Songs From Your Suck — Randy Steele — Indie Music Reviews

Songs From Your Suck — Randy Steele


Songs From Your Suck — Randy Steele, is a solo album by a number of the members of this Slim Pickens Bluegrass group from Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Suck is a reference to Suck Creek which comes into the Tennessee River close to Randy’s house. From the early days prior to TVA dammed the rivers, it was a notorious part of rapids which could break boats and such. Just below was Moccasin Bend, where Cherokee raids were often waiting, and the Muscle Shoals in Alabama was yet another dangerous section of this river. He enjoyed it phonetically and I believed it’d be a simple name to remember.

Randy Steele makes his concept clear, however, the evidence is in those tunes that move just about anyplace bluegrass can without sacrificing its own floor, but it has it all from folk to blues and contemporary Americana stylings. It conveys an entry that’s difficult to find in hardcore bluegrass circles, but Steele and his group are well-known in their own area, as well as staged overseas. Not being a new comer consistently helps but getting new to me it makes all the difference due to the freshness of the tunes and how far they travel away from the usual bluegrass norms. It strikes over very well that way.

One of my favorite tunes is “One Man Stringer” but it is toward the close of the record. However, it’s very important to point out at which it is hard to top and at which it really peaks, and I find it to be an obvious choice for one, but this record was out for a while. Don’t miss this particular track, it is an outstanding display of exactly what these musicians perform. But you’ll find out from the get go, which Randy Steele and CO perform the perfect business by bluegrass by incorporating just the ideal amount of folk and blues, and of course that the nation music audio from which their legacy stems. All of these are compelling tracks, each single one of these.

“Northbound 29” has got the show on the street using a truck driving tune that sizzles to the bone. Randy Steele’s voice reminds 60’s artist Tony McPhee of the Groundhogs, which I’m reminded of, but it doesn’t mean he even understands who McPhee is. However, it’s exactly the same singing style that can be possessed by a great deal of such singers of the past and present. It’s well worth mentioning because of a highlight though. “Mobile Shortly” is a natural highlight about missing home, which placed third at the Bluegrass Songwriting Competition. And that’s one of the strongest factors about Randy Steele, second to none bluegrass songwriting.

The latter tune is a soothing trail with all these zen pulled into one track that anyone can muster. It checks out in each sector with this fine record of world class tunes. “1983” is where the fun gets the most focus, with a look back on the year 1983, informed in his infectious way, with some choice string bending of which these tunes are all augmented with. If bluegrass is the thing, this is a must hear, but even though, it will go far in bringing you around to exactly what the south has to offer, which can be a number of the very best music in history. “To Your New Perspective” closes the record with a sign of that down homeness to show that about it.

Jeff Turner