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Peter Mulvey


Peter Mulvey - Ten Thousand Mornings

(Black Walnut/Signature Sounds)

Culled from nearly 100 songs and hours of alternate and interrupted takes, Peter Mulvey has compiled a collection which does more with time between trains than anyone since Susan Werner. Recorded live in the subway tunnels of Boston, Ten Thousand Mornings is a cover album unlike any other. Stylistically, it ranges from the traditional (a chilling arrangement of ”Rain and Snow” and a jaunty bounce through Bob Dylan’s “Mama, You Been On My Mind”) to the contemporary (a snappy pound through Elvis Costello’s “Oliver’s Army” and a blue-eyed soul-ful groove through Marvin Gaye’s “Inner City Blues”). And nearly every piece is a tour de force. Whether performing with such talented friends as Jennifer Kimball, mandolinist Sean Staples, Mulvey’s right-hand guitar man David Goodrich or Chris Smither (who provides percussion using only his shoes) or working the song over his raspy vocal cords and detuned acoustic, Mulvey picks up every echo and nuance of his unique studio. He even works in the happenstance conductor’s announcements into a beautifully threatening take on Randy Newman’s “In Germany Before the War.” Opening with Paul Simon’s “Stranded in a Limousine” (a good reason to take the subway), Mornings closes with a better-than-the-original version of Dar Williams’ “The Ocean” that crashes passionately into the oncoming train before both recede into the memory, where the songs are sure to linger long after the train is gone.

- Matthew S. Robinson
c. 2002, M. S. Robinson, ARR


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