Since arriving in New York over a decade ago, Dayton,Ohio native Hank Kim has been an erstwhile practitioner of 'song noir.' His narrative, cinematic approach to songwriting evokes images and characters that are as enigmatic and shadowy as they are vivid and sympathetic. Informed by such masters as the late Warren Zevon, Paul Westerberg of The Replacements, Graham Parker, XTC's Andy Partridge, and Elvis Costello, Kim had been quietly chipping away, without fanfare. Meanwhile, south of 14th Street, indie rock mainstay Mike Daly was mastering the new flight plan for music--the DNA of Pro Tools 5.13. Daly,along with Ryan Adams and Caitlin Cary, had formed the creative nucleus of alt-country fave Whiskeytown. The band's swan song, 'Pneumonia,' is one of the most underappreciated records of the past decade. After the breakup of Whiskeytown, Daly had hunkered down in the downtown New York scene as an emerging producing force. The self-professed 'pop guy' in Whiskeytown, he was introduced to Kim by a mutual friend. Daly became intrigued with the singer's raw, idiosyncratic voice and melodic hooks, chronicling the jagged tales of misfits, rebels, and other bruised souls, flailing at the ghosts of redemption, in turns that are both comic and heartbreaking. Together,Kim and Daly walked into Soho's Magic Shop at the end of 2001 to cut the basic tracks for the first group of tunes that would become 'Blue Alibi.' All this while downtown was struggling for some semblance of a holiday spirit after the bizarre events of September. In fits and starts, over the next two years, Kim, Daly and their cadre of ringers--some of the music industry's finest players--went to work. Drummer Dan Rieser, he of Marcy Playground fame, and one of the primary collaborators on Norah Jones' Grammy-sweeping juggernaut, 'Come Away With Me', made his presence felt. Other talents gracing the proceedings included drummer Alan Bezozi (Freedy Johnston), keyboardist John Deley (Dido), bassist Joe Quigley, and Sir Tim Bright, the renaissance man of Avenue U, who lent his distinctive touch to everything from the guitar and 6-string bass to the harmonium. Not falling prey to the diminishing returns of focus group fads or contrived major-label jive, 'Blue Alibi' is a heartfelt paean to the often misplaced musical forms of storytelling and songcraft.