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Steve Warner: Press

CD REVIEW:

 

West Virginia's own Steve Warner & The Rolling Coyotes releases their latest release “Train of Life” in the Spring 2010. 

Logging in at just over 60 minutes, the CD kicks things off with “Land Rover” a melancholy intro piece that serves up steady folksy-type rhythms accompanied by inviting strings, well placed harmonies, & impressive harmonica accents. Track 2 “Better off with you (Than Alone)" shifts gears a bit with soothing acoustical duet that is sincere as much as it is genuine. Track 3 “Train of Life” delivers passionate vocal delivery from Warner with nice accordion accents, & earthy type musical feel making for one of the strongest songs on the catalogue. As the CD slowly unfolds you will notice a lot of musical variety from Warner & Co. First this music itself has a lot of emotional peak & valleys to it. Many songs possess a very carefree & uplifting spirit while a few offer up a very honest assessment of the truth. The CD offers a rich melodic vocal foundation, & lush layers of instrumentation. I would classify this music as classic Acoustic Folk & Americana with a strong emphasis on vocal harmonies & melodic reinforcement. Besides the standard 4 piece delivery you will also notice brief splashes of percussion, piano, accordion, piano, harmonica, mandolin, stand-up bass, & delightful strings layered within the music. All in all the CD has some truly impressive moments on it showcasing musical influences of the likes of classic Dr. John, Jimmy Buffet, & do I dare say Peter Paul & Mary. Warner’s vocal abilities work well across the board possessing a vocal swagger reminiscent of Bob Dorough (Schoolhouse Rock), Jimmy Buffet, Dr. John, with just s splash of perhaps Joe Cocker. Honorable mentions go out to Nancy Lynn who adds her nice vocal accents along the way. From upbeat & carefree pieces "Rise & Shine”, “Stimuli”, “Sunny Afternoon” & "Brokenville” to passionate “The War has just Begun” & this CD pretty much has something for just about everyone. There’s even few slow moving vocal jazz-blues pieces like “Augmented to Be” & Blues on a Sunny Day” I enjoyed many of the stripped down love ballads like “Gypsy Love Song” & “Legacy” that will lift your spirits without even trying. My favorite line on the whole CD is “There’s no status to the quo in Brokenville” nice touch guys I was rolling on the floor. The CD comes fully loaded with 14 tracks & over 60 minutes of music. The CD even has 3 bonus tracks at the end “The Two Left Feet Waltz” “In the Dog House Now” & “A World of Our Own.”

All songs over 4 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line. Some percussive accents & vocal harmonies need to be tightened up a bit. “Stimuli” just sounds like an incomplete statement. Track 10 “Old Lovers Heart” the vocals come on way to strong, especially in the beginning. I realize this is subjective art form but typically you want to gradually build up your vocal intensity to the point your making during the chorus.

In close Steve Warner & The Rolling Coyotes are just a blast to listen to, & is a strong musical production from start to finish. The music is highly original, extremely catchy, & will lift your spirits without even trying. As the CD progressed I became more and more impressed with this 4 piece. Because of the influences I would say the flower children out there will love this one. The musicianship is first rate, the songs are short & sweet musical experiences, each one possessing a unique personality, flair, & signature groove. Last but not least my hats of to Mr. Steve Warner who will charm you with his amazing charisma, & touch you with his amazing songs, & lift your spirits with his delightful wisdom.  The writing, & singing abilities of Steve Warner & The Rolling Coyotes is about as good as it gets for this genera. Steve Warner & The Rolling Coyotes let's it all hang out delivering music that is as much fun as it is entertaining. I look forward to hearing more material from Steve Warner & The Rolling Coyotes in the near future.

Cyrus Rhodes - Indie Music Digest (Oct, 2010)

 

Somewhere between John Prine and the late Steve Goodman, singer/songwriter Steve Warner has been marking out his territory for many years. A writer and singer with a unique ability to zero in on human truths, whether in the context of a ballad, a straight-out country tune, or a humorous parody, Steve is, above all things, true to an honest and direct appraisal of the world around him. Steve Warner's newest CD, Carry On, really brings home the broad range of this man's musical vision. Along with his longtime cohorts, the Rolling Coyotes (Nancy Lynn and Andy Mosholder) and a great group of supporting musicians, Steve infuses Carry On with an authenticity that's hard to find on a CD these days. From the evocative Civil War love story, "Annabel Lee," through the hard light of the leaving song "Save It for a Rainy Day," and on to the wry toe-tapper "Make My Cot Where the Cot Cot Cotton Grows," Steve leads the listener through an eclectic collection of tunes that is unified by the front-porch feel of the instrumental tracks and the plaintive honesty of a voice that speaks the truth.

