- Released: April 10, 2007
- Label: Roaring Stream
Down Beat - p.833.5 stars out of 5
-- "'Where The Blues Began' asserts a surprising poetic power and 'Bonnie Jean' could pass as a superior Steely Dan tune."
- 1.Bonnie Jean - (with Artie Traum)
- 2.Thief of Tome - (with Artie Traum)
- 3.Midnight Blues - (with Artie Traum)
- 4.Back in the Sugarcane - (with Artie Traum)
- 5.Where the Blues Began - (with Artie Traum)
- 6.Cuckoo Bird - (with Artie Traum)
- 7.Last Tree in the Bronx - (with Artie Traum)
- 8.Halifax - (with Artie Traum)
- 9.That Secret Place - (with Artie Traum)
- 10.Insult a Man - (with Artie Traum)
- 11.Country Boy Blues - (with Artie Traum)
Personnel: Artie Traum (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, resonator guitar); Artie Traum; Joe Flood (mandolin); Tony Levin (bass instrument); Donna Lewis, Teresa Williams, Jim Photoglo, Amy Helm, Wendy Waldman (background vocals); Warren Bernhardt (piano); Gary Burke (drums).
Additional personnel: Donna Levis, Teresa Williams, Jim Photoglo, Joe Flood, John Sebastian , Kenny Edwards, Amy Helm.
Recording information: Cold Brook Studios; Levon Helm Studio; The Clubhouse; The Longhouse.
Photographers: Beverly Traum; Dorothy Cowfield.
Arrangers: Artie Traum; Wendy Waldman .
Although Artie Traum has long been a folk-rock artist first and foremost, the word "jazz" frequently comes up in connection with the veteran singer/songwriter and acoustic guitarist. Traum has often brought a major jazz influence to his work, and he is quite capable of functioning in an instrumental setting (the Traum CD Acoustic Jazz Guitar is a collection of instrumental performances spanning 1992-2004). But Thief of Time is strictly a vocal album; it is also one of Traum's most rewarding and consistent efforts. Traum has, on occasion, recorded albums that were inconsistent and uneven, but this 2007 release is memorable from start to finish -- and Traum (who wrote or co-wrote most of the material) excels on tracks that have a strong post-bop jazz influence (such as "Midnight Blue," "Back in the Sugarcane," and the infectious opener, "Bonnie Jean") as well as tracks that don't (for example, "Halifax," "Last Tree in the Bronx," and the haunting "Insult a Man"). A few of the songs find Traum playing some electric guitar (including "Bonnie Jean" and "Cuckoo Bird," another selection with a definite jazz influence), but Traum plays a lot more acoustic guitar on this 48-minute CD -- which is appropriate because even though he clearly knows his way around the electric guitar, he is really an acoustic-oriented artist at heart. Traum's ability to perform instrumentals on other albums does not erase the fact that he is very much a part of the storytelling troubadour tradition; acoustic-oriented settings have a long history of serving troubadours well, and an acoustic-oriented approach certainly serves Traum well on the captivating Thief of Time. ~ Alex Henderson