Reviewed by Kit Burns
Steven Palmer/Morning Road
You feel at home listening to the music of Steven Palmer. It has a cozy, soothing quality, like the soundtrack of childhood memories, voices from the past given a ghostly spell from the years gone by. On the opening title cut, Palmer sounds like three of the most popular singer/songwriters of all time – John Denver, Dan Fogelberg, and James Taylor – in one song. His voice shifts emotions throughout the track, but the consistency of his heart never wavers. Erynn Marshall’s fiddle soars on “Going Home” as Palmer’s warm vocals are pushed to the front of the mix. I’m reminded of another acoustic icon, Gordon Lightfoot. Palmer has exquisite taste in influences if my ears are accurately pinpointing them.
Palmer is a terrific guitar player, most often aiming for cinematic prettiness as on “Educated Touch,” wherein you can savor every affectionate moment of his 12-string. Although Palmer’s foundation is in acoustic folk, he never limits himself to it, flirting with jazzy sensibilities on “I’m in Love” and the blues on “Walk On.” He covers the multiple genres so well that you can easily imagine him recording a separate album for each one.