11 Songs, 45 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Starting with this album, the extended collaboration between Joe Henry and the Jayhawks produced three very fine examples of latter-day roots-rock: Short Man's Room arrived in 1992, followed in successive years by Kindness of the World and the Fireman's Wedding EP. Henry's later explorations of groove, soul, and jazz influences on his basically folkie songwriting would prove rewarding, but this album was his first masterpiece. From the sharply rendered narratives of "King's Highway," the title track, and the indelible closer "One Shoe On," to the more impressionistic likes of "Stations" and "The Diving Bell," the lyrics unlock complex emotions couched in the bittersweet, autumnal accompaniment of Gary Louris' chiming guitar, his and Mark Olson's brotherly harmonies, and a rustic filigree of fiddle, banjo, and mandolin. More than a decade after its release, Short Man's Room remains as warm and rewarding ever.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Starting with this album, the extended collaboration between Joe Henry and the Jayhawks produced three very fine examples of latter-day roots-rock: Short Man's Room arrived in 1992, followed in successive years by Kindness of the World and the Fireman's Wedding EP. Henry's later explorations of groove, soul, and jazz influences on his basically folkie songwriting would prove rewarding, but this album was his first masterpiece. From the sharply rendered narratives of "King's Highway," the title track, and the indelible closer "One Shoe On," to the more impressionistic likes of "Stations" and "The Diving Bell," the lyrics unlock complex emotions couched in the bittersweet, autumnal accompaniment of Gary Louris' chiming guitar, his and Mark Olson's brotherly harmonies, and a rustic filigree of fiddle, banjo, and mandolin. More than a decade after its release, Short Man's Room remains as warm and rewarding ever.

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Ratings and Reviews

5.0 out of 5
7 Ratings
7 Ratings
Onychomys ,

Henry's best alt-country album

Great album...recorded with the Jayhawks as the backing band. Favorite songs: Short Man's Room, King's Highway, Last One Out, Reckless Child and The Diving Bell. Lyrics are thoughtful: "The better you watch your head, you're not nearly as tall as you were thinking, but then, this is a short man's room."
From King's Highway:
"I killed a man with my own hands, but I held him close when he went down"
From Last one out:
"I give the pastor his last drink for free, and maybe have my ride home when he goes..."

Monte Bullion ,

Wonderful Alt-Country Standard

This is a beautiful album, start to finish. A must for fans of alt-country and of what people call "adult rock." Is that a thing? Anyway, do yourself a favor and get this album!

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