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Steve Conn

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Album Review

Few sidemen have blossomed into solo artistry as fully as Nashville stalwart Steve Conn on this self-titled release. Crisply produced, with a degree of clarity that in no way subverts the album's rustic ambience, Steve Conn stands on a foundation of vintage keyboards; there's only one synthesizer cameo, and even that was played on a stone-age miniMoog. This gives each song a spacious, solid feel, which serves the narrative quality of the lyrics well. Conn's vocal delivery, unaffected and almost conversational, brings these stories into focus, like a rugged frame around an old family portrait. On "Down on Rigolette" it's a country gothic tale told in stark, poetic detail; "Comfort Me," the plaintive "Beautiful," and the easy-rolling, Professor Longhair-flavored "Don't Ask Me" are more personal recitations, haunted by mystery and glimpses of salvation; and his humor, in full view on "I've Got Your Dark," has a wicked twist. Extra flavor is added throughout each track by the band, whose most stellar member, Sonny Landreth, plays just as exquisitely as you'd expect; Conn's solos are somewhat less pointed but just as drenched in homespun soul. Though not as sophisticated as the songs of Bruce Hornsby, this material draws from the same well and quenches that same thirst for something cool, dark, and Southern. ~ Robert L. Doerschuk, Rovi


Genre: Blues

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Steve Conn lives in Tennessee, but New Orleans lives in his music. The Louisiana native proclaims his Delta heritage on both piano and accordion by playing his own unique brand of New Orleans funk and swamp boogie from central Louisiana. No one can be a New Orleans-style pianist, though, without first knowing Professor Longhair, whose syncopated rhythms and arpeggiated inversions of boogie woogie established a longstanding piano tradition in New Orleans. Conn was in demand as a musician. He's toured...
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Steve Conn, Steve Conn
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