Steve Pitts Picks The Hits (Best Of 2014)

Throughout December friends of the blog will be selecting their 3 favourite records of 2014 (OK, I will be doing it too). Steve Pittaway joined loosehandlebars back in August for a review of The Everlasting Yeah’s gig at the Dirty Water Club in that London. As Steve was the first of the invitees to get his act together & reply. He has first dibs on an LP that many people I know would want to include in the records of the year.

1. Anima Rising” – The Everlasting Yeah. The Event of the Year. Purveyors of great taste put all their influences into the mix and come out with the LP of their careers. The songs have more hooks than is surely legal for one band to have. It has everything from Krautrock to Glam, from Punk to Funk, yet somehow breathes a fresh perspective on it all. Hell it was only 21 years in the making, lets hope it’s not another 21 year wait to the next.

2. .“Way Out Weather – Steve Gunn. Steve Gunn is a man who knows his way around a guitar. That isn’t to say he is one of those flash git’s like Steve Vai. This man writes good tunes around complex guitar melodies. Most people cite Television and The Grateful Dead as his influences, they are in there, for sure but so too is Steve’s spin on it all. He came to play in my hometown last month & seeing him ┬álive he was a wonder to watch as his fingers effortlessly made there way around the neck of the guitar and never once did he look down at his fingers! The LP is a joy from start to finish and not one track is filler, not many LP’s you can say that about.

3. .“Invisible Hour” – Joe Henry. If you know Joe Henry at all it will because of either his production duties on the likes of Solomon Burke, Billy Bragg or Hugh Laurie’s LPs or the fact that he is Madonna’s brother in law. He has been releasing LP’s in his own right since 1986 .He has drifted through a number of styles but, with the last few LP’s has really hit his stride. Using a very small band it is the strength of the song and the lyrics that grab your attention. I suppose he inhabits a style somewhere between Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen. Whilst he has a background in what is termed these days as Americana he manages to mix in jazzy touches that delightfully embellish the songs. “Invisible Hour” is an LP that I have found myself lost in whilst on my constitutionals with our faithful hound, little realising what time has passed.

I know that Joe Henry record, I hope that Steve’s dog knows the way home, the music is certainly reverie inducing stuff. Mr Pittaway keeps his discerning eye out for some tasty gigs & I will be on his case to share his evenings out with us in 2015.