But then again, Hornsby has always taken the road not taken.
The dulcimer seems to be far more limited in range and versatility than Hornsby’s ebonies and ivories, capable of only a few chords if even, and almost all the songs sound like they’re in the same key. Maybe this is because Hornsby is new to playing the instrument solely and exclusively for a whole album.
However, the music does have a certain folksy, Appalachian appeal, thanks in part to Hornsby’s typically incisive and penetrating songwriting and vocals, as well as the brilliant arrangements and performances of his backup band of the last two decades.
Highlights include “Over the Rise,” “Soon Enough,” “M.I.A. in M.I.A.M.I.,” “Tropical Cashmere Sweater” – easily the best chorus on the album – and “Celestial Railroad.”
Rehab Reunion may not be what most people expect from Hornsby, but its charming, grassroots, bluegrass Americana is enough to carry the water for the ever faithful.