Friday, May 09, 2014

Steve Weinstein-Last Free Man

Resonator Music

As "Lost & Found" opens Steve Weinstein's late 2013 release "Last Free Man" I took a moment to reflect on the lost art of simple rock and roll. Call it part Bob Dylan part Tom Petty (or Tom Waits with a more keen eye for philosophy or maybe even a smoother take on Eddie & the Cruisers without the sax and way more honesty) or just Steve Weinstein being Steve Weinstein, but whatever it is it certainly sets the mode for this splendid David Baron (Peter Murphy, Lenny Kravitz) produced 10-track release from this part-time rocker/tenured professor of Philosophy at the University of Waterloo. Rewarding tracks such as "Lost & Found" and the title cut are merely the start of this fantastic journey which finds Steve and guests (Bassist Sara Lee of B-52s/Gang of Four, drummer Tony Mason (Al Green, Norah Jones), guitarist GE Smith of Bob Dyan, Tom Waits and Hall & Oats fame, guitarist Adam Widoff (Lenny Kravitz), guitarist Larry Saltzman (David Johansen, Paul Simon) and gospel piano/B3 organist Better Sussman of Whitney Houston fame) drawing from a vast array of sounds and textures so that the music at hand comes of as natural as possible. And that it does. Natural, smooth and organic rock swirls within the likes of "Til I Die", "No Vacancy" and "Seeing Stars" and for those that simply cannot get enough of garage rock and roll "Last Free Man" should be the drug of choice! Lest you think it's all driven by the upbeat early days of rock and roll (specifically mid-late sixties rock!) there's the dark blues rock of "Storm Warning", the gospel-infused "Throw It Away" and a quirky cover of Mission of Burma's "That's How I Escaped My Certain Fate". Things finish up with the late-seventies/early-eighties pop punk of bonus number "Girls that Don't Exist" and really I couldn't have been happier with this magical piece of nostalgic rock and roll. Sure enough it could easily fit in with today's hip scene where the likes of Beck and The White Stripes roam about freely and that's a good indication of it's staying power. Still, I'll admit that it's the old-fashioned charm of these numbers that draws me in and will keep me there. Why not join me there then? There's room for plenty on board this pleasure cruise and we could all learn a thing or two about life and love from Steve Weinstein while we're at it!

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