Steve Azar - Slide On Over Here

Known for his hit "I Don't Have To Be Me ('Til Monday)" Steve Azar has nonetheless moved on past that hit with his brand of soulful country rock.  With "Slide On Over Here" Steve delivers his 4th album.  Is it worth picking up?

Even if his last record Indianola didn’t garner any big radio hits (there were a couple of ‘should’ve been hits’ on there), It did allow Steve to tour with Bob Seger and the experience touring with Seger is evident on Steve’s second Ride Records album, Slide On Over Here.  Produced by Steve and Justin Neibank, the 13 tracks presented on the album remind me more of the Steve Azar I quickly grew fond as a High School student 13 years ago. 

The record starts with “I’ll Find Me,” a slice of authentic country/rock that speaks to Azar singing about finding himself after the loss of a woman.  While the lyrics could be considered as nothing more than the latest concoction from a Nashville committee, “I’ll Find Me” never feels that way, likely due to the bluesy slide-guitar and Azar’s stellar vocal approach.  This is a song that makes for a great introduction to a Steve Azar record and quite possibly the best song to open his stage show with.  The second track on the record, “Sunshine” is everything that “I’ll Find Me” is not.  It’s a ballad with a gorgeous electric guitar leading the melody over percussive shakers and hand drums and harmonica.  This is a song about a man who is so befuddled that he ‘finally got it right’ to find the woman of his dreams.  This is one of those no-doubter, romantic love songs that just feels like a hit.  Radio (of multiple types) would be fools to not play this song.

The single “Moo La Moo” is currently inside the country Top 50 and it’d take a stroke of luck for radio to play this fun little slice-of-life vignette about a man who can’t help but laugh at his situation.  He can’t help but feel good because his ‘bottom line is downright funky because there’s "too much month at the end of the money,” a situation that is sure to be instantly relatable to thousands of everyday folk out there.  Songwriter James House (who had a few hits in the 1990s himself) co-wrote five of the best songs on the record including “Hard Road,” (where the phrase “Slide On Over Here” came from).  It’s a bluesy, summer road song that rolls across the ears gently while touching upon country themes. 

Steve co-wrote “Apart At The Seams” with  James House and Jeff Mitchell and it’s an interesting lyrical song about a guy who is trying everything in his life back together but then he allows his mind to wander back to the woman.  It’s another inventive (and catchy) song that could fit in well with radio, if they would give it a spin or two and let the audience do the talking.  Written with pop singer/songwriter Josh Kelley (brother of Lady Antebellum’s vocalist Charles Kelley), “Sinkin’ Or Swimmin’ (With You)” is a greasy, delta country song that, too, could find a home on multiple radio stations, if given the shot.  “Take Your Time (Ryan’s Song)” is an interesting song about watching a girl grow up before a guy’s eyes and realizing that he has been in the same position and cautions the girl to “Take your time” because life does eventually get where you want it to go (growing up). 

“Starting Today” finds Steve contemplating about the beauty that is life and how we always proclaim that we’re gonna do something.  It’s a great song about looking forward instead of looking back and that everything’s gonna be ok,  starting today.  Steve Azar may not be the biggest ‘star’ of the past decade or so but he certainly is one of country's most versatile. Slide On Over Here only further showcases this.

You can support Steve Azar by purchasing this album at Amazon | iTunes icon| eMusic.