Night music

The title pretty much says it all.

The Late Album.

Best played after hours, when the clubs are closed, the children are asleep and there’s nothing good on TV.

David Poe, like namesake David Mead, traffics in the kind of six-string storytelling not allergic to a radio-friendly melody.

In a just world, tracks such as “Echo Box” and “The Drifter” would reveal John Mayer for the treacly bullshit artist he really his. (Not that “Your Body is a Wonderland” doesn’t already do that.)

Poe’s deep, smokey voice serves him especially well on “Deathwatch for a Living Legend”, a country-tinged romp told through the eyes of a hard-drinking, hard-living star. Poe lets your imagination fill in the blank: Hank Williams or Johnny Cash.

But it’s when Poe dresses down with little more than brushes on a drum that his songs really shine.

When Poe sings the title lyric of “Your the Bomb”, he lets the understatement of his delivery reinforce the overstatment of the slang. The watery guitars on “Never I Will” gives his voice a cool, ethereal setting.

“Love in the Afternoon” could almost be mistaken for one of Bill Frisell’s more melodic moments.

Poe’s crooner tendencies are less pronounced on “The Late Song (Je Ne Suis Pas Mort)” and “Wear Your Best”, but the intimacy is no less there.

The Late Album’s mainstream appeal might make it a difficult sell at first, but it doesn’t take long for Poe’s hushed performances to draw a listener in and, ultimate, seduce.

Play it whenever you feel like it.