A celebration of simplicity
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Steve Hefter is the guy who goes by the name of St. Even, and I don’t know much about him at all. I didn’t read the bio that came with the elpee because the elpee came in the mail way (SUPERWAY) in advance of it’s release date, and my house had gone through several cleanings and de-junkings and I’m sure it wound up in the trash. No matter. Here is what you need to know…
This is not a rock record. This is American back porch music, uncomplicated and devoid of irony, new yet familiar, and layered with warm, comfortable texture. This is wine, not whiskey. Hefter’s dusky pitch and deadpan delivery (quite like Canada’s Hayden) contrasts wonderfully with his compositions. Hefter gracefully guides listeners through traces of folk, New Orleans jazz, Western piano-saloon music and ragtime all before the opener closes. “Dreams/My Rope” lightly tosses more contrast in when Hefter sings with Audie Darling, whose name could only be more appropriate if it were Honey Darling, because that’s exactly what she sounds like. Ezra Rose is another sweetener of several other songs, reaching a low-key zenith in “Long Distance Calls,” an elegantly spare composition where Hefter and Rose’s voices dance a waltz together. That’s not hyperbole, folks… it’s that beautiful.
If I were in a grey sky mood-funk, or were prone to seasonal depression, I’d be weeping around the clock with most of this record and sending thanks out across the vast, eternal cosmos for it. For real.