar, Hammond b-3 organ); Allen Toussaint (vocals, piano, electric piano, Wurlitzer piano, background vocals); Davey Faragher (vocals, background vocals); Amadee Castenell, Jr. (soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone); Brian "Breeze" Cayolle, Carl Blouin (baritone saxophone); Steve Nieve (piano, Clavinet, Farfisa); The Crescent City Horns, The Imposters.
Audio Mixer: S. "Husky" H”skulds.
Recording information: Piety Street Recorders, New Orleans, LA (11/27/2005-12/10/2005); Sunset Sound, Hollywood, CA (11/27/2005-12/10/2005).
Photographer: Jesse Dylan.
Throughout history, times of tribulation have given birth to strong artistic statements. So it is with THE RIVER IN REVERSE, the collaboration between Elvis Costello and New Orleans R&B legend Allen Toussaint. The two came together during benefit concerts for Toussaint's home town in the wake of the 2006 Hurricane Katrina disaster. One thing led to another, and before long the two legends were composing together and recording an album, forming a pop music mutual admiration society.
Though it's impossible not to hear many of the songs as responses to Katrina's aftermath, a number of them are Toussaint tunes that were first recorded years ago by Lee Dorsey and others. Joe Henry's production and Costello's vocals bring those tracks into the present day while still remaining reverent of their roots. Likewise, the new songs Costello and Toussaint wrote together bear a connection to classic soul but feel perfectly of their time, with a robust horn section and Toussaint's unmistakable piano giving them that indelible Crescent City stamp.