Steven Graves: Matter of Time (stevengravesmusic.com)

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Steven Graves: Love is Real
Steven Graves: Matter of Time (stevengravesmusic.com)

American journeyman musician Steven Graves gets some good comments in the US for his socially aware music, and its rootsy Americana parameters which are broad enough to encompass Neil Young and Bob Dylan as well as Bob Marley and the Grateful Dead.

His heart is in the right place -- 100 per cent of the proceeds from the digital download of the single White Buffalo off this, his third album, goes to Native American organisations -- but there really is a tick-the-references feel to all of this.

In fact, in the promo flyer he provides (and he seems to do all is own promotion) he helpfully defines the style and sound of each song eg "Roots Rock/Classic Rock (like Neil Young, Eagles)" and "Classic Rock (like Pink Floyd)".

So the 13 songs here are clearly referenced in those names as well as Jimmy Buffett, Allman Brothers, George Harrison, John Hiatt and "Indigenous" (for White Buffalo).

The album also helpfully comes with a sticker for radio programmers noting what tracks will fit what format.

Well, he is trying and seems to be having some small successes. His acoustic closer here Mr Sunshine -- "country/Americana (like John Hiatt)" -- has been picked up by 35 stations at last count.

But . . . and you can feel this coming, right? . . . it perhaps isn't any great virtue that your music be so closely aligned to these influences and masters.

So although you can enjoy this on some levels you do tend to find yourself going, "Yeah, it's like . . . " 

You can find out more about Graves at his website here where he also provides his own on-line magazine with music samples, clips etc etc. He's a hard worker alright. 

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