Steve Bedunah
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Steve Bedunah


Band Americana Rock


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"Major Songwriter"

Single: The Johnstons(Hand Me Down Land)

"The first thing that catches your ear is the band laying down a twangin’, thumpin’ Cash-like groove. The second thing that you notice is that your in the presence of a major songwriter. This dark dramatic word portrait will haunt you." - Robert K. Oermann/Music Row

"An Especially Strong Offering"

CD: Hand Me Down Land

"This disc has a brooding feeling of impending disaster coming down sooner or later. The feeling is fostered by the tone set by voice, the music and the confusion and angst in the characters he is singing about. His deep rich voice seems to carry not only the weight of he world but also a feeling of menace for those that wrong him, be it either intentional or out of unintended circumstance. At times this discs sound like some of the other songwriters coming out of Texas; people such as Robert Earl Keen and Ray Wylie Hubbard, only there is more of an implied threat here. His songs are strong and literate with a vivid imagery that brings his pictures to the forefront no matter how stark the feeling might be. It is not always an easy disc to listen to, as it is a bleak outlook. It is definitely, however, a point of view that needs to be heard, and it does speak out with an impassioned force. The backing musicians on this disc deserve a large dose of credit for helping him to turn his inspiration into this reality. The musical tone really matches up beautifully with the overall tone of the disc making it very hard to resist the compelling sound he captures. An especially strong debut offering from this promising singer/songwriter."

- Bob Gottlieb/Folk Acoustic Music Exchange

"Songs That Matter"

CD: Hand Me Down Land

"Bedunah, from Wichita Falls by way of Fort Worth, has been compared favorably to (Ray Wylie) Hubbard, Guy Clark, Robert Earl Keen and other first-class Texas wordsmiths. The comparisons are apt. He also received a songwriting boost after a chance meeting, as a volunteer roadie, with Hubbard.
With his debut album, "Hand Me Down Land," released months ago in Texas but just now getting out to the rest of the world, Bedunah joins the ranks of the keen observers of the state's rural/urban/suburban situations. The observers, such as Butch Hancock, James McMurtry and Bedunah, know how to take what they see, hear and have lived and turn them into songs that matter.
"Hand Me Down Land" is populated by in-laws and outlaws, by ordinary people and extraordinary circumstances. With a voice that sometimes sounds like McMurtry's, Bedunah grabs and holds on with "The Johnston’s," "Trespassers," "Trespassers Retreat," "Love Thy Neighbor" and the title track, which will long resonate with those who pay attention. Bedunah doesn't often get down to this part of the country, so catch him while you can."
- Jim Beal/San Antonio Express

"Near Perfection"

CD: Hand Me Down Land

"Soaked in southern singer-songwriter skills that Townes, Guy Clark and others have done before him, Steve Bedunah draws songs such as "I Need to Go Home" out with a drawl that complements the great but simple roots-ish arrangements. The tempo picks up and goes from good to great a la Kevin Welch or Kieran Kane. This groove continues on the lovely "Love Thy Neighbor" with its infectious blues-meets-Americana vibe. Timeless and put together to near perfection, the weary, barroom sound emitted from Bedunah's pipes are soothing and rough at the same time. The percussion-driven title track is laidback and shows Bedunah's fine songwriting talents as does the somber "There He Goes (Say a Prayer)". "The Johnstons" is a toe-tapping kind of ditty that is nice but not outstanding. At other times Bedunah comes off as a cross between Mark Knopfler and David Gilmour on the favorable "Melissa's Garden". Another gem is the rocking-ish "Rocking Chair Lullaby" which chugs along perfectly."

