If you’ve been along for the ride here for some time now, you may have heard me talk about artist Jeremy Steding at length through the winter and early spring. He’s an artist that has taken his love for classic country and worked to pay homage to the traditionalists in his own music. He walks that line of new-old country, a style that many of us still crave to this day. You’ll be listening and maybe can’t quite put your finger on just how he and many others accomplish this. It feels fresh and new, but also familiar and has a throwback nature to it all at the same time. If you’re unfamiliar with his work, you have to pick-up a copy of his latest album, Odessa.
As a whole, Odessa pays tribute to Steding’s love for the Lonestar state. Despite not being a Texan by birth and native of Florida, he originally planted his music roots in Texas and Red Dirt country. There are more artists than people realize that were adopted into the Texas scene despite being outsiders by birth. Having since moved to Nashville for the next phase of his career, Steding still regularly performs there and passionately sings about Texas in his songs.
There are moments during Odessa that touch on the hardships of being away from home, literally and figuratively. Through some of our early lives, we aren’t always so sure-footed in our decisions on our path. At times, we think we are heading on the straight and arrow, yet there are moments and people that make us question ourselves. Blaming others for our misfortunes and failing to look at our ourselves and our own influence on our actions. Feels So Good To Be Back Home represents the obvious difficulty of being away home, but also the journey of finding one’s self. From the days of partying it up, to slowing down and starting a family and realizing our purpose in life, this song has it all. Not to mention the arrangement is just perfection, as is so much of this album.
The same can be found on Get Me The Hell Off This Rig, an experience that so many in Texas can relate to. Having learned some about the oil industry myself over the years through Texans, it’s an all consuming lifestyle. Artists like Cody Riley have found good work with it, but it’s a tough life. Jordan Kirk is another artist who worked on an Oil Rig as well. It’s hard on any family with just the sheer amount of your time it consumes, but further more, it hinders aspirations. Steding sings about how:
it was only supposed to be for a little while, 15 years ago now
Traveling the world and meeting a woman have all been pushed to the back burner. The money problems due to poor spending habits. It all adds to the woes of the man Steding sings about and makes us feel for him as he watches his prime years slip away. Time we all take for granted.
Jeremy was kind enough to take some time out of his busy schedule to make an acoustic video of one of my favorite track son the album, All These Lights for my YouTube Channel. Almost grungy rock with the loud hammering of the electric guitar, it illustrates his frustrations and regret about a past relationship. Just one listen to the album, will enlighten the listener on Steding’s ability to change tones with impressive ease without feeling forced. It’s one of the take-a ways I’ve had with his music as a whole.
Need some more proof? Give a listen to Late Night Love Song and I Need A Texas Song, one of which is a ballad and the latter and classic twangy honky tonk shuffle. My first introduction to Steding’s music came from 105.3 The Red Dirt Rebel and their playing of Late Night Love Song during the winter. The soft tender melody treats us to the magic of a couple swept up in each other to the sounds of real, classic country. Loving through a night filled with passion, it’s a memorable track that gives the awesome fiddle a chance to really shine. While more upbeat and rowdy, I Need A Texas Song will certainly bring the house down each night. There are acknowledgments to some of the places that Steding has seen during his travels, but his captivation of Texas makes comparison a moot point. The exclusiveness of Gruene Hall makes an appearance here, despite his realization to all that Broadway has to offer. Texas is special. Because it’s, well, Texas!
Jeremy Steding is not just a talented country musician, he’s a heck of a good guy as well, and someone that I will gladly spend my hard earned dollars on. Odessa is available at all your favorite online music retailers and locally in Texas so be sure to pick-up a copy to see what he’s all about.
Just a Massachusetts guy supporting Texas and other independent country/Americana artists.
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