Most songs are born in the safety of writing rooms or studios. The title song for Steve Mayone’s fifth solo album Sideways Rain was conceived on Interstate 35 during a hurricane while driving through the Rockies in Colorado. “Something tells me I’m in trouble now” was the hook that came to Mayone as he navigated his car through the maelstrom. The wind shook the car and he had to take refuge under a bridge. For the next three years he weathered further storms when he lost his brother to suicide and his mother to long illness. Slowly his world splintered apart, but songwriting was always Mayone’s solace. He said, “Music is my therapy, and I was able to heal through the process of writing.” Sideways Rain represents his emergence from darkness to light, from misery to epiphany.
The songs on Sideways Rain tell the stories of passages: the death of family members, first time fatherhood, moving to Brooklyn, new beginnings, leaving old friends and finding new ones. In the end, Mayone understands that change is a part of life and death – letting go, moving forward, having hope for the future. Though he states in the title track “I don’t think I’ll be the same again”, he knows that isn’t always such a bad thing.
Sideways Rain contains all the benchmarks of Mayone’s music: Beatle-esque pop, acoustic ballads reminiscent of Bob Dylan, and snatches of the Grateful Dead’s twang and story telling. As Shindig raves; “[Mayone] switches easily from rootsy Americana to well crafted power pop [and] he proves himself equally adept at country ballads based on banjo and fiddle. Whatever style he plays in, Mayone has a knack for a good tune.”
For Sideways Rain, Mayone pulled together veterans of the Boston and NYC music scenes. Produced by Andy Plaisted, it features the playing of Russell Chudnofky (Tanya Donnelly, Lori McKenna), Jason Mercer (Ron Sexsmith, Ani DiFranco) and James Rohr (The Blue Ribbons, Lake Street Dive) plus writing collaborations with Matt Keating, Peter Mulvey and Paul Cebar.
A dash of Jerry Garcia…a pinch of Paul Simon…throw on a sprinkling of George Harrison…and you might be close to describing Steve Mayone’s music.
Calling Brooklyn NY his home, Steve Mayone has been a mainstay on the northeast US music scene for over 20 years, releasing five albums and touring the United States, Canada, and Europe. As a songwriter and performer, he’s garnered praise from both sides of the pond: Americana-UK says “Mayone ties up all of Americana, folk, classic and roots-rock, effortlessly flowing from one to the next and never at a loss for interest.” The Santa Monica Mirror notes: “Winning Rock… blessed with a sweet 1960’s pop sensibility”.
“Steve Mayone writes some of the most beautiful melodies you’ll ever hear. His new album, ‘Sideways Rain,’ is rife with flowing pop evoking the Beatles and Traveling Wilburys at times, along with some folk-flavored ballads that exude a romantic and bittersweet glow. It is the work of a career musician who still has much magic left in his trick bag. He touches on survival, loss, politics and renewal. It is an album you will play over and ponder because it has more depth than most of his contemporaries combined.”
Steve Morse, long-time Boston Globe staff critic and teacher of Rock History, Berklee College of Music.
Steve Mayone will be touring the Netherlands, UK and Italy from June 16-July 16 in Annie Keating’s band:
JUNE 16 House Concert, Nootdorp NL
JUNE 17 In the Woods, Utrecht NL
JUNE 18 Lazy Sonnie, Son en Breugel NL
JUNE 19 Podium Cafe, Steendham NL
01. Letting You Go (4:34)
02. So Many People Get it Wrong (2:50)
03. What Good (3:11)
04. Sideways Rain (3:54)
05. The Long Way Home (2:40)
06. Rescue Me (2:59)
07. Time Moves On (2:39)
08. New Years Resolution (3:08)
09. It’s Beautiful (3:52) (explicit language)
10. Pretty Mama (3:54)
11. Early Morning Train (2:23)
12. Strange Bird (3:38)
13. Save You (3:43)