Stephen Lomas
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Stephen Lomas

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"Mermaids"

Inhabiting a realm between Dylan at his moodiest, The Pogues at their jumpin'est and Ry Cooder at his pickin'est, Stephen Lomas has produced a coherent and engaging CD of original songs and instrumentals.

Long time ex-pat and recent re-pat Australian, Lomas recorded this offering in California in 1999. It is however undeniably Australian in character and subject, with themes including Anzac Day and the Southern Cross. There is often an Irish lilt to his easy finger style guitar playing that shifts deftly into the familiar strains of Click Go the Shears and Moreton Bay. It is in his songs such as the opener No Night for Lovers and Wigram Road that
Lomas drifts into a Dylanesque landscape of image and imagination, inhabiting a zone that is at times edgy and brooding with instrumentation echoing the organ/guitar arrangements of The Band in their prime.

These darker moods are lightened by tracks such as Up All Night, Mermaids and Spinnin' that hop along at a bright and lively pace on a road somewhere between Alice and Anaheim. Lomas also delivers beautifully rendered solo guitar interpretations of traditional Celtic Australian classics such as Moreton Bay and a medley of traditional tunes dubbed Southern Cross.
Exhibiting a crisp, lyrical style, he captures the melancholy mood of these pieces, creating space in and around his playing in which to set his gentle phrasing adrift.

All You Sinners shifts from a brooding introduction with strains of Ed Kuepper into a rollicking jig that would have any Pogues fan kicking the air. Lomas' guitar playing provides the spine from which he hangs his compositions. His easy and comfortable finger styles at times give way to swampy slide and full tilt raunch. His vocals mesh effortlessly with his playing exhibiting a soulful and enviable marriage of talent and skill.
(Michael Shrapnel) - Indie-CD's.com


Discography

Two indie cd's - "Mermaids" (1999) & "Sinbad Ranch" (2006).
Radioplay: ANZAC Day, Mermaids & Up All Night (Mermaids) & Blacktop, Killing Time & Lookin' South (Sinbad Ranch)

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Bio

Getting active in music took awhile... but when the songs started coming it was difficult to ignore them. For better or worse I was living in California at the time (actually for a very long time) & soon gravitated to all the small clubs & cafes around Los Angeles.

Despite the location - or maybe because of it, images came together. Sometimes they were right in front of me. Sometimes deep in the past.. ”Killing Time” (Sinbad Ranch) was all around - pursuing life with desparation. “Feels Like Hawaii” (Mermaids) is a sideways look at the weather. It was uncomfortably muggy that day in Southern California & we bitched about it. Five hundred miles south the residents of Acapulco would have loved just the humidity - they were getting the hurricane. And “Mambo” (Sinbad Ranch), no memories here - just my imagination cutting loose with the graphics on a pair of board-shorts.

Meeting up with Martin Simpson definitely set my direction - I was drawn right into the dynamics of how he uses a guitar (open tunings, finger picking & slide) as well as his broad appreciation of a wealth of musical styles - folk, blues, traditional & the "strange".

!999 saw the release of my "Mermaids" cd & got me out there actively performing at last. In 2001 I managed a quick trip home to Australia to play at Music at the Creek (Majors Creek, NSW). This trip confirmed for me that after nearly three decades in the US it was time to come home. Sinbad Ranch had its' basic tracks complete when I returned to Australia for good in late 2004. Finalizing was done largely via email - with tracks added from Australia, LA & Nashville. We launched it at the Unurban in Santa Monica in 2006.