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CD Review: HOWARD STEELE – The Man Behind The Teardrop

HOWARD STEELE

The Man Behind The Teardrop
The Man Behind The Songs Behind The Teardrop
– My My Dreams Just Keep Coming True – Even The Memory Of You – There’s
Always Love – I Didn’t Move To Arizona For The Weather – Darcy Farrow –
A Truckload Of Bad Luck – The Price Goes Up – We Are Forever – Ballad
Of Grandpa James
 
I’ve had the extreme pleasure of reviewing some early works
by Howard Steele in the past.  He makes his home in Oregon, but his
heart is in ‘real’ country music.  The fiddle, played by Roger Berggren,
makes itself well known on this fine CD, and that makes it ‘very’
country.  Roger also plays guitar, steel, bass, and mandolin, so he has a
good hold on how this music session is going to turn out, and it turned
out extremely well done.  Howard Steele has that very ‘sure of himself’
voice that fits country music so well.  I reviewed one of Howard’s CD’s
back in 2013.  That one was titled “In The Shadow Of The Rim,” and it
was super.  In that review I said Howard’s voice sometimes sounds like a
cowboy, but sometimes it sounds country through and through.  He has a
very distinctive voice, and it certainly suit’s ‘real’ country music to a
tee.  This entire CD is a real pleasure to listen to.  Howard recorded
it at Woodshed Recordings in Junction City, Oregon, and the ‘mix’ is
totally perfect.  My how I wish so-called country music of today could
take a couple of lessons from the engineers Alton Wayne and Roger
Berggren.  They not only know how to keep the vocals in the middle and
the supporting musicians to the sides.  Today’s ‘mix’ coming out of
Nashville is disgusting. It sounds to me like they have never learned
how to put the vocal in the middle and in the front.  Most of what I
hear is a garbled mess of loud noise.  Reason enough to not listen
anymore.  That’s why I get such a thrill out of listening to a really
good ‘real’ country music CD like Howard Steele makes.  Howard also
likes to do ‘original’ songs that might not be well known, even another
good reason to listen to what he’s doing, because he knows a good song
when he hears one.  Every song on this CD stands on its own merit,
thanks to Howard Steele’s good voice and approach to how he records it. 
Yes, once again Howard’s CD goes off to the Rural Roots Music
Commission for their ‘CD of the Year’ awards.  I believe they made
contact with Howard back in 2013 but he was not inclined to make the
long journey east to where the awards show is held, in LeMars, Iowa. 
That festival is now in its 42nd year, still going strong, just like
Howard Steele.
RECORD REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART, President, National Traditional Country Music Association for Country Music News International

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