Steve Howell And The Mighty Men – Been Here And Gone | Album Review

Steve Howell And The Mighty Men – Been Here And Gone

Out Of The Past Music

12 songs time – 50:51

Texan Steve Howell And The Mighty Men offer up vocal and instrumental cover songs ranging from early blues to the fifties and sixties. Mainly a guitar band with Steve providing his warm and inviting vocals along with his guitar skills. Chris Michaels is on guitar as well. Dave Hoffpauir is on drums, while Jason Weinheimer plays bass and occasional organ. The approach here is pretty straight forward guitar band minus the flash. Just good solid “everyman” music. Being there five instrumental tunes, the specter of The Ventures raises its’ head. Think of a grittier Ventures sound. The guys have come up with a thoroughly enjoyable musical experience.

They lead off with an instrumental take on the Dobie Gray-Ramsey Lewis Trio chestnut, “The “In” Crowd”. Right from the get-go their jangly guitar sound just draws you in. Next up is a vocal on “Bad Boy”, written by Louis Armstrong’s second wife Lil and a fifties hit for The Jive Bombers. A really nice throw-back song. Real nice guitar as on the remainder of the album. Shades of The Lovin’ Spoonful’s pleasantly goofy vocal delivery and matter-of-fact guitar Reverend Gary Davis’s “Candyman”. The country-ish guitar is a nice touch.

Ray Charles’ “I Believe To My Soul” benefits from aggressive guitar. Myself I’m more with Van Morrison’s live version. “Such A Night” from The Drifter’s in the 50’s and Elvis in the 60s is a nice revisit of mellow 50’s songs. The Delphonics’ “La La Means I Love You”, Gerry And The Pacemakers’ “Ferry Cross The Mersey”, Spanish band Los Bravos’ “Black Is Black” and the immortal “Walk Don’t Run” all get the instrumental treatment. Of course the band stretches out aand adds their own touches to the songs.

They take on a few obscure things like William “Cast Iron” Carridine’s “Jimmy Bell”, a blues from 1957. Also they do the traditional Appalachian song “Wild Bill Jones” and Big Bill Broonzy’s “Willie Mae”. The band shines on any genre they attempt.

Guitar aficionados as well as lovers of feel good music are in for a easy rolling treat with this recording. Steve and company do it up just right. Aside from the guitars, Steve’s vocals go down just right. Well done music, nothing fancy.

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