Blues & Co. (French Blues Magazine), April 2009
“My Mind Gets To Ramblin’”
Out of The Past Records
A jewel, a rare and splendid object this plastic disc, a big moment of tranquility and feeling during the listening. Not a second of tiredness, the happiness is in the neurons.......
To resume, it’s a big delight and Steve Howell confirms that he is a wizard of the six strings and a master at fingerpicking. His singing comes from the deepest part of his heart. In the genre of Country Blues, he is erudite but careful, not one of those who only can speak about the subject sometimes. A lot of them are boring. No, he is the other one – one of those who prefer to play the genre with a lot of talent and sincerity - and for that, Steve Howell is a virtuoso.
The arrangements are simply splendid. From Muddy Waters’ “I Can’t Be Satisfied” to Kid Bailey’s “Rowdy Blues,” Steve takes us on a journey full of magic in the heart of the Blues.....of the traditional Country Blues - the Blues of Robert Johnson, Memphis Minnie McCoy, Reverend Robert Wilkins or Mance Liscomb, without forgetting the big Mississippi Fred McDowell. These are the renowned ancients who must be so pleased listening to Steve entertaining us with their music, very naturally, with humility and authenticity.
His singing captivates us and slides along on the music without any effort. The guitar lines are delicate, pure, crystal clear. The rhythm section (the Osborn family - Joe, the father and well known bass player, and Darren the son, a delicate drummer) knows how to disappear in the ambiance in a very “front porch” way and contributes to reinforcing the feelings of serenity that enshroud Steve’s music.
Other buddies from Shreveport have given a helping hand and, on some titles, we can meet David Osborn (big family), Buddy Flett, Jim Caskey, and Denise Spohn.
This CD is a wonderful piece. A real tribute to Country Blues played by a respectful virtuoso who knows how to delicately put his mark on this wonderful music.
A big CD, a huge recommendation, find it on CDBaby.