Inhabiting a realm between Dylan at his moodiest, The Pogues at their jumpin'est & Ry Cooder at his pickin'est, Stephen Lomas has produced a coherent & engaging CD of original songs & instrumentals.
Long time ex-pat & recent re-pat Australian, Lomas recorded this offering in California in 1999. It is undeniably Australian in character & subject with themes including Anzac Day & the Southern Cross. There is often an Irish lilt to his easy finger style guitar playing that shifts deftly into the familiar strains of Click Go the Shears & Moreton Bay. It is in his songs such as the opener No Night For Lovers & Wigram Road that Lomas drifts into a Dylanesque landscape of image & imagination, inhabiting a zone that is at times edgy & brooding with instrumentation echoing the organ/guitar arrangements of The Band in their prime.
These darker moods are lightened by tracks such as Up All Night, Mermaids & Spinnin' that hop along at a bright & lively pace on a road somewhere between the Alice & Anaheim. Lomas also delivers beautifully rendered solo guitar interpretations of traditional Celtic Australian classics such as Moreton Bay & a medley of traditional tunes dubbed Under the Southern Cross. Exhibiting a crisp, lyrical style, he captures the melancholy mood of these pieces, creating space in & around his playing in which to set his gentle phrasing adrift.
All You Sinners shifts from a brooding introduction with strains of Ed Kuepper into a rollicking jig that would have any Pogues fan kicking the air. Lomas' guitar playing provides the spine from which he hangs his compositions. His easy & comfortable finger styles at times give way to swampy slide & full tilt raunch. His vocals mesh effortlessly with his playing, exhibiting a soulful & enviable marriage of talent & skill.
review by Michael Shrapnel for indie-cds.com 2006