As an avid listener of music, I am constantly seeking new artists and unearthing forgotten gems. Also, as a audio enthusiast, I turn my attention to releases that have been well recorded, produced, and mastered. I came across Steve Katz recently, and was excited to find a new artist that easily met my expectations of good music and excellent sound quality.
A New York based singer/songwriter, Steve Katz often performs in the northeast and self-released his five song EP "Barricades" in the Spring of 2012. Initially influenced by Pink Floyd, Santana, the Eagles and Supertramp, Katz has taken his own direction weaving strong melodies and folk-rock rhythms that accompany lyrics of hope, love and existential questions.
Thrive kicks off the EP with Katz rich vocals and natural sounding electric guitar. Bass and drums are dynamic and clean, with a really pleasant well produced commercial feel. Keeping the music with modern times, the second guitar makes heavy use of effects that are prevalent in many of the jangly alternative bands over the past decade.
Katz steps right into your listening room on Today "I Saw Hope", where a bright acoustic guitar guides you through the song. Harking back to the sounds of Cat Stevens, backing vocals kick in exactly at the right points and carry the lead vocals, all as if they were play right in front of you.
The title track, "Barricades," is a real gem and offers a fantastic balance between the bass, drums, vocals, guitars, and keyboards. Melding the perfect acoustic rock with dreamy textures, Katz has created a glistening modern sound that truly displays his unique sound.
On "Fair" the listener is washed over with spacious vocals, wavy fretless bass, and cavernous slide guitars, all along side shimmering acoustic guitar and hard hitting drums. A very musical song that provides for a delightful listening experience.
However, it is the closing track that is my favorite on this all too short disc. I distinctly hear the throaty sincerity of Katz' vocals on "A Modern Tale" as the glassy acoustic guitar picks throughout the song, along side distinct laid back drums and warm bass. As an avid lover of folk-rock, Katz brings it on home here, and as the song fades out you just want more… more… more…
Recommended for fans of folk and audio enthusiasts seeking a crystal clear listening experience!
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About the Author
Wesley is a lifelong music enthusiast. He started his career in the recording industry in New York City as an audio engineer, producer, and studio manager. Subsequently he toured across America as a guitarist with the short-lived band Land's Crossing. After many years in the technology sector and amassing a substantial vinyl and CD collection, he delved into immersive audio and created Hi-Res Edition to share with other listeners about the sound quality and discrete mixes available on many formats. He recently upgraded his system to 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos and continues to seek out and share about the best sounding releases.