Todd Steed doesn’t need much of an introduction. The veteran singer/guitarist/songwriter has been part of the Knoxville music scene for most of the last 20 years, interrupted only by his globe-trotting expeditions to Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe. He and his band, the Suns of Phere, will celebrate the release of their new album, Eskimo Hair, this weekend with Kat Brock, formerly of Knoxville bands Dixie Dirt and Whiskey Scars. Here’s what Steed’s been listening to in order to get ready.
Kat Brock, untitled demos (2008)
Some of these were recorded at my home studio and some in her kitchen in Nashville. It’s the best batch of songs she’s written. Kat has a real gift for words, arrangement, and creating moods. She may live Nashville, but she still writes Knoxville.
John Bean, The Real Leroy Mercer Tapes (Dualtone, 2008)
John Bean is the Mozart of prank phone calls. I have gone from merely enjoying these to studying them. He plays people like a cheap cello and makes it sound like Yo Yo Ma.
Computer vs. Banjo, Computer vs. Banjo (2008)
Just the title alone got me interested, but a really nice collection of songs and production. They live in Nashville but they write like, er, somewhere else.
Bill Evans, The Last Waltz (Milestone, 2000)
The last live recordings of my favorite jazz pianist. It’s a box set and that requires commitment, folks. I think some money should be set aside from the bailout to buy everybody some Bill Evans music. It would help this country relax during these tense times.