Album Review: Steve Almaas | Everywhere You've Been | Music | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine

Steve Almaas | Everywhere You’ve Been

(Lonesome Whippoorwhill Records)

Steve Almaas, bass player of 1970s Minneapolis punk band the Suicide Commandos, has released an LP loaded with instantly familiar Americana, ’50s pop, and roots rockabilly. The Suicide Commandos are credited with launching a vibrant scene that produced the time-tested likes of Soul Asylum, the Replacements, and Hüsker Dü. Following the band’s short-lived, yet influential stamp on the Midwest, Almaas moved to the Big Apple, where he participated in a range of projects. After a national tour sitting in with the Bongos, he met up with early R.E.M. producer and Let’s Active leader Mitch Easter to record his solo debut, Beat Rodeo, forming a band named for the EP soon after.

Easter assists in Almaas’s latest effort, mixing and throwing down some six-string and organ, while other longstanding collaborators help to flesh out his lifetime of experience and love affair with music. Partly recorded in his Saugerties home studio/Airstream trailer, the album flows nicely between the 13 short, sweet, and likeable tunes. Encompassed by pedal steel, acoustic guitars, reverby fender riffs, and lush vocals, we are caught somewhere between sublime Everly Brothers harmonies, Hank Williams grit, and a latter-day, carefree Paul Simon. Besides Almaas on guitars and vocals, the players include Daria Grace (vocals and ukelele), Vibeke Saugestad (vocals and autoharp), Bob Dylan bassist Tony Garnier, a lone harmony by Gary Louris of the Jayhawks, and guitarists Kenny Vaughn and Jon Graboff, the latter’s nylon strings and pedal steel being especilaly noteworthy.


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