Steve Grady
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Steve Grady

Woody Point, Queensland, Australia | INDIE

Woody Point, Queensland, Australia | INDIE
Band Folk Acoustic

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IT'S not quite the equivalent of the '60s hit I've Been Everywhere. But when Hit catches up with Steve Grady, between phone dropouts somewhere on the road from Newcastle to Armidale, it's starting to feel like it.



Grady is on the last shows of his 50 First Dates tour with fellow Brisbane songwriter Dan Parsons, who released the Firestarter album last year. Grady's second album, Youth Skin, is out this week.

A 50-show tour? That kind of thing has barely been attempted since bands such as Hush and the Ted Mulry Gang trod the boards of every country town hall they could find in the '70s.

"It's been epic," Grady says. "There is the two of us plus Cam Casey, who is the tour manager, bass player and is shooting the film for a documentary we are making as well.

"We've been to Mackay, as far west as Cunnamulla, Moree, through the regional areas of three states and now we're making our way back up the coast.


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"The reaction has been good, though sometimes you wonder how it's going. In some places there were a lot of men, miners who don't like to express their emotions much."

Grady and Parsons have written their first song together, These Small Hours.

"That was in 45-degree heat in St George, and it will probably be the name of the doco, which will have footage from the shows and some of the crazy stories from along the way," Grady says.

Touring and playing music for a living are what he always dreamed of since he was a boy at home in Redcliffe watching Crowded House play their farewell show at the Sydney Opera House.

"At the time I was playing bass, but when I saw that, I thought, 'OK, he plays guitar and sings. I have to do that'."

The Redcliffe connection surfaces again on Youth Skin, produced by another export from that area, songwriter Shane Nicholson.

Youth Skin is a collection of rootsy folk-pop, with Kasey Chambers providing some beautifully wistful harmonies.

Among the highlights is Six Suburbs Makes a City, with its story of a town where picnickers come for day trips and the homes people build keep getting higher.

"I came up to the city and the Valley when I was at uni, but Redcliffe always felt like that place I could go home to," Grady says.

"The majority of the songs on my first album were written there. This album is about me getting out and becoming my own person."

With Youth Skin Grady wanted to see what a strong producer such as Nicholson could bring to his music.

"You do learn to let go of a lot when you are working with a producer. You just have to trust that outside opinion and see where that can take you," Grady says.

"Shane wanted me to keep writing and writing, so I ended up with about 40 songs. We would sit down every morning and choose the song that felt right on the day and record it.

"In the end it was an easy record to make."

Parsons and Grady will perform their 50 First Dates set in Brisbane tomorrow.
- The Courier Mail


You can cry in front of him and keep music relatively simple

Steve Grady’s latest release Youth Skin is what we have come to expect from the man holding the guitar; beautiful and simple acoustic ballads plus metaphorical lyrics are all the rage with this anticipated sophomore release. One thing you can’t deny about Steve Grady is his amazing vocal ability which shines straight through on all eleven tracks which could give even the most shy pathetic teenager courage to get up and try their hand at belting a tune or two. The Instrumentation is typical singer-songwriter guitar and vocal style which is still as good as ever.

The only thing that lets Grady’s new piece of work down is the short length of the album and leaving some songs feeling more like interludes songs such as Tightrope Walker clearly deserved more time.

However songs like Youth Skin, Concrete Garden & She Waits ’til I’m Asleep hypnotise and satisfy the curious and they certainly earned the right to open Grady’s new release.

Steve Grady has clearly avoided the sophomore slump and managed to create some amazing songs to perform on the upcoming Youth Skin Tour. - Dearhead Press


For the last few months, Steve Grady and fellow Brisbanite Dan Parsons have been touring the back-alleys of regional Australia. Tonight, sporting identical bushy, tour-grown beards, and looking like members of ‘some sort of cult’ (as one of them puts it), they’re back in Brisbane to celebrate the end of the tour and release Grady’s new album, Youth Skin.

First up though is the charming Chloe Tully from way out west, whose wistful song Marmalade puts a lump in my throat. Think a shy Missy Higgins.

Grady & Parsons (along with bassist and fellow beard-bearer Cam Casey) open with Parson’s Feeling Of Falling, followed by a beautiful version of Fleetwood Mac’s Dreams. Grady then calls for “heaps of verb on the guitar” and treats us to Concrete Garden and You Can Cry In Front of Me from his new album.

These two are best mates and definitely tuned in to the same frequency, harmonizing beautifully and swapping the role of lead vocal and lead guitar many times throughout the night – at one point Dan becomes “Doolin’ Dan” as he picks up the banjo.

Because the songs are so simple, clean, and uncluttered, Grady’s amazing voice (which at times sounds uncannily like Don McLean) is given every opportunity to shine. Like McLean, Grady’s lyrics are down to earth, heartfelt, and well worth a listen.

ANDRE RETROT - Rave Magazine


I remember a friend of mine once said to me that a good song should still sound good even if you play it with just an acoustic guitar and sing along to it. Of course, that doesn't take into account some of the greatest dance and hip-hop songs that have been written, but I really like the idea that the building blocks of music are words and melody. Strip away layers of instrumentation and if the melody and the lyrics still grab you, then that's the hallmark of a great tune.

On 'Legacy', Steve Grady doesn't even bother with layering the song. He just lets the words and melody speak for themselves. What I love about this song is just how naked it is, but it's still so emotionally resonant and captivating. What it does so beautifully is that it subtly builds, which you don't really notice until the end when that heavenly backing choir rises from below the acoustic guitar, piano and glockenspiel.

'Legacy' is a taste of Grady's debut album Youth Skin which will be out soon. Until then, I'm just going to put this song on repea - Triple J Radio


Discography

Forget About It - Inn Town EP
Hotel Chelsea - LP 2009
Youth Skin - LP 2011

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Bio

Singer/Songwriter Steve Grady is poised to release his new contemporary folk album 'Youth Skin'. Recorded over 12 days in a granny flat studio in the NSW central coast with ARIA award winning producer and songwriter Shane Nicholson ('Ratlin Bones', 'Familiar Ghosts').

‘I have become a huge supporter of Steve Grady and his music. He is a promising new artist with a strong work ethic and a passion for his craft. As an emerging singer and songwriter, his potential is evident throughout the new recording.’ Shane Nicholson

Grady has recently released the first single 'Legacy' to glowing reviews, coinciding with a Qsong nomination (Queensland’s largest songwriting competition) featured article on the TripleJ website, a tripleJ unearthed feature artist, & national airplay.

‘What I love about this song is just how naked it is, but it's still so emotionally resonant and captivating.’ Dom Alessio (Triple J Presenter)

Since the release of Grady’s 2009 critically acclaimed EP ‘Hotel Chesea’ he has been performing and touring relentlessly around Australia. On the side he as been busy producing and recording local Brisbane artists and bands such as ‘Chole Tully’, and touring electric guitarist for Dan Parsons.

Comprising of 11 original songs, 'Youth Skin' is set to be a huge launch pad for Grady. Guest vocals on the album include Kasey Chambers on ‘Concrete Garden’, with all instruments performed by Nicholson & Grady. Due date for the album is yet to be announced.