Hailing from Philadelphia, PA, Steve Cal’ released his debut album, which fans of the blues, Buddy Guy, and Cream will thoroughly enjoy. The Steve Cal’ Band, which also features Sandy Eldred (bass) and Melinda Gervasio (drums) delivers nine songs (a couple of which are covers) on their self-titled album The Steve Cal’ Band that have a vintage feel to them. The recording themselves seem raw and live. Not many bells and whistles on these recordings. It pretty much sounds like a couple of musicians jamming in a room. Cal’ has a decent blues voice but guitar playing is the star of the show on a lot of these songs. He plays a nasty lead and digs into scales while thrashing at his guitar.
First up is “I’m The One,” which sounds similar to an old Cream song tinged with a bit of Hendrix. Cal’ sings over drum fills as the guitar is vacant for a beat only to return with a vengeance. It isn't long before Cal’ starts soloing and makes you feel like an amateur. “Real Long Day” had a solo and riff that sounded similar to the one on “Stairway To Heaven.” He implements an A - G - F progression.
“I Ain’t Messing Around” is the kind of blues-rock you can imagine playing at your local bar while the townies are slamming back boilermakers and playing pool. It has a classic feel to it. ”Through Your Eyes” was one of the highlights on the album. Cal’ delivers one of his best vocal performances while the song pours out a decent amount of nostalgia and melancholy. He even tips his hat to “The Wind Cries Mary” for a brief moment. Cal closes the album by covering two of the greatest blues artists of all time. He does justice to “Come On In This House” by Junior Wells and “Malted Milk” by Robert Johnson.
This album is pretty straightforward blues-rock and will appeal to fans of the genre. If you got a hankering for some old but new music check this out.
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