Monday, June 24, 2024

Giants Walk The Land with Steve Louw

South African musician and songwriter Steve Louw’s third solo album, Between Time, will be released on Friday 6th September as a 2-CD digipack, double vinyl, and digitally, wherein you’ll find the guitarist delving into blues rock, country, and Americana.

Ahead of that comes new single ‘Giants Walk The Land’, about which producer Kevin Shirley said: “Two great songwriters and musicians blend inspiration and craft into something mystical,” it being co-written and featuring Midnight Oil‘s Jim Moginie).

The single is available on all streaming platforms here and you can watch the official music video for ‘Giants Walk The Land’ here at RAMzine.

Between Time, arrives decades into a long career, stretching back to the 1990s, when Louw partnered with Shirley while fronting Big Sky, his vehicle to acclaim in his native South Africa. 

Louw broke back into the music scene rousingly with his 2021 solo album Headlight Dreams, that Shirley helped push into existence, telling Louw after a decade of silence that it was time for him to make another record. He assembled a crack band, including keyboardist Kevin McKendree (John Hiatt), drummer Greg Morrow (Billy Gibbons), bass player Alison Prestwood (Buddy Miller), guitarists Rob McNelley (Hank Williams Jr), and Doug Lancio (Bob Dylan).

Headlight Dreams received solid reviews and earned him his third South African Music Award nomination. Thunder and Rain followed hot on its heels, described as “a rich and natural album of muscular folk and insistent rock”, a blend that Louw has refined throughout his career. 

With Between Time, Louw is said to explore those moments that fall outside the strict constructs of time with songs that have past, present, and future, while using imagery that’s “both timeless and present”. Cut live in the studio with his same band; the music’s described as having a “transcendent quality, a chemistry that blends craft and inspiration into something mystical”.

The stars align on three songs recorded back-to-back on the same day. The heartfelt ‘Killers’, where “Killers with numbers not names, came killing across the plains”, flows into, “In the Badlands, sand turned to dust, outsiders stand, steel turned to rust,” on the driving ‘Giants Walk The Land’ and to a new beginning on ‘Time to Get On’, “As we face to the sun, it’s time to get on”.

Hearing the band discover the inherent passion and tenderness within the songs is part of the pleasure of Between Time. Their chemistry is evident on the low-down shuffle of ‘Do Me Good’ and the country honk of ‘Alibi’. They swing hard on ‘Get Real Gone’ and ratchet up the tension on ‘Flowers On The Graves of Doves’, a ringing, roiling number that conjures the mystery of early R.E.M.

You feel the band as much as you hear them, as on ‘Highway to the Sun’, the eight-minute exit to the 20-song collection. Louw is as much a member of the band as he is its leader. His steady, propulsive guitar playing providing as much of a connective tissue as his unguarded voice.

Collaborative energy is a crucial element of Between Time, extending to guest appearances by Joe Bonamassa, who accentuates the Blues on Cruel Hand Of Fate’ with an explosive country-style solo. Added to that is Jim Moginie, whose eclectic guitar sound and creative force evoke the natural world’s power on ‘Giants Walk The Land’, and Hammond maestro Lachy Doley, who teases out the reassuring comfort lurking within ‘Streets of Rain’.

The full track listing is, CD 1: ‘Alibi’, ‘We Had It All’, ‘Beggar Tonight’, ‘Giant’s Walk The Land’, ‘Killers’, ‘StreeJanes Dream #3’, ‘Do Me Good’, ‘Flowers From The Graves Of Doves’, ‘Don’t Leave A Heart Alone’ and ‘Time To Get On’. Then on CD 2: ‘Get Real Gone’, ‘The Way Your Heart Beats’, Take Me For A Ride’, ‘Streets Of Rain’, ‘Cruel Hand Of Fate’, ‘Free To Fly’, ‘You ‘N Me Tonight’, ‘Cold Cold Rails’, ‘Ever Be Undone’ and ‘Highway To The Sun’.

Between Time can be order and saved from by clicking here.  

Paul H Birch
Paul H Birch
RAMzine Senior Writer - Writer of fiction, faction and fact, has edited several newsstand magazines. He declares himself a hack for hire but refuses to compromise on the subject of music.

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