The Universal Steve
E Pluribus Esteban
Steve is a common name. Ask singer-guitarist Steve Bryant, of Chance the Gardener and Toadmortons fame; guitarist Steve Randall and bassist Steve Nicholson, both from Natalie Cortez’s Ultra Violets; and drummer Steve Edberg, formerly of Acme Rocket Quartet. The four Steves, all players in Davis’ laid-back music scene, were playing around as Los Cuatro Estebans and the Four of Steves before settling on this moniker. This, the Universal Steve’s debut, contains 12 examples of organic bong-in-the-shed country rock—songs that ramble to a point and then nicely decompose (see “Ground” and “Spike”). Especially stellar is Randall’s guitar work, which justifies the purchase price alone. Low-key thrills from the Nick Drake-and-Pavement-attack-Mickey Newbury songbook, but certainly worth your time.