Steep Ravine – The Pedestrian

“Fronted by the clear wispy tenor voice of Simon Linsteadt, price it’s hard not to be struck immediately by the freshness of this band’s material and approach… weaving threads of wistful heartache and longing into images of natural beauty and wonder, viagra 40mg all infused with threads of bluegrass, shop swing, and even traces of pop/folk into a collection that’s full of sweet surprises.” – Bluegrass Unlimited review of Trampin On’

National Release Date: June 16th, 2015
  

Since forming two short years ago and releasing their debut album Trampin On’ (2014), San Francisco Bay area acoustic folk and roots band Steep Ravine have toured all across the U.S. and into Canada. Now with the release of their new album The Pedestrian they dive deeper into their musical roots, bringing in an increasingly wide range of collective influences, from folk and jazz to bluegrass, pop and funk. Ultimately the music converges around the breadth and depth of principal lyricist and lead vocalist Simon Linsteadt’s (guitar, banjo, mandolin, vocals) songwriting and the band’s collaborative instrumental arrangements. Linsteadt’s flatpicking and finger-style guitar work provide a vibrant harmonic framework for the music, along with tasteful jazz-tinged solos. Jan Purat’s (violin, vocals) deep relationship to classical, bluegrass, and jazz violin shines through in his soaring solos and lilting melodies, and Alex Bice’s (bass, drums, percussion, vocals) tremendous strength as a rock-solid acoustic bassist, percussionist, and drummer, adds a dynamic groove.

For The Pedestrian, Steep Ravine ventured back to familiar territory, recording afresh at John Vanderslice's renowned analog-based Tiny Telephone Studios under the skillful guidance of Jacob Winik (Samantha Crain), who also engineered and mixed their debut album. Most of the guitar, mandolin, and banjo tracks were recorded by Linsteadt alone in a cabin in West Marin, where he also captured the haunting hoot of the Great Horned Owl under a late night sky. The album was mastered by Bob Weston at Chicago Mastering Service.

Thematically the majority of the ten original songs penned by Linsteadt explore a personal but very universal inner dialogue—those conversations we all have within ourselves that nobody else hears, be they thoughts of nostalgia, longing or doubt. The lead-off track “Adeline” is akin to the daydreaming subconscious mind as it asks “Are you feeling better?” and answers back “Yes I’m feeling fine” in Linsteadt’s smooth intimate voice backed by soothing harmonies. Purat’s traditional bluegrass-style twin fiddle playing on the western tinged “Shadow of a Cloud” is punctuated by the driving resonance of Bice’s bass playing, and some fine banjo work by Linsteadt. “Tom Foolery” is a lighthearted glimpse of that side of ourselves that has doubts and makes mistakes, “I blame it on Tom Foolery”, with Purat’s violin playing the part of a jazz horn player. The beautifully fingerpicked “Grenadine” slips in and out of reality and dream as it explores the split between fast-paced city life versus the more peaceful life in the countryside. “Daylight in a Jail Cell” is themed around a subject that many touring musicians can relate to, that of being a prisoner of the road.

Filled with evocative and melodic songwriting, soulful singing and rich instrumentation, Steep Ravine’s laidback sound goes down easy on The Pedestrian. In support of the new album Steep Ravine will be touring throughout 2015.

Home Website: Steep Ravine
Bandcamp: The Pedestrian
Facebook: Steep Ravine on Facebook