Steve Carlson
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Steve Carlson


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"Steve Carlson- "Spot in the Corner""

Though he evokes some of the best singer/songwriters from the seventies (Jim Croce, John Denver), Carlson has a modern edge and neo-country aroma to his work that sets it apart. "Spot in the Corner", his full-length CD, presents a thoughtful, skillful artist and his backup players. Pinata Novia is a bittersweet tune enhanced by yearning violin. "Come Around More Alabama" tips Carlson's counrty cap the most. All in all, a deft self-production"
- Music Connection

"SCB at the Hotel Cafe"

The Players: Steve Carlson, guitar, vocals; Steve Dress, bass; Tim Jiminez, drums.

Material: Like a lot of the classic artists we’ve known and loved, Steve Carlson’s ensemble does what rock & roll did in the Fifties. He also delivers a sound that seems to draw from a vast pool of American standbys for rockers. Country, blues, rockabilly and funk all wind up in the mix, and it’s as accessible as Hootie & the Blowfish were several years back. Carlson is just a bit more gritty and dangerous than those boys, and the girls swoon a lot more because of it.

Musicianship: Carlson’s raspy blues voice manages to be both provocative and soothing at the same time. You’ll feel as if you’ve heard him before somewhere in your own subconscious longings. His guitar playing has a pulse that keeps climbing. Jiminez supplies the funk chops, and Dress is astoundingly animated (especially for a bass player) with skills that come from either heaven or hell on electric as well as acoustic instruments.

Performance: Carlson’s backup band was an ensemble of true performers and they didn’t stop until the sweat poured off their foreheads and dripped into their eyes. The set was high energy to begin with and continued to gather momentum as Carlson drove the audience into enthusiastic participation, with not a filler tune in his repertoire. The band lit up the stage with their explosive energy, going farther and farther over the top until no one in the room wanted the set to end.

Summary: Steve Carlson is a seasoned musician who has lived life and written parables that are almost visual. His own dynamic, combined with that of his collaborators, creates a presentation that brings stories to life. This band may or may not ever hit the fickle mainstream market, but they are certainly a treat to behold.

—Lauri Shaw - Music Connection

"How can one man and a guitar sound so good?"

Steve Carlson
@ The Half Moon, Putney, London
23rd July 2007

How can one man and a guitar sound so good? If you're Steve Carlson, you not only make it sound good - you make it look easy. The guitar playing is virtuoso, the words penetrate deep inside, the voice is gravelly and honest yet still with the ability to be sweet and tender - or to punch a hole in the stratosphere - whichever the lyrics demand. The recordings are stellar but believe me when I say that the live performance surpasses them. The audience were swept along from the first to the last on a fast flowing tide under the guidance of a deft captain.

From the opening chords of "If It Ain't Easy" right through to the encore, a burn-down-the-house rendition of "Johnny be Good", we were treated to the best of Folk Rock, Blues, Jazz, Soul - just what kind of musical genre does this guy belong to anyhow? Who cares when it's so expertly performed? Categories are pointless and you might as well try to catch air in a butterfly net, or pin a cloud to the ground, as to pigeonhole Steve Carlson. Only one category fits him to a 'T' - that of Singer/Songwriter and performer par excellence.

With ballads such as "Under You","Piñata Novia", " Don't Move On" and "Radio In My Head", stonking good 'rip-it-up' rock numbers such as "Sounds So Good", "Hole In Me", "Wasted Jamie" and "Rocking Chair", not to mention the first outing for a new song "The One That Got Away" and the best version of the old Zombies' classic "She's Not There" you'll ever hear - EVER - we were kept on a high all night long.

Steve's easy manner and approachability don't hide the fact that this is a man who is hard-core serious about his music. The sold out crowd at The Half Moon couldn't have been better entertained - and yet it felt less like a show than a party, a reunion of old friends. As Steve has been building some of his support via the myspace community, and yet others have been fans from his work (since 1998) with Kane, then maybe you could say that's exactly what this was.

The audience came from London, The Midlands, East Anglia, Scotland, Germany, Belgium - indeed all four corners of the globe - to share the love; and to join their voices to Steve's as he announced that he was recording a couple of numbers for a new CD - with audience participation mandatory, no one demurred.

