With The Delivery Man
-- Elvis Costello
and the Imposters' first release for Lost Highway -- one of modern music's most admired and prolific talents has delivered a remarkable album that draws on deep American musical roots more than any of his releases since King of America
in 1986. It is a collection that ranges from the ferocious, bass-driven opening track, "Button my lip", which speaks in the voice of a desperate man on the verge of committing a terrible crime, to a tender and timely closing rendition of, "The Scarlet Tide", referred to by Costello’s co-composer and fellow Oscar Nominee, T Bone Burnett as an "anti-fear song".
The Delivery Man was recorded in Oxford, MS and produced by Dennis Herring and Elvis Costello. Jon Pareles of The New York Times describes the album as: "...the album steeped in Southern Americana: the gospel-rooted grooves of Memphis soul, touches of pedal steal guitar, Southern-rooted guest singers including Emmylou Harris and Lucinda Williams and the storytelling that Southern soul shares with country music."
Like a lot of great things in music history, The Delivery Man can be said to have started with the late great Johnny Cash. The Delivery Man is actually a character imported from a song I wrote in 1986 for Johnny Cash," Costello explains. "He's based on a real character. I read this story in the paper about a man who confessed to murdering his childhood friend thirty years later, having been in prison for a number of other things. I thought this story was very interesting because he'd carried this burden of guilt of this childhood crime.