Introducing Uncle Steve's first World Music collaboration, in an EP release of his soulful standards.
This seven song EP was motivated by the massive response to the song, "Spirit Warriors", a three way collaboration with two wonderful European musicians; that, Steve met through a Swedish musician's website, called MI7.com. Steve used this recording on the sound score for a promotional video trilogy, called "Tikanagan Dreams"; that he directed for "Frontiers Foundation", a Canadian non-profit Aboriginal organization, that Steve has been active as a project coordinator over the past ten years. Stephen contributed the song lyric from his home in Toronto, "Henning Backhaus", who plays keyboard with a German progressive rock band, called "Time Passengers", composed & arranged this transcendent masterpiece, at his recording studio on his farm in Bavaria; and, the beautiful Swedish singer/songwriter, "Lotte Kivikas", contributed haunting vocal & back-up vocal tracks, that perfectly captured the Aboriginal tone of the piece. Though we were not originally expecting the vocally shy Henning to sing, the arrangement was so subtle, that he had to; so, Loki would know where to come in, when she recorded her tracks, at her home in Stockholm.
Though the earlier "Hunger of the Heart" CD is jam-packed with 15 wonderfully arranged Canajun gospel classics; it became apparent that many listeners do not have the attention span, to absorb that much material. So, it was decided to re-release half a dozen favorites, that were becoming lost in the mix, in this more accessible package.
The first EP release of "Tio Esteban" (Uncle Steve McPhail) collaborations with his long time amigo, "Ambulante Eduardo" (Traveling Ed Teja), from south of the border.
This 6 song EP is the long overdue collaborative recording of some of the many songs created by these two prolific souls. For a number of years, Eduardo & his charming & equally talented wife, "Dagny Sellorin", have made their lovely hundred year old adobe home, in Silver City, New Mexico, a creative oasis. Uncle Steve had previously used some of Dagny's wildly flamboyant paintings on the CD faces of both "Sea Fever" & "Hunger of the Heart". Inspired by a painting created by Dagny, when she & Ed spent 8 years living in a boat on the coast of Venezuela; the lads appropriated the painting's name for this EP project: Spanish slang for the tasty Red Snapper. Sadly, much of Dagny's original design could not be fit onto the disc face. While scuba diving in the Gulf of Thailand last winter, Steve was able to grab a shot of a large Red Snapper lurking about a coral reef; fortuitous, as there are many varieties of snapper in those waters.
This collection is book-ended by both English & Spanish versions of the most excellent "Angel In Disguise"/"Angel Disfrazado". Thoughtful roots-based material percolates into a unique dream state, with Eduardo's tasteful guitar & keyboard arrangements. The Canajun Metis ballad, "Outlaw Trail", has inspired Steve to write a classic western tale; that, he hopes to eventually develop into a feature film script. The quirky "Cat-Tails & Pussy Willows", "Sometimes The Bear" & "Killing Train" continue to capture contemporary global concerns in the context of a moving folk/jazz idiom.
Uncle Steve's ground breaking release, establishing Canada's own country blues music genre.
A combination of alternative, country, folk, rock & blues; "Canajun Blues" pulls it altogether, in a uniquely Canadian mode. Any fans of the iconic Canadian comedy duo, "The Mackenzie Brothers", will remember their running gag on the "Mercans" south of the border; and, us "Canajuns", in the Great White North, eh! While casting about for an appropriately humorous handle, for the quirky roots music of Uncle Steve; "Canajun Blues" nailed it!
Uncle Steve's feast for the soul of Canajun gospel classics.
