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Rob Ellen

STEVEN GRAVES - HOW LONG (Self-released)

http://Stevengraves.com

http://stevengravesband,com

California musician, singer-songwriter Steven Graves is one of those artists who has been able to tap into classic soul and the singer-songwriter age of the late 1960s and 1970s and the seamless harmonies to go with both and simultaneously place  his own twist. His latest album How Long is an honest to goodness soul, pop, singer-songwriter fare worth time getting aquatinted with. He has a cracking band in support (guitars, drums, pedal steel, piano, organ, keyboards and harmony vocals), and it’s due to their sympathic support the songs are elevated to another level. 

Graves opens with title-track How Long, a restless piece featuring pop, soul and rock. The kind of song Randy Weeks has made his trademark (he spent some of his most successful years on America’s west coast down in Southern California). The twangy rhythmic beat and sunny feel is of an infectious variety. It is quickly followed by the finely worked up Good Day (wonderful 1970s harmonies) and, the jangling rhythm fuelled Forces Of Love. Let It Reign with fine piano accompaniment provides a mellow feel as the time for reflection is visited, and apart from it having a familiar feel to it it’s a genuine 5-star piece of work. With a heartfelt message asking for peace, and, of how the train is in the station and we are all one! Its soul steeped harmonies, electric lead guitar and piano underpin Graves’ strong lead vocals. Killer ballad would be an apt description. Moving on through the tracks, People Rise has an enjoyable classic reggae feel.

Captain Soul underlines how Graves has an excellent head for a lyric to go with his uncanny ability of carving out an infectious rhythm. It is the kind of song legendary figured The Band would have enjoyed playing, and loved to have said also written. It could well have been the title track! No reason why not. In nFool For You Graves love of San Francisco is noted. Now there’s a micro climate if ever there was. In the song (with pedal steel, female vocals) he speaks of how the fog rolls in at night and more. In it he has a match clincher. 

Weary Man with its big funky sound it is followed by a smouldering soul drenched version of the epic and arguable overlong ramble jam like Sugaree. Set Me Free with noteworthy piano and a bustling rythmn is typical Graves. Graves at his best as much energy is conjured. Going back to his admiration of 1970s singer-songwriters he closes up shop with two excellent songs of the ilk.

Stand For The People and Fly To The Stars are ha did the task of finishing in style and they do just that. The first has a busy funky soul feel and is something of a rallying call. It comes complete with blues and, is typical California sound of the era. In has a stronger cutting edge than most songs of the period. More along the lines of vintage Neil Young. Powerful. Plus it has an upbeat feel that raises dust! Not least due to some tasty pedal steel guitar work. 

Maurice Hope

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The Medicine Show is the home of the House Concert here is our rolling news

 

This site is the sister site to The House Concert Hub community and has been inherited in the main by kind donation of Shaun Belcher and Trailer Star.

It is the sum total of over ten years of tending a tender love of music by Shaun, a life time with Trailer Star and five or so years of an association with Rob Ellen from Medicine Music.

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December 2018
1
Malford Milligan
75 pts.
Life Will Humble You
Royal Family Records
JF,FB
2
JD McPherson
61 pts.
Socks
New West Records
CVL,DHO,MVP,MB
3
Rosanne Cash
50 pts.
She Remembers Everything
Blue Note Records
WR,BP,JSM,HB
4
Ad Vanderveen
45 pts.
I Was Hank William
Blue Rose Records
TK,LM,BM,JB
5
John Hiatt
44 pts.
The Eclipse Sessions
New West
FC
6
The Yearlings
41 pts.
Skywriting
Lonely Sounds Records
EZ
7
Tip Jar
40 pts.
Onward
Independent
FS
8
Nathan Bell
39 pts.
Loves Bones & Stars
Angry Stick Recording Co.
RB,SZ,PG
9
The Brother Brothers
38 pts.
Some People I Know
Compass Records
BK
10
Richard Dobson
30 pts.
I Hear Singing
Brambus Records
JS,NC
11
Steve Forbert
29 pts.
The Magic Tree
Blue Rose Music
PR
12
J.P. Harris
28 pts.
Sometimes Dogs Bark At Nothing
Free Dirt Records
TJ
13
The Bottle Rockets
24 pts.
Bit Logic
Bloodshot Records
GS,PKO
14
Rodney Crowell
23 pts.
Christmas Everywhere
New West
 
15
Christian Kjellvander
22 pts.
Wild Hxmans
Tapete
 
16
Erin Costelo
21 pts.
Sweet Marie
Compass Records
PJ
17
Colter Wall
20 pts.
Songs of the Plains
Young Mary's Record
 
18
The Hillbenders
19 pts.
The Hillbenders
Compass Records
FH
19
Eric Bibb
18 pts.
Global Griot
Stony Plain
 
 
Karine Polwart
18 pts.
Laws of Motion
Hudson Records
HH,KG
21
Carson McHone
17 pts.
Carousel
Nine Mile Records
 
 
Malcolm Holcombe
17 pts.
Come Hell Or High Water
Gypsy Eyes Music
MF
23
Ben Bedford
16 pts.
The Hermit's Spyglass
Cavalier Recordings
SP
 
Craig Moreau
16 pts.
A Different Kind Of Train
Independent
MP
 
David Olney
16 pts.
This Side Or The Other
Black Hen Music

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