Right Here And Now
NEO Music NEO116CD
Beautiful Folk Infused Country Music from British Troubadour.
Although we have two mutual friends, our paths have never crossed; probably because Singer-songwriter Steve Black is from London Town but now based in Devon at the other end of England from where I reside in the NE.
The loss is mine; judging by this delightful album.
Right Here and Now opens with quintessentially British tale of being caught in a traffic jam on a hot Friday afternoon; but the neat Country-Rock tune and Black’s world-weary voice defy national borders and will resonate with people all over the globe.
With a warm and expressive delivery Steve Black is an exceptional story teller with songs like Jacob and the title track Right Here Now I was reminded of singers like Don Williams, Guy Clark and even latter day Sam Baker; but on Highway of My Heart and Good Old Country (Girl) he digs deep into his Hank and George record collections for some sweet good time Country music.
For a man of a ‘certain age’ Steve Black certainly has a romantic streak running straight from his heart to his brain; with What Haven’t We Done For a While and the exquisite Dance With Me, which closes the disc both touching me in such a way I had to stop Mrs. Magpie mid-ironing to make her listen to Black’s heartfelt words.
That latter song was very close to being my ‘song of the day’ but instead I’ve gone for the deceptively complex Highway of My Heart; which brought a tear to my eyes and desperately tugged at my heartstrings and could only have been written by someone with many years of life’s various experiences under his belt to write a song this beautiful and emotional.
Steve Black’s long time/occasional sidekick Alan West has not only made a great job of the production but plays guitar throughout. The biggest surprise for me though, has been the feeling that this was a band effort, with Justin Johnson on drums, bassist Simon Goulding, Adam Sweet (Guitars etc), David Hartley on pedal-steel and the majestic fiddle, banjo and mandolin of Justin Moses all combine to bring the very best out of Steve’s delightful lyrics.
Released November 2016