- Jason MacNeil/Pop Matters

"Gifted Singer Songwriter"

CD: Hand Me Down Land

"If Ray Wylie Hubbard ever wants to franchise, this gifted singer and songwriter from Wichita Falls proves himself qualified for the job with a CD of smoky and smart Texas neo-folk that’s close in style, sound and quality to the best work of the master."
- Rob Patterson/Texas Music Magazine

"Knack For Wry Lyrics"

CD: Plug It In And Play

Fort Worth-born Steve Bedunah's writing has been compared to James McMurtry, but stylistically he rides somewhere between Townes Van Zandt's monotone and Kris Kristofferson's gravelly vocals. Plug It in and Play isn't his first recording, but it's the one that should bring him the right audience. Bedunah's knack for wry lyrics suits the grit in his limited vocals, and it's clear that the eye he casts the modern world is as acerbic as his tongue. "Wireless networks and DSL, I want to e-mail them all to go to hell," proclaims "Down to This River," pitting rustic roots against technology. Bedunah is the heartbroken lover in "Down the Drain," while on the title track he's the faithless lover in love with playing guitar: "Some things are scared, some things are holy. Like a twangin' Telecaster, then there's matrimony." - Margaret Moser/Austin Chronicle

"Prominent Figure On The Americana Music Scene"

CD: Plug It In And Play

Another rootsy Texan, Steve Bedunah plays folk-rock with a bit of grit and edge, as well as a tantalizing twang. His themes relating to the common man ring true. He is a keenly observant storyteller. Armed with strong lyrics, he should become a prominent figure on the Americana music scene. - Palo Alto Times/Paul Freeman

"Impressive Effort"

CD: Plug It In And Play

Steve Bedunah is a Texas singer/songwriter whose second release at times recalls the work of Tom Russell, Guy Clark and James McMurtry. Bedunah appears equally at ease with twangy country and more edgy country rock. The most traditional sounding track is "Little Sister," while the rocking title track could have commercial potential with more mainstream vocals.

The folk influence is also strong on such cuts as "Down To The River," "Lady With The Sad Face" and "Reunion." Perhaps the strongest tune is the dark "If You Need To Help," in which the singer's plea for help is accompanied by pessimism ("Appreciate the kindness but I don't understand/How the emptiness will pass by you holding my hand").

With well crafted tunes, Bedunah's effective monotone vocals, and fine musicianship highlighted by Milo Steering on mandolin, steel and fiddle, this is an impressive effort. - Country Standard Times/Robert Wooldridge

"Bedunah Offers Excellent Songs"

CD: Plug It In And Play

Singer-songwriter-guitarist Steve Bedunah builds his songs with pieces of the blues, Americana and country/western and delivers them with deep meaning vocals covered by some fine playing from bandmates Erik Herbst on guitar, organist Tommy Young, Milo Deering on pedal steel, mandolin, fiddle & lap steel, Rocky Gribble on banjo, bassist David DeShazo and drummer Jerry Saracini. Clean, genuine and steeped in country tradition, Bedunah offers up some excellent songs that include the album's rockin' title track "Plug It In and Play," the jangly snarl of "Down The Drain," the big sky ballad "Reunion" and the ingeniously penned "Down To This River." - Douglas Sloan/Metronome Magazine

"Literary Flair"

CD: Plug It In And Play

When it comes to narrative-focused country songwriters, few regions can match up to the Lone Star State. Add Steve Bedunah to the list of talented Texans with the ability to spin rugged and robust stories with almost literary flair. Plug It In and Play, his second album, details the desperate and down-and-out, the out of touch and out of time, the proud and the not yet defeated. "If I want a taste of good whiskey," offers the character in "Down The Drain", "I'll tear the drain pipe from beneath the sink." Meanwhile, the technophobic protagonist of "Down To This River" says he wants to e-mail them all to go to hell." The penultimate track,"Reunion", tells a disturbing tale of a mountain man whose aim is truer than an angel's halo" and who has a basement "full of dry goods and booby trape wire." On a lighter note, the rave-up title track is barroom blues at its best. Bedunah's low-key vocals are not especially distinctive, but his finely crafted songs are. - Andy Turner/No Depression


Plug It In And Play (02/20/07)
Hand Me Down Land (01/2004)



Steve's "Plug It In And Play" Debuts on the Americana Music Chart

USA Today Plugs In "Plug It In And Play"

USA Today chose Steve's single and title cut to his newly released CD for its February 21, 2007 playlist

In only two CDs Steve Bedunah has crafted a significant body of work within the Americana, Roots, Country tradition. Garnering major praise for his first CD Hand Me Down Land, Bedunah followed with a second even more impressive performance in his second CD Plug It in and Play.

