One problem with the popular singer-songwriter genre is an egocentric focus on storytelling elements that feel a bit too sophisticated. Unfortunately, this lack of connection with the listener normally equals a disposable product rather than a timeless work of art. French Quarter main man Stephen Steinbrink who brings a sad sincerity missing from acoustic guitar-wielding dudes and dudettes who are solely about the performance chutzpah has never penned an emotionally distant tune. A foolproof example is FQ's latest full-length CD and vinyl release, S/T, which is the audio equivalent of somebody curling up with a super-soft, childhood fleece blankie hand-woven by Grandma. The often simple, sometimes sad, and always thought-provoking 10-track effort showcases Steinbrink at his captivating best. "In June" features Steinbrink with overdubbed vocals layered on top of a simple acoustic guitar chord and accompanying piano, while the catchy and uplifting "Build Fires" closes the album with engaging proclamations such as, "Our wills and our ways/Are two very different things/If there's a place I wouldn't show my face/It's the place where I was born." This is comfort food for the fractured or pensive soul.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.