Lucid Culture

JAZZ, CLASSICAL MUSIC AND THE ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY

CD Review: Homeboy Steve – Are We There Yet?

In striking contrast to the most recent Americana cd reviewed here (Jay Bennett’s harrowing new one), this is a playful, fun, staggeringly diverse mix of styles from one of New York’s most esteemed guitarists. Homeboy Steve AKA Stephen B. Antonakos, who somehow finds the time to play in – take a deep breath – psychedelic revivalists Love Camp 7, Greek rebetika party monsters Magges, country hellraisers Sean Kershaw & the New Jack Ramblers, zydeco/cajun group the Dirty Water Dogs, ageless new wave chanteuse Ellen Foley’s band and this, his own project, as well. Because he gets around as much as he does, Antonakos is particularly well plugged into the NYC music scene and despite playing most of the instruments on the cd, some of the best players in town make an appearance here. Namely, violinist Susan Mitchell, who supplies some sweet work on the country song that opens the album; Americana chanteuse Liz Tormes, whose dreamy, ethereal vocals grace the third track; Rebecca Turner, who turns in a particularly beautiful lead vocal on the following cut; Joe Flood, who supplies vox on the country parody Baptized in Rain; and also drummer Bruce Martin, low-end guy Dave Hofstra (who plays tuba here) and ace bassist Skip Ward, who’s confined to pennywhistle here on the amusing mariachi sea chantey Red Skies at Night.

 

Otherwise, the cd includes a Stonesy tale of a Lower East Side booking agent who lived through the scene’s glory days; a big, gorgeous soul ballad (that’s the one Turner sings); a funny, sympathetic number about a monster (“Monsters aren’t evil, they’re misunderstood/It’s the people behind ’em who’re up to no good); a tribute to the value of good timekeeping and improvisational cues, and an absolutely killer, amusingly metaphorical country tune that winds up the album. And a faux-oldtimey tribute to well-loved LES bar/club Banjo Jim’s, where you shouldn’t let the calm ambience fool you: you can really tie one on there, as Antonakos insists you should know. Musicians in particular will get a kick out of this cd, and so will you unless you don’t have a sense of humor.

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January 6, 2009 - Posted by | Music, music, concert, review, Reviews

1 Comment »

  1. Indubitably Sir!

    Comment by Horace Debussy Jones | July 27, 2012 | Reply


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