Swinging Steaks - Shiner
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Shiner (Thrust, 1995)

Swinging Steaks

Reviewed by Norm Rosenfield

On the scale here we've got a choice selection of grade A Fancy American songs. No preservatives, not a trace of trendiness. Classic two-guitar and keyboard rock that isn't afraid to trace its roots to the rural south. Occasionally their artistic antennae get sidetracked tuning into an oldies station (in the middle of a Doobies/1960's San Franciscan rock theme park). Having two writers balances it out nicely, from Jamie Walker's ode to freedom ("This High") to Paul Giovanniello's r&b ballad ("Come My Way") featuring guitar lines imported from Beale Street. Old flames creep up in some instances ("Still Something"), and new loves deliver knock out punches in other cases ("This Kind of Love"). Dueling lead guitars are featured in "Still Something."Best track: tough choice between "This Kind of Love" and "The River Always Knows." The Steaks know the value of the blues inflected lick and the story telling power of roots music. (Thrust, POB 212, Needham Heights, MA 02194)

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