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"There's plenty to Discover on 'Sunset at The North Pole" - Rock Time Review by Markus Kerres

"There's plenty to Discover on 'Sunset at The North Pole" - Rock Time Review by Markus Kerres | Posted on Mar 23 2009
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 First, it is noticeable that Mednick seems to be very comfortable in this niche between Americana and singer/songwriter. Then, that he let modern influences (Oasis anybody?) impact him, and that he seems to be a big Bob Dylan fan. This pared down sound flows organic and warm from the speakers. Whereby 'pared down' primarily relates to the care that was taken not to overload the songs.

In addition to the compulsory drums and bass and the acoustic and electric guitars, only a couple of keyboards, the harmonica, the accordion, the mandolin and a certain Bob Loveday at the violin and viola flatter each other on the tracks. Never overloaded, but good and clever, they add this extra smoothness to make already good songs even better. The good Steve is not an exceptional singer, but he has no problems conveying the mood of each of the great songs to the listener.

Admittedly, I had to have a few runs of "Sunset At The North Pole" pass through before I could experience the full effect of Steve Mednick. But once you’re hit with the full impact then the sound explodes between your ears and transform the little silver charm into a gem. Without a doubt there are references, such as those already mentioned to Oasis (vocal melody) in the opener, "Picking Up My Pipe Dreams," or even Bob Dylan and others like "The Invisible Wall," including the harmonica. But Steve Mednick also has his very own way to capture your attention.

"The Stones of Venice" for example, excels with the warm piano play and dreamy Mandolin by Bob Loveday while Mednick’s vocals are rather melancholy. A mood that continues to be followed with "The Road Home.” Steve is very thoughtful when it comes to life in general and humans in particular. He’s probably not the brooding type, but it is clear that the man grapples with intense relationships and the general sense of existence.

Highlights are the two tracks where Mednick gets female backup vocal support in the studio from Annie Bassett and SallyLu Sianni. But the vocal abilities of drummer Eddie Seville in the background are also heard to full advantage. My personal highlights seem to be constantly changing. At the beginning it was especially "A Thousand Thoughts" and "The Invisible Wall," while later it was "Shifting Sands" and "Picking Up My Pipe Dreams," to be finally and completely replaced by "Vagabond On The Road" and "Fragments."

There's plenty to discover on "Sunset At The North Pole" and I was very happy to follow this expedition. There is not “one” super hit on this album, but rather 14 ear-caressing stories that are worthwhile to be discovered. If Steve Mednick continues to develop as strongly as in the past two years then we can certainly expect a lot from him in the future.

I only do not agree with one point of his story: he really doesn’t sound like Warren Zevon! Oh well, we don’t always have to agree...

Line-up:

Steve Mednick (vocals, guitars, keyboards, harmonica)

Karl Allweier (double & electric bass, acoustic guitar - # 11)

Tony Casagrande (accordion)

Billy Kotsaftis (lead guitars)

Bob loveday (violin, viola, mandolin)

Eddie Seville (drums & percussion, guitars - # 2,5,7, keyboards - # 5.10, vocals - # 2,7,10,11)

Annie Bassett (vocals - # 2.14)

SallyLu Sianni (vocals - # 2.14)

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Immigrants…and Other Americans Reviewed by Muziekvenster

Steve Mednick...has a beautiful, velvety voice and poetic songs are invariably superior quality. Steve Mednick's a songwriter without really being noticed makes the most beautiful things. He started his musical career in 2006 and now has eight albums to his name.   "Immigrants and Other Americans" was co-produced by Eddie Seville on the album has joined on guitar, harp and percussion.

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