The Half Moon is a great venue, some of the biggest names in music have played/play here:- Roger Daltry, Alexis Korner, The Strawbs, John Mayall, Kasabian - to name a few. Steve Carlson deserves to be up there with the brightest and the best. If there's any justice in the world he will be.

The Party continues on Thursday 26th July at the Barfly in Camden. I'm already looking forward to the next time Steve decides to come and pay his friends a visit. Until then there's always the CD collection to keep us going and the prospect of a new one on the horizon.


CD collection
The Steve Carlson Band: Rollin' On (2005)
Steve Carlson: Spot in The Corner (2003)
Steve Carlson: Groovin' On The Inside (2007)

- Glasswerk, UK - London

"Steve Carlson's Palatable Groove"

Sometime soon I’ll be road-tripping up to San Francisco with my girlfriend for a weekend jaunt. Once the maddening grind of the Grapevine is in my rearview mirror with nothing ahead but that long, sun-beaten stretch of the 5 freeway, between here and Gilroy, I intend to hit cruise control and put Steve Carlson’s CD, Groovin’ on the Inside in my car stereo and crank it up … loud!
His is, after all, damned fine driving music. And based on a recent appearance at the Hotel Café in Hollywood, his live act is nothing to sneeze at, either. Studiously scruffy in a white linen vest, the singer/songwriter/guitarist took the stage to a palpable ripple amongst the post-college women there to lap up his presence, and with the help of bassist Steve Dress, drummer Jonah Dolan and woodwind specialist David Olivas, he delivered the goods in crowd-pleasing fashion.
Dress and Dolan’s proclivities seemed to nudge Carlson’s muse toward the funk grooves that are the band’s strong suit, but Carlson mixed in enough sweet, breeze-through-the-curtains ballads (the aching “Don’t Move On”) and potential anthems to please an ear hungry for diversity. Selected covers included the guilty pleasure of a disco beat with the Stones’ “Miss You.”

Flash forward a year from now, and you could picture Carlson and his band doing the kind of opening set for a major arena rock band that would leave the walk-in audience wondering, “Hey, those guys were good! Who were they anyway?” When he sharpens his hooks, Carlson could very well be headlining the year after that.

Steve Carlson’s CD Groovin’ on the Inside” is available on Smoking Lion Records. - Kyle Moore - Tolucan Times

"Steve Carlson - Live - Hotel Cafe"

Steve Carlson: Versatile singer/songwriter with an eclectic mix of styles that are perfect for airplay or licensing for TV spots.

Contact: Hotline, 310-948-3900;


Players: Steve Carlson, guitar, vo-cals; Steve Dress; electric and up-right bass, vocals; Jonah Dolan, drums; David Olivas, alto and tenor sax, flute.

Material: As he combines Americana, folk and rock with a bit of blues, Steve Carlson weaves intriguing rhythms around his raspy voice that perfectly fit the stories he tells through his songs. His original tunes are very radio friendly, especially “Wasted Jamie,”as well as his cover of “She’s Not There.”

Musicianship: The flutework of Olivas highlight Carlson’s vocals and lyrics, giving the band a jazzy edge. In addition, Carlson’s guitar riffs combined with Dress’ bass line, pack a lot of sound into the music and reveal excellent chemistry. His new material rocks with a good beat that compels the audience to put everything aside and concentrate on the music.

Performance: Carlson’s set was mesmerizing, as he wove multiple genres into a cohesive sound that created quite an incredible reaction in the audience. Olivas kicked it up even further when he took his sax off the stage and down into the crowd. Carlson’s cover of the Stones’ “Miss You” brought new life to the rock & roll standard. In fact, the only area this artist could improve upon was his audience interaction, but he more than made up for that with his music. Carlson gave the audience a good show and they responded with a demand for an encore, which Carlson was only too happy to oblige.

Summary: Steve Carlson’s hand-picked musicians truly complement his musical style and offer listeners an eclectic mix of styles, sounds and lyrics that are relaxing and stimulating at the same time. His music belongs on the radio and on your favorite TV show. Based on this gig, Carlson has loads of potential for widespread acceptance.

