Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Steepwater Band - Live and Humble

There aren’t very many rock bands as good as The Steepwater Band.  Hell, there ain’t that many bands as good as them in any genre.  Ladies and gentlemen, if you are regular reader of The Ripple Effect and haven’t heard them live or on record, you are making a big mistake.  Shame on you even.

Keeping Chicago as a point of origin to receive mail, The Steepwater Band has been touring ceaselessly for the last couple of years, including a few trips into Europe.  Eventually they are going to run out of days on the calendar to play shows.  Originally a power trio featuring Jeff Massey on guitar, Todd Bowers on bass and Joe Winters on drums, TSB added former Healing Sixes guitar man Eric Saylors to their line up shortly after they released their well received (and excellent, might I add) studio album, Clava.  I have been lucky enough to catch quite a few shows over the last couple of years as a trio and a quartet and Eric fits in the mix beautifully.  It has been a blast seeing these guys develop their chemistry and what they have concocted is about as pure and solid of a straight rock sound filled with bluesy tendencies (they call Chicago home after all) as you can possibly find playing these days.  Retro?  Sure, a little, but the fact of the matter is that these cats kick ass no matter what decade you associate their sounds with this side of 1960.  Thank goodness someone is making good rock music in this day and age. 

Released on December 3rd, 2013, The Steepwater Band now has irrefutable proof of their immaculate boogie in the form of their new live album, ‘Live & Humble’.   ‘Live & Humble’ is in all seriousness one of the best live albums I have ever heard.  I’d put it up with the any of the big boys live albums any ol’ day.  I find that the beauty of it rests with how you forget you are listening to a live album.  After 7,321 shows (roughly) into their High and Humble Tour, these boys are polished smooth.  Of course, it retains and conveys all of the excitement of their live show without being too perfect.  It doesn’t sound like a studio album but the performances are that good.  Ladies and gentlemen, The Steepwater Band is the real deal.  Period.

Constantly brushing shoulders with rock greatness, TSB still hasn’t crossed over into the “Big Time”.  It’s about time these guys get the recognition they deserve (I don’t think that many bands “deserve” it).  They have earned it.  Maybe they never will get the pay off, but if bragging rights have anything to do with it, ‘Live & Humble’ is solid ammo for the claim.

‘Live & Humble’ is available through and you should, as they say, Twatter them on The Facespace so you can catch a show.  Chances are they are playing a venue near you shortly.  Finally, good news vinyl just got released as a double vinyl record. 

--The Grime

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