Fourth Coast Entertainment -

By Keith Gorgas
FCE 

Always WIthin Kissin' Range 2018

Music Review

 

Last updated 8/4/2018 at 9:26am | View PDF

Stephen A. Love

CMG WORLDWIDE artistStephen A. Love may not be a household name among rock music fans, but his long and varied musical journey reads like a Rolling Stone "Who's Who" of the 1970's and 80's California music scene. It was none other than Randy Meisner, pre- Eagles, who led Love to California to pursue a career as a professional musician, and when Meisner left Rick Nelson's Stone Canyon Band to join Don Hendley and Glenn Frey backing Linda Ronstadt, it was a 20-year-old Stephen A. Love, playing bass and singing harmony in Nelson's band. Love was in The Band for the infamous "Garden Party" incident and can be seen playing bass on the video of the chart-topping song that resulted from it. At Glen Campbell's suggestion, Love's song Let It Bring You Along was the opening cut on the album.

Love went on to join former Byrd Roger McQuinn's backing band and contributed his song Somebody Loves You to the 1975 album Roger McQuinn and Band. Again, it was chosen as the opening cut.

In 1976, Stephen A. Love moved on to join Country Rock pioneers, the New Riders of the Purple Sage during the height of their popularity in the later 1970's. Love sang lead and harmony while contributing a rocking bass guitar, playing to large audiences around the country, including the legendary Englishtown, NJ show when the New Riders joined the Grateful Dead and Marshall Tucker Band before 125,000 fans. Two New Riders' albums, Who Are These Guys and Marin County Line, feature Love's compositions and lead vocals.

Moving on to John Cipollina's San Fransisco All-Stars, eventually Mr .Love became a senior project manager and his musical career took a back seat, but occasional tours of Europe and releases on the International charts kept him involved and pursuing his passion. Upon retirement from the construction field, music has once again moved to the forefront of his life, and Stephen has been active, not only performing and recording, but in management and mentoring upcoming musicians. He draws on his vast wealth of experience and talent to help others climbing the ladder. In 2011 and 2012, Stephen released 3 "Number One" singles in 13 European countries, revitalizing his musical career, and in May of 2018 Stephen A. Love presented us with a full-length CD, Always Within Kissing Range of You. Four of the ten songs on the CD have charted "Number One" on entertainment industries Radio Submit, sister to the Roots Charts.

Don't look for the Country Rock/ Rockabilly sound that characterized Love's career as performing band member. Always Within Kissing Range is primarily a Blues album, with Jazz and Pop influences. It features Love on piano and various guitars, playing lead, slide, rhythm, and bass. He throws in some harmonica work to boot. The harp is primitive, yet sufficient, while the rest of his playing is top shelf. Always blessed with excellent range and exquisite command of his vocals, the years have not robbed those qualities from Love's voice. His singing is spot on through the album.

A growling, self-penned number, Number One Son of a Gun, gets things started, and Love airs the song out. The title track, Always Within Kissing Range of You, with its Jazz feelings, comes next. It's warm and gentle. Timing and textures are everything, and Love has a deep well to draw from. The soulful Can't Love Someone Who Doesn't Love Me follows and has a familiar feeling to it. Again, Love gives his vocals a serious workout.

Walkin' After Midnight was Patsy Cline's first big hit, back in 1957. Stephen A. Love gives it a fresh and enjoyable rendering, before getting down smooth and dirty on That's Why They Call Me Mr. Love. Straight ahead Blues comes down at us in So Long Bannytyne. A delightful cover of Leon Russell's Lady Blue is easy to listen to, and is followed by a heart-felt performance of Rod Stewart's People Get Ready. A wild accusing Wasting My Time concludes the recording.

Always Within Kissing Range provides good company for driving around on backroads. It's doing well on Independent charts, and well worth the effort of finding for the roots rock fan. It can be downloaded or purchased through the artist's web site, http://www.stephenalovel.com . Songs can be heard at http://www.radiosubmit.com/rs/STEPHEN_A_LOVE/

 

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