Released on March 17 It's Time, the new release from West Coast blues masters Steve Kozak Band has garnered the award-winning artist and his bandmates critical acclaim and extensive airplay at home and abroad.
Here's what some of the reviewers had to say:
“Kozak's a fine writer with lots more to talk about then the usual woman done me wrong songs… This highly adaptable group shifts easily from jump blues and r'n'b to electric sizzle, but everything is played with a sense of history and respect for the form. Things are happening out west.” – Top 100 Canadian Singles
“There’s almost an avuncular feel about Kozak’s swinging R&B, recalling Bill Haley’s version of rock n roll in its gently-braying saxes, understated jazzabilly guitar and polite Chicago shuffling. Yet, when Kozak adds a greasy guitar riff and a slight Latinate beat, this makes for first-class dance music…” Blues and More Again
“If you like your blues to come wrapped up in a swingin’ sound with vintage production techniques, get ready to do some time traveling with the Steve Kozak Band and their particular brand of West Coast blues… there’s doubt when you spin this bad boy that you’re listening to real deal blues.” – Gonzo Online / The Rock Doctor
About Steve Kozak
You only need three things to play the blues: a good guitar, an innate understanding of the music and thirty years in which to do it. Maple Blues Award winner Steve Kozak qualifies on all three counts. The latest offering from this seasoned Canadian bluesman offers a tasty mix of blues as seen through a decidedly West Coast lens.
The aptly named new release It's Time prophetically and succinctly states that putting in time is indeed a prerequisite of being a great musician, with some veteran bluesmen even attaining the status of venerable, beating time itself at its own game. Time is also about understanding the past. One cannot play American roots music with conviction and credibility without a solid understanding of the evolution of the genre.
This new album is a mix of fairly obscure covers and self-penned tunes. After several listening sessions, it soon becomes apparent that Steve Kozak is coming into his own as a talented songwriter. Augmented by very tasty licks and understated riffs, it is a cohesive musical statement weaving different facets of the blues into a seamless ensemble.
A cover of the very cool Brook Benton song “Kiddio” particularly appeals, with its catchy turnaround and infectious melody, Kozak has put a real polish on this tune. The Magic Sam number “Every Night and Every Day” conveys a sense of immediacy and delves deep into the blues.
Kozak's own “Trouble” evokes a real Louisiana Bayou feel and could have been recorded in Eddie Shuler's garage at Goldband Records, but with less whiskey and more microphones. Then there is another Kozak composition called “That's Cool with Me”, a rollicking R&B number reminiscent of the heyday of Specialty Records with a hint of Louis Jordan; a real barn burner.
Two other stand-out tracks are “A Stranger in My Hometown” and “Goin' Fishin'”, both written by Steve Kozak, are autobiographical and deeply personal. The former can be interpreted in several ways. One can think of rock 'n' rollers feeling out of place in rapidly gentrifying urban centres. In a broader sense, it can also be indicative of the alienation the average working musician may feel in this digital age. The latter track is more straightforward and literal. It speaks of the simple joys of going fishing. If there is one thing that Kozak loves as much as guitar slinging, it's getting out on the water for a day of fishing.
All in all, It's Time offers a colourful palette of musical expression with a cohesive theme that gives a loving acknowledgement to that multifaceted thing we call the blues.
It’s Time Track Listing
1. Cane Sugar Sweet (3:10)
2. You May (3:53)
3. Messed Up (2:59)
4. Every Night and Every Day (5:06)
5. Kiddio (3:58)
6. Trouble (3:41)
7. One Woman I Need (4:33)
8. That’s Cool with Me (2:47)
9. Stranger in My Hometown (3:57)
10. Tell Me Why (5:54)
11. Love Life & Money (5:46)
12. Goin’ Fishin’ (4:33)
Steve Kozak – guitars and vocals
Dave Webb - piano and Hammond organ
Roger Brant – bass
Chris Nordquist – drums
With special guests The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer, Jerry Cook & Dave Vidal