Joe Henry Tiny Voices ( Anti/Epitaph ) Rating: NNN
L.A.-based troubadour Joe Henry is one of those hummingbird types who never pauses long enough to be pigeonholed. He made his name in the early 90s with wistful slices of "mature" (read: adult-friendly) countrified Americana, backed by some Jayhawks, and later recruited edgy rock guitarist Page Hamilton to help out with the chunky alt-rock of 1996's Trampoline. This time, he emerges as a darker Richie Havens steeped in Tom Waits, wearing his worn-out heart on his sleeve and carrying a mickey in his back pocket. Tiny Voices is an elaborately arranged swell of jazz orchestrals and bluesy soul, with Henry's deep dark crooning at the core. It can err on the schmaltzy side, but the musicianship is stellar. Joe Henry plays the El Mocambo this Saturday (October 18).