Thief and Rescue
Reviewed by Audra Schroeder, Fri., Sept. 18, 2009
Lee BarberThief and Rescue
Co-produced with Brian Beattie of Glass Eye, Thief and Rescue takes an alternate route through singer-songwriterville. There are no sappy strums or stompy songs about booze and bar fights. Barber's just a great storyteller, his voice one of vibrato and loss, and on his solo country-folk debut, that longing dominates. Opener "The Mosquito" repurposes a poem by Peter Everwine as Barber states, over buzzing horns and strings, "This is not another metaphor." The former New Orleans resident has that mind on his city on "Broken Cup," a bar-stool tale of storm and wreck. On "The Monkey and the Ass," he sounds like Leonard Cohen – solemn but wise. Okkervil River's Will Sheff, Amy Annelle, plus Beattie pulling double duty on bass add a little Texas nuance, and closer "Let's Get Lost" is the capper. When Barber drawls, "Let's get lost in song about nothing, sung by no one," he finds solace in catharsis.