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CD: HOWARD STEELE – The Little Country Store


The Little Country Store
The Little Country Store – A Million Guitars
– The Bright Lights of Reno – In A Perfect World – This Buds For you –
The Hero the Country Laid To Rest – Little Boxes – As Sure As Niagara
Falls – I Get The Blues When I Remember You – Cadillac Woman – Don’t Cry
Joni – Sime Me Faded Love Again
It doesn’t matter to me how you lay it, if it’s country,
it’s country, and that’s good enough for me.  Howard Steele makes his
home in Monroe, Oregon, and he has put together some excellent ‘real’
country musicians for this very satisfying CD of traditional and classic
country music.  He has also put together a group of songs I have not
heard before, with the names of the writers.  I am assuming he knows
these writers personally, because the feeling he puts into each and
every one of them is the true objective of any true country artist,. 
Alton Wayne Crump wrote the cover song “The Little Country Store” and
he’s also the engineer in the studio.  Roger Berggren plays the most
different instruments, fiddle (he does a super job on “This Buds For
You”) , acoustic guitar, 12-string guitar, steel, mandolin, and even the
bass.  Gordon Kkuryluk plays the piano on one of the songs, and Ellen
Wilson adds some excellent old-time harmony to Howard’s nice old-time
voice.  Some excellent acoustic guitar picking throughout this
adventure, and it surely does make the songs sound good.  I even like
Howard’s voice, it’s kind of old-timey, and at the same time true to the
objective of staying ‘true’ to the original country music genre that is
so lacking in today’s modern country music world.  Little boxes little
boxes used to  be about ticky tacky houses all looking alike in the
world of folk music.  In Howard’s musical world it’s about ‘pill’ boxes
for all the pills older people have to take.  I liked the song “Don’t
Cry Joni” maybe because we have a politician running for a high post in
Iowa, and her first name is Joni. No connection there, but the song is
super.  Howard and his vocalist partner Ellen Wilson do a great job
putting the song over.  All together this album is a great classic
country piece of work.  Off it goes to the Rural Roots Music Commission
even though it’s early in the running for a CD of the Year award, but
I’m thinking that might happen.
for Country Music News International Magazine

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