Steve Palmer's “Useful Histories”
Steve Palmer is a young guitar player from Minneapolis, and “Useful Histories” is his second full-length release. The first, “Unblinking Sun” (a 2014 CD on the Dying for Bad Music label) stood out with its wide-ranging instrumental mixture of American Primitive picking and psychedelic rock influences. As its title hints, on “Useful Histories” those roots remain in spirit, reconfigured and developed due to time and circumstance; recorded over a two-year period as Palmer was required to adjust to a neurological condition that necessitated changes in his guitar technique, eventually catalyzing his larger musical approach in a more experimental and focused direction. The album divides roughly between extended “full-band” songs—alternately cruising down a straight-eight space highway into a full meltdown on the horizon, or avant-choogling their way into the air like some lost late-night ballroom jam—and layered guitar pieces that incorporate looping effects, fluid pensive picking, and the sound of pure electricity coursing through the power lines on a North Midwestern night.
“Astral fingerpicking weaves through rippling drones of sickened fuzz one minute, and cosmic blues licks are bouncing between walls of lo-fi motorik beats the next. This is the kind of album that just begs to be played as you’re cruising down an empty highway, heading towards the sun.” — Record Crates United
Back to Top