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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Reviews:: Steve Poltz - Dreamhouse

It's a bit surprising that we haven't beat you over the head with Steve Poltz coverage here on herohill. Considering the Halifax born, San Diego resident has been writing music for years and how easy it is to sink in to his mix of charm, humour and simple, but amazingly catchy melodies, you'd think every update he offers would be documented in all of the social media outlets the hill has access to.

Sadly, that's not the case. This is our first post on the man and even though I thoroughly enjoyed anything I've heard from him and his charismatic live show, I never made the effort to put pen to paper so to speak.

The remarkable thing about the 50-year old, road warrior is how current his sounds can be. For a man that's been writing songs for decades and fine tuning his own unique style, Poltz's latest effort - Dreamhouse - isn't just a rehash of old tricks and finds him meshing perfectly with some of Nova Scotia's most notable names (Jenn Grant's - whose harmonies sound perfect throughout the record, David Myles and of course, Joel Plaskett). I know that shouldn't be a surprise considering that Poltz is probably best known for his collaboration with Jewel, but Dreamhouse really shows a mature song writer that is able to benefit from his experience and still try new sounds.

I'm not sure how much that has to do with Joel's input on production - from an outsider's ear, Digging for Icicles has a lot of Plaskett's signature sounds and how the pair interacts on License Plate Eyes is worth the price of admission - or just Poltz flexing his song writer muscle, but it really doesn't matter. Steve sings with a smile and an optimistic spirit as he throws in often hilarious word play (Wish the Wind) and lighthearted, airy sing-alongs (I Love What You've Done With This Place) alongside heartbreaking tales (Dreams #23 and Dog in Bosnia - which incidentally sounds like it could be a Tom Brosseau effort) and powerful instrumentals (A Song for Kosovo).

I'm not sure if Dreamhouse will change Poltz's status among casual music fans (a quick look shows that without the undying support of songsillinois.net, he's almost be ignored in the blog world), but for those that already know how enjoyable his music is, this record will be another gem in his sparkling catalog.

MP3:: Steve Poltz - Digging for Icicles

MP3:: Steve Poltz - Dog in Bosnia (Daytrotter)
WEB:: http://poltz.com//blognews/index.html

Labels: , , Steve Poltz

Posted at 7:56 AM by ack :: 1 comments

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At 2:24 PM, Blogger Mike Campbell did sayeth:

Hopefully this will draw some attention to Steve's work - it's well worth the effort... His previous output - One Left Shoe, Chinese Vactation and Traveling - as well as the albums made with his old band (The Rugburns) is never short of killer.

He's also, hands down, the best solo performer I've ever seen (and I've seen thousands of them). If you're new to the Poltz, he'll be in Halifax at The Carleton Music Bar & Grill on May 2nd and 3rd...


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