Indoor tempos match the way the pace of life has slowed, but the ballad-heavy, mostly acoustic set still offers variety. Tex-Mex guitar lightens the despair of “Don't Worry About It,” and a carnivalesque coda punctuates “Glare of Glory,” while accordion virtuoso Joel Guzman colors in the corners throughout.
It also helps that the 73-year-old Ely is in great voice. His dusty tenor floats over the devotional waltz “You Can Rely on Me,” but hits the consonants with New York intensity on the marvelous “Garden of Manhattan."
Ely's vocal is somber on a song of heartache titled “Cry,” and he lets one out on the final verse, summing up the sound of 2020.