Prog

STEVE HOWE

Homebrew 7 HOWESOUND

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Yes guitarist at his intimate, organic best.

By its very nature, the skeletal charm of the home demo makes artists sound all the more human. On Homebrew 7, Steve Howe, presents his seventh collection of (largely) guitar-based sketches. With most tracks around the two minute mark, it paints a picture of an artist who simply can’t stop making music.

Unlike previous Homebrews, the 21 tracks here haven’t gone on to form the basis of future songs – what is here is what will be. There’s the groove of 2015’s Tender Hooks; the sweet Spanish guitar flourishes of A Lady She Is. In One Life from 1982 sounds amazingly like Young Marble Giants; a drum machine puttering away, spindly guitar and six-string bass offering a sparse, robotic funk. Strange Wayfarer is a jaunty little piece (“a bit silly… slightly annoying too,” Howe writes in the accompanyi­ng booklet). It’s nice to hear Howe’s humour coming through; it’s often easy to overlook his warmth and wit, especially as he often appears as the frosty professor to Rick Wakeman’s nightclub comedian.

Homebrew 7 won’t change the world; nor does it set out to. It just offers more valuable insight to one of prog’s most esteemed guitarists.

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