Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Stephen Yerkey - Stinson Beach Road (Metaneonatureboy,2006)
Kurt Wolff, writing in 'Country Music, the Rough Guide,' describes Stephen Yerkey as "one of the greatest little-known songwriters and singers west of the Mississippi. He can moan a gritty blues, growl hard-bitten country from a place deep inside his gut, or whisper the warmth of hope. His voice alone is an amazing instrument, full of quirks and kinks, but at it's core always sturdy, creamy and full-bodied. When Yerkey conjures up visions of cowboys, drunks, and other desperate dreamers, his voice curls and ripples around the words, which jump in all directions but ultimately give in to Yerkey's control, easing to the ground and laying flat out.Behind him a steel guitar cries as the music shifts down low and the night moves onward into early dawn. Yerkey's first band was Nonfiction, which he formed in San Francisco in the 1980's with Chris and Lance Campbell. They put out one record on the English label Demon, and while people in the know practically worshipped the thing, it never made Yerkey much of a living. He worked the clubs in San Francisco for a few years as a solo artist, often teaming up with other local artists like Chuck Prophet, Stephanie Finch, and Patrick Winningham.March 2006 marks Stephen Yerkey's debut on the Chrysalis-owned Echo label. His new CD, 'metaneonatureboy' fuses Yerkey's amazing voice with production legend Eric Drew Feldman.