Review by Paul D Houston
Guitar virtuoso music usually isn't my thing. Y'know that kind of music made to showcase a guitar players ability to make noise on a guitar, not necessarily to craft good songs, but to show how fast or intricate he can finger a fret board? Those songs and albums full of a guy or girl just noodlin around, showing off and such, you know what I mean.
Stevie C. Bowen is a guitar virtuoso by every stretch of the definition. And the first song makes this clear, this guy is gonna do some noodlin on the guitar... but, as you continue to listen to this album, the noodlin while mostly still there, is not the main focus. Real songs are being made. Quite good songs, in fact.
Stevie C. Bowen's style is definitely accomplished, and whats especially attractive about it to me is that, it's heavily influenced by that dark country southern/western style of playing. Lots of slide guitar, high and low accents, and ponderous ballad style melodies. There aren't any vocals on this album, and there doesn't need to be. The guitar is singing on this album and plenty vocal enough.
My two favorite songs on this album are relatively downbeat...
"Hope's Dreams" is a beautiful little soundtrack style of ballad with it's chill temperament, ponderous guitar and banjo licks and organ accompaniment.
And, "Lady" is an especially chill little ballad of a song. It's a song about a love story, at least it makes me think it is, with it's love-lorn like song style.
I don't recommend you skip the first song on this album, because the really good meat of this are songs 2-6, but if you stop on just song one, you won't get the full picture of what, Stevie C. Bowen is all about. He's not all about the noodlin, this man can create some very lovely melodies and catchy songs, that will leave an impression.
Check out the full album here https://steviecbowen.bandcamp.com/album/music-from-the-rooms-of-my-head