maandag 14 maart 2016

Stranger In A Stranger Land. Steve Waitt

Steve Waitt and his music were all but from my consciousness. His November 2008 show in Leiden was more of a feeling related to spine-chilling moments during his show than any clear remembrance of the music itself. His album, 'Blue Planet' I hadn't played for years. The show was always there though as one of the most impressive I've ever seen. Now a new album. Were there others? I just don't know.

Promo photo
Listening to Stranger In A Stranger Land the Steve Waitt mood comes to me easily. His voice is, again, where it all starts. Extremely pleasant, without being average in any way. It has this edge of harshness, a rasp that gives it some meanness. The combination works wonders for me.

Around Waitt is a tight sounding band with which he also tours. Together they create a at times hard beat, moving far away from the solo piano songs of the 2008 show. In the 80s there was Bruce Hornsby, but where after two songs beyond his only and number 1 hit, 'The Way It Is', I had to suppress some heavy yawns, with the fourth song into Stranger In A Stranger Land the fun is only starting. 'Stranger' is a ballad disguised as a rock song, that has the beauty of 'The Way It Is' while having this edge that makes it so much more interesting. 'Stranger' is simply much more powerful and rocks out with hard hitting drums and a turned up organ. Steve Waitt remains unperturbed, surfing the sound waves with his voice like a master surfer.

Promo photo
How good the songs of Steve Waitt are and how much I like his voice is shown by the fact that his music touches me directly, where other singer-songwriters fishing in this pond do not touch me at all. Songs in which pop, singer-songwriter and rock meets hints of jazz. Say James Taylor, David Crosby, Christopher Cross. And the winner is: Steve Waitt. Together with his band he lays down an atmosphere that is more colourful, at times exciting and full of tension. That has to do with the alternative style guitar playing and the forceful drumming, that give his music something all those others don't have, an alternative rock edge. It is only in the carnival show like music of 'Lily Rose', the song that ends the album, that the mood changes and New Orleans enters the electric piano ballad. Something completely different, but a great, stranger ending. (And then the mystery track really ends it all, and all I can do is listen in awe.)

With Stranger In A Stranger Land Steve Waitt lays down a beautiful next step in his career. A step that took him eight long years, which is too long, but that is the way things are. The album is here and just begs listening and attention. There's only one Dutch show booked and it is in my favourite venue in Leiden, at the Q-Bus on Thursday 24 March. I'm going to be there and it would be a smart move if you'd be too. Magic exists and I've encountered it at a Steve Waitt show.


You can listen to 'Jump The Gun' here:

or buy on Bol.Com

1 opmerking:

  1. On Twitter we found the following: "A very generous review of our new album. Thank you @WoNoMagazine Looking forward to coming back to Qbus on the 24th!" by @stevewaitt.

    You're welcome and more after the 24th!