After Steve McP's dear ole Dad, "Jack", passed away in his sleep and his Mum, Shirley, had a stroke & broke a hip; Steve moved to the family home on Salt Spring Island, BC, to look after her, for about three years. In that period, Steve produced "Sea Fever" and this collection of Canajun originals. After meeting, "Andrew Beddoes", a Vancouver school teacher, who had bought an investment property on Salt Spring; the lads agreed on a barter arrangement, where Steve built Andrew a workshop, in exchange for Andrew engineering a CD of Steve's material. As the project dragged on for over a year, Steve had the luxury of having much more time than normal to evolve lush arrangements; as well as, the amazing multi-instrumental talents of Andrew, who brilliantly contributed: thoughtful guitar, mandolin, violin, keyboard & drum trracks. For the first time, Steve fleshed out his guitar & vocal work with percussion & ambient sound tracks; all anchored by the tasteful bass work, of good buddy, "Dave Campbell". Aditional vocal tracks were contributed by local goddesses: "Ahava Shira", "Kaia Mitchell" & "Debbni Neher"; who added some class to the precedings.
Uncle Steve's solo acoustic folk release of original & traditional sea shanties.
This project was inspired by Steve McP's hispanic buddy from south of the border, "Traveling Eduardo Teja"; who shared a passion for all things seafaring. While working on his own CD of original sea shanties, Ed collaborated with Steve on writing "Sea Dog". That led to Steve's embarking on a collection of traditional sea shanties he loved since childhood. Another important player in the development of the material was Newfie songwriter, "Everett Adams"; who, with Steve, co-wrote: "Seafaring Life", "Mothered By Sea" & "Too Long Ashore". Another old salt, named "Ron Grant", who is the real deal, having sailed around the horn as a teenager in four masted ships, brow-beat Steve to include something from the long time British poet laureate, "John Masefield". While perusing his early work, "Salt Water Ballads"; Steve was moved by Mr. Masefield's brilliant poem, "Sea Fever"; and, later collaborated with Ed Teja on composing the melody.
The power rock blues of Uncle Steve's beerweazl bar anthems.
The "Uncle Steve" band claimed it's 15 seconds of fame with this CD's variety of infectious monster rock-a-billy anthems; such as, "Beer Weazl", "Kitchen Table" & "Living Rock". Sadly, most of these inspired bar band classics rocked the house for seriously inebriated listeners; who, days later, after gradually recovering from their blistering migraines & post-dramatic stress to-order, had no idea who was to blame. Believe me, there is altogether too much a do about beer weazls in the early morn; who say uncle, while trying to live life without new beginnings, to whom it may concern.
The CD name was coined by engineer, Brett Zilahi. Apparently, he thought of each song as a "blues story" collected in a CD "book"; go figure! Alternately, they could be considered aural cartoons in an animatronic sound score; or, maybe not.
Uncle Steve's debut release of his early rock classics.
The band name, "Uncle Steve", evolved over a period of time. Originally, inspired by a cartoon image of a hot punk babe, named "Auntie Social"; curiosity about trying to visualize "Uncle Social", inspired that as an early name for the band. However, after having to try to explain the band concept a million times, (you know: auntie social - uncle social); the name got simplified to, "The Uncles". Naturally, all the band members became affectionately referred to us "uncle this" or "uncle that". When the subject of recording a CD came up, as the group was not interested in sharing the costs; it requiring someone to step up & pay the bill. By default, "Uncle Steve" ending up being the one to put his money where his mouth was, as it were; and, became the megalomaniac dictator, who imposed his will on the other cheap bastards. "Uncle Steve", the band, was born; bounding enthusiastically into the so-called "real world".
Of course, not that there was any connection; but, it somehow came up, that the band was doomed to poverty & obscurity, as our biggest fans were "beerweazls". For the record, (pun intended), a beerweazl is a bar patron, who always seems to have a beer to drink; but, never has any money. Though our beerweazl fans, over the years, have been happy to enjoy our CD product; they always feel deeply offended, when anyone would expect them to actually pay for one. Of course, this has taken a great load off the minds of the rest of the cheap band members; as, they are justified in feeling smug, about the "Uncle Steve" CD catalogue being blatant vanity projects, indulging you-know-who's massive ego.
The name of the CD, "Labour of Caring", was inspired by a phrase in the "Dragon Blues" song lyric; sadly, an undervalued activity in our scientific-materialist culture.
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