All That’s Been Lost
Real Deal Americana Song Writing and Singing From the Beating Heart of Auld Scotia.
Back in 2017 I said of Steve Grozier, that he erred on “The Dark and Edgy Side of Alt-British Country” and in the interim his songwriting, storytelling and vocal delivery has certainly matured quite admirably; and that epithet now sounds quite prophetic.
Opening track Twenty Third Street features some sublime pedal-steel from Tim Davidson that takes an already beautiful tale into an existential direction, that really sets the groundwork for all that is to follow.
I’m not sure readers across the Atlantic actually know that such a thing as British Alt-Country actually exists; but trust me it does; and just like the Canadian version throws up singers and songwriters that seem to understand the medium better than many of their American peers; as Steve Grozier shows with the complex way he tells stories like those on Blue and Gold, When The Darkness Comes and the mysteriously haunting I Miss My Friend; which will tear at the heartstring of many who hear it.
While his American cousins probably discovered Country Music via the radio; the likes of Scotsman Steve Grozier had to invest time, patience and not a little bit of money buying and studying the works of everyone from Cash, Van Zandt, Clark, Earle and perhaps Wily Vlautin and Nanci Griffith too; as well as crossover bands like the Eagles to get to a point when they can create their own distinctive version in that mould ……. from the heart.
Which is the best way I can find to describe Memories and Sam, I Know You Tried; where Grozier dredges up his lowliest feelings and senses to create music that is Americana in absentia; as it’s channelled via a grey Glaswegian landscape, which certainly comes across in the tight and almost claustrophobic production.
In many ways this album is the antithesis of Easy Listening; but that sums up Alt. Country any way; doesn’t it. I’ve played this album quite a few times now; and always at least ‘quite’ enjoyed it; but yesterday was a cold dreich May Day and for a variety of reasons I was at a low point; and listening to Charlies Old Mustang/Graveyard and the prophetic Power in the Light while not cheering me up; made me believe that I wasn’t alone ………. Steve Grozier knew how I was feeling and therefore the world was a better place for a few minutes.
Which is why Power in the Light is ‘what it says on the tin’ and therefore my Favourite Track here; and a song you really must seek out if you even vaguely suffer from ‘Black Clouds’ ….. you aren’t alone.
I’m not sure what else there is to say; apart from Steve Grozier is the type of musician I get into arguments over with either people who tell me that “there’s no good music around these days” and/or fans of beige singer-songwriters like Ben Howard and Ed Sheeran……… Steve Grozier (and many others) is the Real Deal, writing and singing about real things and real people; the opposite of their music by numbers and algorithms.
Released May 7th 2021
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