 

Eric Garrison - Touring Folk Artist & Founder of Cedar Run Workshops

 

Steve Warner's Renaissance Man is a fun, classic folk/country CD loaded with songs that get stuck in your head. Warner shifts from vocalizing traditional American themes to entertaining with down-home country lyrics. Listen for different country (John Prine) and folk (Bob Dylan and Arlo Guthrie) influences on several tunes. The ragtime clarinet on 'I've Got Plans' reminds me of the barbership quartet era, but deals with contemporary subjects. Warner adds sentimental touches by including a 78-rpm background chorus to this otherwise digital recording, reminding us that you can be both nostalgic and modern at the same time. Incorporating the two enriches our appreciation for his music. Warner has mastered humorous storytelling in the title track, a commercial pop tune about a character familiar to most of us in the 21st century. He puts so much energy into obtaining modern conveniences that he hasn't got time to enjoy the things he owns. Sexuality also receive Warner's humorous touch in 'Bubba Goes Fishing': you can see the redneck on the prowl. Contrast this cut with the romantic cowboy ballad, 'Molly McClure', in which Warner combines classic folk with modern themes. Renaissance Man effectively uses guest musicians on several tracks. Adding Fiddlin' Joe Shewbridge, a 60-year veteran of the local and national music scene, on 'Not Gonna Take It Anymore' gives the song the extra solemn boost it needs for ear candy sound appeal. As Warner sings, "My poor heart took a beating, but soon I will yearn for someone new," Shewbridge's violin reinforces the song's sadness. Steve Warner arranges the tunes remarkably well, intertwining the instruments to create a sensible new-age folk recording that can be played at any occasion. He dedicated this CD to his son, Daniel Benjamin Warner, as "he feels writing is the only real therapy he knows." Listening to this CD lifted my spirits and broadened my appreciation for the diversity of his music. Warner's "not quite bluegrass" contains themes that upstage other fold entertainers on the scene today. 

 

 

Erica Kelly - Recreation News

 

Life is crazy for a Renaissance Man. The lyrics from the title track of local singer-songwriter Steve Warner’s new CD foretell a collage of tunes and moods that range from the silly in “Bubba Goes Fishin’” to the real loss in “Ready or Not.” The latter was written for Warner’s son Daniel Benjamin Warner who was killed at the age of 24 in a car accident in May 2003. Renaissance Man . . . Warner’s second album is dedicated to Daniel. Warner delivers seasoned vocals, guitar, harmonica and percussion. Nancy Lynn backs him up on vocals. And Rob Shaw serves up some serious strings by turns on dulcimer, mandolin and guitar. Warner, Lynn and Shaw make up the trio of The Rolling Coyotes. They get help from many friends on Renaissance Man, including Fiddlin’ Joe Shewbridge, who played with Patsy Cline. Warner’s clear, strong vocals are delivered with sincere, old-fashioned charm and are well-tempered by Lynn’s soft and sweet back up singing. These qualities marry well with the traditional folk album for which Warner wrote all 14 songs. “Coyote Moon” takes the listener out to the lonely canyons of the desert southwest. The introductory lyrics on the track provide a setting for this number Warner has dubbed The Rolling Coyotes’ official theme song. “The setting sun paints the western sky as the evening shadows fall. A full moon rises over the ridge where I hear a coyote call. Down in the canyon by the Rio Grande, heavenly stars are out tonight. Nothin’ is sweeter than my senorita when the coyote moon is shinin’ bright.” One imagines a dusty wrangler camped out in the sage brush, strumming on his guitar by the light of the campfire, or maybe saddled up trotting out toward that painted horizon. “Buried in Stone” has a mystical feel to it . . . it’s about the Mayans . . . with a Native American percussion cadence and flourishes of the flute. “I’ve Got Plans” is fun. It includes some zany effects reminiscent of the Golden Age of Radio. Scary minor keys and ghostly intermittent Victrola sound quality make it a standout. It’s a story-song about building a life . . . and a woman. “You probably have to be a Twilight Zone fan to really appreciate this one,” Warner says in his liner notes. “Do the Best You Can” inspires with a father’s Little League pep talk to his son. “Ronald P. Carter” is a page out of the Civil War and Sherman’s March of 90,000 men”who torched everything within their path . . .” “Get it Back” mourns the passing of the love/peace culture of the late 1960s. A host of skilled musicians sit in with the Coyotes on this album and help put a unique stamp on every offering. There’s a whole pickup truck load of variety in Warner’s new work, something for everyone. Renaissance Man appeals to the heart and at the same time provides fun and comic relief on a world whose never-ending demands can harden us. - Steve Warner is an award-winning songwriter with numerous credits, including covers of his sogns by other artists. His first CD “The Way Things Used to Be” won high praise from reviewers and prominient folk artists.

 

 

Daniel Friend - Shepherdstown Chronicle

If you frequently and fondly think about the late 50s, if you find yourself longing for country-and-western music without Nashville's heavy backbeats, and if you really preferred the way things used to be - then you're gonna love The Way Things Used to Be. On this self-produced CD, West Virginian Steve Warner - a self-admitted "old-fashioned guy" who grew up during the days when Elvis was changing music and hairstyles, and cars were classically cool - teams up with a talented "string band" backup to reprise a no-nonsense style with strong echoes of yesterday. Sounding more than just a little like an early Merle Haggard, Warner reminds us of good times gone by with a baker's dozen of self-written tunes that recall homespun philosophies (Do It Right the First Time), young love (Dingman's Ferry) and bittersweet memories (Ghost In the Breeze and Tonight We Danced in My Dreams). Don't think for a moment, however, that Warner's songs are all fluffy cotton-candy nostalgia. He reveals a sense of biting irony with tough pieces that hammer home the specters of poverty (Carry On the Name), life outside the law (Jessie Louder) and physical handicaps (The Best That They Can Do). Castro's Children points up the hardships of life under Cuba's dictatorial regime. This is pretty strong stuff in counterpoint to the lighter reveries.

Kingsley Abernath - Recreation News