‘Trampin’ On’ from Steep Ravine - a fresh wind blowing(January 09, 2014)
There’s a fresh wind blowing through American folk and bluegrass that’s inspiring many bands to push the boundaries and stir up the elements to take both styles somewhere new. OK this isn’t a headlong stampede – it’s more a gentle amble but nonetheless there is an increasing number of bands making those moves and Steep Ravine is definitely among them. Their album ‘Trampin’ On’ takes its fair share of influences into the mix with luscious relaxed melodies, close-fit harmonies and rich instrumentation swimming through a soup of jazz, swing and Americana folk.
Their self-penned songs range from the supremely laid back ‘Prairie Rose’ and ‘Wooden Floors’ through inspired instrumentals like the mandolin-driven ‘No.37’, the gentle intensity of ‘Where the River Runs Deep and Green’ and the jump and bounce of ‘Ponderosa’ to heartfelt offerings like ‘White Mare’, the unperturbed resignation of ‘The Waiting Blues’ and hope-filled ‘Wild Flower Honey’. There’s a touching edge to this album that reaches out to its audience – and I reckon that audience will reach right on back.
This breath of fresh air from guitarist and lead vocalist Simon Linsteadt, violinist Jan Purat, mandolin player Andy O’Brien and bassist Alex Bice serves up a slice American folk that many will adore.
Reviewer: Tom Franks