One truism in the music industry is that your second album must be as good or better than your first. After the quality of Bedunah’s first CD, he had a huge hurdle to overcome. It wouldn’t be easy. Everybody wonders about that second body of work. Robert Oermann, the dean of Nashville critics, had already praised Bedunah’s “The Johnstons” from Hand Me Down Land writing, “your in the presence of a major songwriter.”

So what did Oermann think of “Plug It In and Play” the feature song on his second album? “The twangin’ title tune to Bedunah’s latest is meant as an inspirational musician’s celebration. But his dusty, world-weary voice makes it sound haunted, dark and desperate. I dig that,” said Oermann. High praise from the hard to please Oermann. Indeed Oermann’s instincts were correct as Plug It in and Play landed on the top 40 of the Americana Music Chart.

Andy Turner of No Depression heaps on the praise noting, “When it comes to narrative-focused country songwriters, few regions can match up to the Lone Star State. Add Steve Bedunah to the list of talented Texans with the ability to spin rugged and robust stories with almost literary flair.” And “…the rave-up title track is barroom blues at its best.”

Although Bedunah has been compared to James McMurtry in his lyric producing abilities and stylistically to Townes Van Zandt and Kris Kristopherson , he defies description as any significant artist always does.
Reviewing Plug It in and Play, John Shelton sums up Bedunah’s CD: “ His songs are musical literature--he is a great storyteller and uses this ability to make his twangy Country downright infectious. This album and Steve have a lot to offer, whether it be foot stomping bluegrass or inspirational Traditional Country, or the Whiskey Blues.” Ivany - Top 21 (Mar 9, 2007)

Bedunah’s songs depict characters facing life with all its thorny problems who seek satisfying solutions. They seem like simple country or urban characters, but they are American archetypes who gain a profound individuality through Bedunah’s keen psychological perception and his deliverance of perfect sensory detail. Although the characters seem overwhelmed by a symbolic darkness and futility, they rise above their fate in an uplifting defiance of spirit that is the essence of the American pioneering experience. They strive to achieve understanding that make them more genuinely human.

Bedunah’s music creates a tension between the heroism of the personas and their dark circumstances. But Bedunah at his best presents a stirring musical backdrop to his finely crafted vignettes. His songs are anything but depressing despite his treatment of dark themes. His music is gritty, forceful, and rhythmic with a touch of twang. He calls it “backwoods rock.”

Bedunah presents the ironies of life as they rise up and slap you in the face as showcased in songs like “The Johnstons,” “ Love Thy Neighbor,” “Down to the River,” and “Reunion.”

Some of Bedunah’s best gems are his rolling, rollicking songs like “Little Sister,” “Rocking Chair Lullaby,” and “Plug It In and Play.” Their hypnotic effect makes it hard to leave them for very long.

Bedunah’s CDs usually have only a single love song, but they are incredibly beautiful. They are not gushy. Instead, they are understated masterpieces that perfectly reflect the emotion of a finely felt union that the character/persona strains to express. They are that perfect balance between feeling and restraint. Although “Concho Valley Nights” from Hand Me Down Land and “If You Need To Help” from Plug It in and Play are vastly different in voice, they are almost perfect in their execution. The character in “If You Need to Help” laments, “I turn and I turn and I turn until I can’t sleep no more.” He calls in despair, “No ordinary woman could save the soul of this man.” Powerful stuff from a powerful Texan.

Steve Bedunah, now living in Wichita Falls, was born and grew up on the west side of Fort Worth, Texas. Steve spent many weeks on his grandfather’s cotton farm in East Texas. For a long time the old house had no bathroom, electricity, or running water. Wolves and coyotes howled their litanies in the early morning hours. When there was no moon it was pitch black. His first remembered musical experience was listening to the Beatles. It was his preteen years and his father bought him a guitar. He learned quickly. Later he recognized the great country music innovations coming out of Au