Stephen Cohen | Stephen and the Talk Talk Band

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United States - Oregon

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Folk: Progressive Folk Folk: Psych-folk Moods: Type: Experimental
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Stephen and the Talk Talk Band

by Stephen Cohen

creative accoustic music using guitar,voice, sculptural percussion instruments, lap steel guitar, mandolin, bouzouki, accordion and jazz drums
Genre: Folk: Progressive Folk
Release Date: 

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time
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1. It's My Story
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2:44 $0.99
2. Talk To Me
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1:45 $0.99
3. Sliding
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3:26 $0.99
4. A Few Passing Minutes
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3:52 $0.99
5. Mr. Talk Talk
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2:19 $0.99
6. Your Career
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1:10 $0.99
7. After The War
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1:46 $0.99
8. One Child Walking
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3:30 $0.99
9. Katie Grace
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3:03 $0.99
10. We Want to Walk in the House of Love
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3:53 $0.99
11. Walking Inside
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3:03 $0.99
12. Excuse Me, President
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2:21 $0.99
13. The Dusty Old Freight Train
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3:29 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Technically speaking, "Outsider Art" is art produced by the unschooled and or insane. Technically speaking, Stephen Cohen is neither. The apparently sane Portland-based performing artist, composer, visual artist and songwriter uses acoustic guitar, voice, original sculptural percussion instruments made from metals, woods, recycled and found materials to create records of quiet beauty. Cohen officially studied trombone and holds a Bachelor's Degree in Art from the University of Oregon. Still, the formal definition of Outsider Art is often stretched to include such as Stephen, and there is no doubt that his music shares many of the intriguing traits of the genre: a child-like aura, a hand-made quality, and unfiltered directness.

"It's My Story" begins with a spoken voice introducing a, well, story, over a haunting acoustic guitar figure. Cohen's own voice comes in over the storyteller's, singing, "It's my story, it's my story, you can take it, please don't leave it." Mandolin, bouzouki, drums, and lap steel are added; different voices enter telling fragments of other stories with Stephen singing the refrain over them. The total effect is one of the most emotionally affecting recordings I have experienced in a long time. Cohen's singing voice recalls Randy Newman and John Martyn without sounding quite like either. His guitar playing channels the simpler elements of Ry Cooder and Cooder-influences Lightnin' Hopkins and Joseph Spence. Taken together in a tune like "It's My Story," it adds up to a definitive depiction of the desperate human need to communicate. It is art devoid of pretension.

More sound sculptures than songs, the tunes on this CD share qualities with Cohen's actual sculptures of percussion instruments and guitars, to wit: warmth, whimsy, and an unexpected depth. A narrator talks about surviving a slide down a mountain in an avalanche and it evolves into--what else--a slide guitar piece. Other pieces revolve around talk, war, politics, love, and children. Stephen has done weekly music groups with severely disturbed children, and the combination of love, patience, and deep caring that must be required for such an undertaking infuses his music.

We live in an age where everyone can make a CD, and nearly everyone does. Just when I despair about the landfill this produces, I discover a CD like Stephen & The Talk Talk Band. This work likely wouldn't have been produced in an era of record company gatekeepers. And in the pre-internet/website days, I probably wouldn't have found it even if it had appeared somewhere on vinyl. I have done my best to describe it but you need to experience it. You will either "get it" or you won't. If you do, you will be the richer for it.
-Michael Ross, Puremusic.com (from http://www.puremusic.com/60cohen.html )


Reviews


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Ckhris

stephen cohen 12 t3h pwnz0rz
having purchased both of stephen cohen's albums available on cdbaby, i felt compelled to write a review, considering how brilliant they are. real life and fiction is a near flawless album. textural guitar patterns and experimental percussion work together to create beautiful melodies for stephen to sing over. my personal favorite song is thomas. buy this cd for that song alone.

Ckhris

stephen cohen 12 t3h pwnz0rz
having purchased both of stephen cohen's albums available on cdbaby, i felt compelled to write a review, considering how brilliant they are. real life and fiction is a near flawless album. textural guitar patterns and experimental percussion work together to create beautiful melodies for stephen to sing over. my personal favorite song is thomas. buy this cd for that song alone.

CD Baby


A little eccentric, a little odd, this male indie folk is clever, fresh and crisp as a winter wind. Mixed with bits of spoken word and storytelling, shreds of blues and bluesy delivery, his reserved, smoky approach instantly sucks you into the texture, making you part of the scenery and part of the story. Here is a guy who has an incredible ear for that perfect little effect, that single little coloristic touch that makes a song unforgettable whether it be a single chime a pan flute or a guitar slide. His knack for finding those tiny little sound worlds, which are mostly overlooked by composers going for the bigger hit, are captured in this roughly elegant, raw and edgy album of visionary guitar-based writing.