The Steve Cal’ Band – Self-Titled | Album Review

stevecalbandcdThe Steve Cal’ Band – Self-Titled


CD: 9 songs; 49:43 Minutes

Styles: Contemporary Rock, Blues Rock

If one looks at the back of a food product container, nutritional information is found. This often contains the RDA, or recommended daily allowance, of nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. In the case of The Steve Cal’ Band’s self-titled debut album, it has a serving size of nine songs – six originals and three covers – but only forty percent of one’s recommended daily allowance of blues music. Only the three covers (Jimmy Reed’s “Ain’t That Lovin’ You,” Junior Wells’ “Come On In This House,” Robert Johnson’s “Malted Milk”) and track four, “I Ain’t Messin’ Around,” would be deemed metaphorical ‘health food’ for blues purists. The rest is solid contemporary rock, neither earth-shattering nor execrable. Featured are Steve Cal’ himself on guitar, vocals, and electric piano, Sandy Eldred on bass, and Melinda Gervasio on drums. 

The band’s website reveals: “Steve Cal’ is a blues rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter from Philadelphia, PA. He first picked up the guitar at age eight after hearing Santana’s instrumental ‘Samba Pa Ti’ and started performing professionally with a band at fourteen years old covering songs by groups such as Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Cream, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, and The Doors. Cal’ was first introduced to the blues after hearing B.B. King’s The ‘Thrill Is Gone.’ He has also stated that the album ‘Muddy Mississippi Waters Live’ was another inspiring introduction to blues music. In 2013 he released his debut album with his band…[which] primarily consists of original songs written by Cal’.”

According to their press release, venues played inclued The Twisted Tail (Philly) where the band is part of a monthly rotating cast of performers, World Café Live (Philly), North Star Bar (Philly), Dogtooth Bar (Wildwood, NJ) and Blue 5 (Virginia). The Steve Cal’ Band was the winner of the 2013 Beta Hi-Fi Emerging Music Fest at World Café Live, which highlighted the finest emerging songwriters in the Philadelphia region. Steve Cal’ has performed at the Paoli Blues Festival (Paoli, PA) and the Angelsea Blues and BBQ Festival (Wildwood, NJ), along with many other clubs and pubs up and down the East Coast. The track ‘Ain’t That Lovin’ You’ is featured on the critically-acclaimed Blues Rock Review’s 2013 Volume 4 Album Sampler, which features the best up-and-coming blues artists in the country. 

Traditional blues might be considered the ‘protein’ of the entire genre, and the Steve Cal’ Band would benefit from more infusions. They certainly have talent, and hopefully their style and sound will mature and prove more filling to those who love the masters that inspired this posse.

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