Hey Mr Ferryman
Mark Eitzel - Hey Mr Ferryman
Critic Score
Based on 12 reviews
2017 Ratings: #285 / 711
User Score
Based on 39 ratings
2017 Ratings: #218
January 27, 2017 / Release Date
LP / Format
Merge / Label
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Your Review



If Don’t Be a Stranger, with its stark ballads and haunting production, felt like a vulnerable return-to-form, this is the moment where the stakes heighten and the urgency increases: the Skeleton Tree to Stranger’s Push the Sky Away.

The Skinny

While his American Music Club era(s) saw Eitzel canonised as the heart-wrenching, torture singer of love and fury, Hey Mr. Ferryman continues in the vein of 2012’s Don’t Be A Stranger, in lessening the self-laceration in favour of a far more reasoned and, dare I say, pop-friendly approach.

The Line of Best Fit

Even more consistently inspired than Eitzel's previous two, excellent solo albums (2009's Klamath and Don't Be A Stranger from 2012), Hey Mr Ferryman demands that Eitzel is at last granted at least as much attention and acclaim as his fellow songwriting Mark, former Red House Painters-leader Kozelek.

The beautifully rendered character portraits of Hey Mr Ferryman, shaped into gorgeous studies of sympathy by Bernard Butler’s production, are compelling in their starkness, their raw, unchecked humour, and their kindness toward people who, as Eitzel says, are looking for “something that will lead them to light and safety”.
This is smart, passionate music, as strong musically as it is lyrically, and like so much of Eitzel's work, if it isn't always hopeful, it's full of a humanity that shines out through the darkness.
God Is in the TV

Hey Mr Ferryman is a very lovely thing indeed.

No Ripcord
This is smart, meditative music that needs the appropriate time to vest, where further listening provides new perspectives and details that weren’t as apparent at first glance. That Eitzel has managed to deliver some of his strongest work in thirty plus years is testament to his growing confidence, and provides another compelling reason to be considered a notable figure in the veteran class of folk artists like Mark Kozelek and Will Oldham.

Hey Mr. Ferryman has all the mastery you'd expect from someone ten solo albums deep, and more fresh energy than you even hoped for.


Hey Mr Ferryman, like his last record Don’t Be A Stranger, has a lightness of touch about it that may shock those who only know him from the often tortured AMC.


In all, Hey Mr. Ferryman is a welcome return from one of America’s most consistently challenging and rewarding songwriters. It’s an album that creeps up on you slowly, its hooks subtle but, once set, inescapable.

The Independent

Eitzel’s glass-half-empty attitude ... grips the songs too tightly ... But when singer and producer work together, the results are scarily sharp.

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#49/No Ripcord
#93/Rough Trade
#50/SPIN (First Half)
Track List
  1. The Last Ten Years
  2. An Answer
  3. The Road
  4. Nothing and Everything
  5. An Angel’s Wing Brushed the Penny Slots
  6. In My Role as Professional Singer and Ham
  7. Mr Humphries
  8. La Llorona
  9. Just Because
  10. Let Me Go
  11. Sleep from My Eyes

Added on: October 27, 2016