We have all heard the various CD's with not only the band and all of the over dubs with a host of studio musicians and other artists who have joined their studio recording. When the forty eight tracks are mixed down, you have a one-time band performance that can likely never be duplicated again, let alone real-time. Get ready for a one-take guy, a one-man band that sounds incredible--meet Steve White! This southern Californian plays a low-tuned guitar, harmonica, sings his own compositions, and with his clogs provides a percussive accompaniment. How does he sound? Amazing--just amazing!
The album opens with "Nothing" which tells how the subject's life started with nothing except an empty suitcase. Steve nails the beat down with his percussive picking and his foot percussion board. You will hear individual lead and bass parts on the guitar along with several different percussive sounds including at least 3 distinct drum line sounds and a complementary rattle and guitar top slaps. His unique story-telling voice and harmonica fill out the sound. Steve slides notes around with meticulous timing that seems as free as a bird but tight as anything I have heard from a guitarist playing just one instrument.
The train rolling beat behind "Night Train" delivers a foot-tapping rhythm. Steve tells the story of riding the train from an observers standpoint. The rider is forced to make a decision--ride or walk away… Steve's footwork and slapping percussive guitar have that train moving through your mind.
"Christmas Season Blues" old-time shuffles with a tongue-in-cheek attitude in the lyrics. Short and sweet, Steve proves he is capable of pulling off a whole combo with bass, jazzy chord progressions accompaniment, and drums/percussion effortlessly coming from his four extremities!
In the tune entitled "Extravaganza", Steve uses the guitar top, his percussion board, and the guitar strings themselves to create a percussive instrumental.
The driving "Chicken Bone Express" tells the story of a train ride where the passengers all eat southern fried chicken. He suggests that the passengers are bathing in RC Cola while throwing the chicken bones in the aisle. The driving chords along with the bass and percussion let you imagine this scene! Sliding along the guitar neck, using his feet to drum, playing harp and alternately singing--Steve will convince you that there are four of him!
The social commentary "Brand New World" suggests that the gun-in-hand world is looking out for number one yet it feels the same to him. He goes on to comment about the workplace and opportunity. Pull-off's and hammer-on's abound!
"Instr" is a clever instrumental. Listen again and again and hear more each time.
"So Long" tells the story of a desert between he and his true love.