The Steepwater Band Grows Beyond Its Influences

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 12, 2011 8:20PM

2011_08_steepwater_band.jpg We admit we wrote off The Steepwater Band a few years ago as Black Crowes fans that were a step away from being a cover band. With their latest offering, Clava, the group seems to have finally stepped out from under their influences' shadow to claim their own sound.

The band is still deeply rooted in that southern roots boogie served up through a blues lens, but the trio now has the years o experience under the collective belt to make the songs resonate and feel authentic. We're not claiming they're doing anything particularly innovative, far from it, but they do finally have a strong enough grasp on the vehicles they pick for each song to ensure that the result is original and far from mimicry.

The albums starts of impressively with the slow burn of "Remember The Taker," a medium tempo stomper that features long guitar workouts yet manages to remain riveting rather than fall prey to so much noodling. Later on "Love Never Ends" evokes the spirit of what would have been a hit on late '70s AOR and we found ourselves humming along to the chorus long after the song had ended. Later songs stick bounce around between those two styles and throw in some barnstormin' riffage.

If you weren't a fan of The Steepwater band before, Clava might be a good time to try them out (for the first time or) again.

The Steepwater band plays Beat Kitchen, 2100 W Belmont, August 12 and 13, 9 p.m. both nights, $12 - $20, 17+