––Bob Leggett - Music Connection

"Steve Carlson - Band of the Week"

Steve Carlson makes music that is a little bit country, a little bit rock and roll, with a splash of funk, some R&B, and a lot of soul. His music is a fabulously crafted tapestry of genres knitted together with Steve's honeyed, passionately emotive, deeply textured voice and phenomenal musicianship. His new album Groovin On The Inside has a country feel to it, although anyone who isn't a fan of country music - and I'm not - won't feel it overpowering them. It's a funky twist of rock with a dash of country, smothered in soul.

Steve's brand of music is like sitting in front of a fire during a blizzard, like the feel of a warm, soft bed on a cold morning, or being wrapped in your duvet with a mug of hot cocoa on a lazy, rainy afternoon. His enviable ability to mix genres, his mellow voice and awe-inspiring instrumental talents combine to create a sound that is snug and familiar. That warmth and familiarity starts from the first track on the album. "If It Ain't Easy" moves quickly from raw acoustic guitar into strong bass and boogie piano a la Jools Holland.

Steve ProfileUp-tempo ballads are something that obviously come naturally to this country-styled crooner. In addition to the whimsical boogie of "If It Ain't Easy" there is the rock guitar of "Wonder Of My World" and the country flavour of "Wasted Jamie". "Hole In Me" is a soul-filled cry of pain and Steve's rich, raw vocals give it a wonderful blues flavour. The first single from Groovin On The Inside, "I'll Remember You" (video below), is a passionate, piano driven tune, and Steve's soulful country roots shine through here. The sweetly poignant lyrics, piano hook, and light guitar give this simple goodbye song a passionately loving feel.

But up-tempo isn't the only form of ballad from this man with a poet's soul. The symphonic sounds of "Pinata Novia" are filled with orchestral strings and a full-bodied sound. "She's Not There" is an excellent cover of the Zombies debut single — first released in 1964 — and perfectly suits Steve's warm, deep, melt-your-heart voice which is eloquently accompanied by the organ through the groovy, funky crescendo.

"You Belong With Me" is a beautiful lament with both rock guitar and more orchestra strings. My favourite track on Groovin On The Inside, "Don't Move On", is a charming prayer of a song, asking you to never move on without him. He wants to "stay up late and celebrate the dawn with you" and he wants "a chance to make every dream you've had come true". And that's all any girl really wants, deep down.

Groovin On The Inside is a vibrant album that crosses genres to find a warm, snug place in your heart. You can hear Steve's distinctive, intelligent, and intimately comfortable sounds at his MySpace page or his own website. His new album is available from CDBaby and of course iTunes. - BlogCritics Magazine

"Steve Carlson - Groovin On The Inside"

Carlson, Steve (Steve Carlson) - Groovin on the Inside

I should know better. I was raised better and trained better, but sure enough I took one look at the cover of Steve Carlson's Groovin on the Inside (he leaves the apostrophe off) and was chagrined to see what looked to me like a Hanson brother trying to gain some credibility in the music industry.

I listened to everything else that came in the mail. I washed the dishes. I ate some crackers. Finally – and with great trepidation – I stuck the disc in the player. The first five (or so) bars were nothing remarkable – then the bass kicked in. Steve Dress brings dexterity to the bass that is seldom heard these days.

"If It Ain't Easy" is a jumping-thumping tub of funk that will keep your feet tapping and the corners of your mouth turning up and freezing in that delirious position. "Pinata Novia" is a beautiful and poignant piece of music making the best use of Carlson's raspy razor-wire voice. "I'm sorry I'm breaking you open/But it's just what you want me to do" is such a low and lonesome sentiment. Carlson delivers with audacious agility. His cover of the old Zombie's tune "She's Not There" is respectful, but Carlson is unafraid to make it his own.

Carlson and the band - Dress on bass guitar, Timothy Jiminez on drums, David Olivas on saxophone - inform each musical moment with textures and layers and sonic spices making each song an individual aural sensation.

"Wonder of My World" brings the band back to full funk – with Dress's bass lines buoying Jiminez's shuffling drums.

Carlson's lyric writing is thoughtful and deep one minute and mischievous and sexy the next. His work will never be easily categorized – although funk/rock for the smart set might be a good palace to start.

