He began his career as part of London's pub rock scene in the early-1970s and later became associated with the first wave of the British Punk/New Wave movement of the mid to late-1970s. Steeped in word play, the vocabulary of Costello's lyrics is broader than that of most popular songs. His music has drawn on many diverse genres; one critic described him as a "pop encyclopaedia", able to "reinvent the past in his own image". Costello has won multiple awards in his career, including a Grammy Award, and has twice been nominated for the Brit Award for Best British Male. In 2003, Elvis Costello & the Attractions were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked Costello number 80 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
In November 2005, Costello started recording an album with Allen Toussaint and producer Joe Henry in New Orleans. The River in Reverse was released in the UK on the Verve label the following year in May. Costello sits on the Advisory Board of the Board of Directors of the Jazz Foundation of America. Costello has donated his time working with the Jazz Foundation of America to save the homes and the lives of America's elderly jazz and blues musicians, including musicians who survived Hurricane Katrina.