Hear The Track HereEvery once in a while I get the impression that I have reviewed someone before and this month Steve Altonian is the unlucky recipient. Try as I might I can dig up no reference to any review I've done but my brain insists it is right. More to the point it is threatening to hibernate for the winter if I don't get on with it. I didn't need such threats anyway because the first listen to Tell Me Why showed me only too well I had never heard this artist before. Or, and I'm taking a great risk here, the track was so limp and insipid I was moved to squash it with a speed that would give a normal person a nasty nosebleed. And, I admit, that in my reclining years (Ed: declining? Surely?), I have become a bit of a fan of country, at least the indie varieties you find here and there...
Steve is 'primarily a singer songwriter' accompanying himself on acoustic guitar and - believe me - there is a world of difference between the indie versions you hear on this site and others that singer/songwriter just doesn't cover it all. What kind of singer? What kind of songwriter? The answer to both is someone you really should get to know, as I am going to do. Tell Me Why is my favourite kind of track - one that reaches out and touches you in the most immediate form. That, I am a big, big fan of. I'm also a big fan of 'wide screen American' country fiddle styles and this track features a beaut.
I noticed it's already been number one on the country and country pop charts and that's no surprise. If it caught me on the first listen, it may well do the same for you. Tell Me Why is a musical production where nothing is left to chance, a superbly clear mix, some great musical performances and - floating above it all - a vocal that teases meaning and emotion out of every note. My old mate Mike-K probably pounced on this last September, as usual Gilmore is late to the hoedown but I'm sure glad to be there now. Definitely an artist to watch in this coming year, and I bet that vocal is going to become VERY familiar to me.
MUST HAVE country weepie.