The amazing thing about this disc is that everyone will have a cut or two that they will fall in love with and play over and over again. Perhaps the listener's mood will dictate a different cut with every listen.

I wish I can say I'll stop judging a disc by its cover. I wish I could say that I will never let the artist's picture shade my opinion. I know I can say that despite any initial misgivings – I love it when I am wrong and the artist, like Carlson, drops a disc that will spend the better part of the rest of the summer in my car – close the stereo. - Score Magazine



Under You
Chloe Bowed Her Head
Pinata Novia
Come Around More Alabama
Radio in My Head
Kinda Crazy These Days
I've Learned to Love
Ballad of Denim Boy and Grey Girl
Sounds So Good
Spot in the Corner
Without You


Rollin' On
Strange Way
Hummingbird Billy
One Thing
Rocking Chair
Nonstop Lady
Fade Away
Wasted Jaime
Hotel Love


If It Ain't Easy
Pinata Novia
She's Not There
Now That My Love Is Gone
Wonder Of My World
Wasted Jaime
You Belong With Me
I Don't Want To Know
Hole In Me
The One I Want
I'll Remember You
Don't Move On
She Loves



Steve Carlson's "Groovin On The Inside" With Third CD; "I'll Remember You" Single Being Serviced For Radio Airplay

Southern California rocker Steve Carlson is releasing his third solo album, "Groovin On The Inside," which is already a top Internet contender. The first single, "I'll Remember You" hits radio later this month.

With a legion of fans across the country as a result of heavy touring, a strong Internet presence has helped solidify Carlson's fan-base. The songs are heartfelt and bursting with freewheeling energy that make club concerts into sing-a-long events.

Carlson has cooked up a recipe that'll satisfy the appetites of those passionate fans with his new album "Groovin On The Inside." His voice is like sandpaper dipped in Tupelo honey and he wields it like a master chef, adding a spoonful of blues, a dash of jazz, a cup full of folk-rock and a big helping of blue-eyed soul. And food is more than just a metaphor for Steve. He can cook like a superstar too, having been trained as a chef.

In the last year alone Carlson has spent ten months on the road. He juggles his time between his RCA-signed band, Kane, where he is primary songwriter and guitarist, and his Steve Carlson Band, playing live concerts at home and on the road. All this activity has shot his new album "Groovin On The Inside" to the top of the charts on CD Baby—an awesome accomplishment on a website loaded with musical talent. Carlson's songs have garnered over 140,000 spins on the fan-driven, and if you include his Kane-penned tracks, the collective total tops 545,000 spins.

The achingly beautiful single, "I'll Remember You," is about a love that never ends. The lyrics recall Carlson building a table for his then girlfriend-building furniture is another of his creative releases. The video has become a favorite at, with hot, steamy romantic scenes set against a backdrop of flowering mustard plants in the foothills to the gorgeous Topa Topa Mountains of Ojai, California. The clip caught the eye of The Beatles' Ringo Starr, who acclaimed, "This guy f**king blew my mind."

A soulful toe-tapping anthem "If It Ain't Easy" kicks off the album with its driving beat and catchy melody. In the running for a follow-up single is "Now That My Love Is Gone," co-written with J- Lo's first husband Cris Judd. As with most of Carlson's songs it starts with a slower tempo and builds to a full-on triumphant conclusion. This song ends with a chorus of background singers helping the character in the song move on to a better place. Another great track from the album is a killer rendition of The Zombies 60's classic "She's Not There."

Says Steve: "Whether it's a melancholy ballad or an upbeat jam, the music is about getting through the tough times and embracing the good times."

Several of Steve's songs have been placed in film and television projects with the track "Now That My Love Is Gone," from the new album, being used in the motion pictures "Just Married," "Life Or Something Like It," "Memore" and the upcoming "Be My Baby." From Carlson's earlier album's "Kinda Crazy These Days" has appeared in ABC's "Men In Trees" while "Night Time" found placement on The WB's "Supernatural" this past year.

The reflective "Groovin On The Inside" presents observations of relationships with movie-like visuals and dramatic conclusions with strong harmonies, solid musicianship and seductive twists. Each song has a different perspective on life from this Renaissance man.