Cold Winter, Bright Future

(Free download of The Things We Wish We Were. Thanks so much for coming along for the ride)

Newton, MA

Boy, what a weird couple weeks it’s been. Everything from losing Bowie and Glenn Frey, to the real doldrums of the winter. In short, not the brightest of times.

Of course on the plus side, it’s only 30 days or so until pitchers and catchers show up for spring training, and that means warmer weather is not that far off.

Until that time, we stay warm, and in our case we try and make a little music.

On that note, it occurs to me we really never talked about how this band came to be. And, first, it’s probably good to clarify what I mean by “we” and “this band.”

Steeling Time is by and large me (Chris Steele) working by myself. However that doesn’t mean that this is a complete solo project.  I’ve had the great privilege of playing with a lot of great musicians over the years, including but not limited to the band that I was part of her many years – Tunnel 18.  Some of the same people that were part of that band – as well as Wellcurbs, and a couple of other bands have all contributed ideas, or at least been really incredible sounding boards on the work I’ve been doing.

A few very good friends have been along for the ride, too.  Pushing for each new song, telling me what works, what really says something, and what’s perhaps a little too clever for it’s own good….

It’s also not to say that it will always be a solo project. I’m desperately interested in getting a full band together. Music on a disk and blasting from the speakers is great, but music in front of an audience is something special. And I think it doesn’t get completely real until that crowd is there.

In the meantime though, I can’t tell you how thankful I am for all of you who have been listening so far, and I wanted to give you a little present. Up on Soundcloud right now is a free download of one of the songs off of the first album (Time & Motion). The Things We Wish We Were is a great song about dreams and making them come true. It’s also a little bit about the fear and excitement that comes when you’re just about to make something special happen. It’s my wish that it does. And I hope that maybe it inspires you to find your dream too.

Thanks so much, and we look forward to talking to you again soon.

Music Matters

Newton, MA

(Find downloadable tracks from Time & Motion here, and all of the new Robbing the Cradle tunes here!)

Thank you so much for clicking through to the blog, and I hope you’re enjoying both what I’m writing here as well as the music our little band is putting out.

It’s been a little while since I put a blog post up, but I wanted to take this particular mom2016-01-06 22.53.26ent to thank you all for listening, and for joining us on this ride. The simple fact that you’re reading this and listening to us means that you must share something of the love that we have for music and what it has meant in our lives.

For me, all this starts about the age of six or seven, listening with friends to the Steve Miller band on an old LP player, pretending that we were playing along.  This then quickly proceeded to using my own money to buy my first LP records with incredible artwork.  Starting with Styx and Kiss, the Cars and then moving on to Cheap Trick, Tom Petty, Pink Floyd, Yes, and eventually Rush.  I listened to everything I could; I listened hard and read everything, and then dreamed…

These bands took the care to put themselves into not just their songs, but into entire albums.  These albums oozed human effort, warts and all.  They weren’t pristine, they weren’t perfect, but they were real expressions of the human heart animg368d mind bringing forth the soul in a way where you paid full and rapt attention.  And these albums were things you had to wait for, because they were being written and crafted in such away (and without the crutches of digital alteration and correction) that there’s real care, and real human performance.

The great thing is is that some of this magic has continued. Bands like Nirvana and Kyuss, and then Porcupine Tree, NIN, Dream Theater, Queens of the Stone Age and Foo Fighters keep putting out great album oriented concepts.  Collections of songs that don’t just advertise for 3 minutes, but instead take you on a journey.

It’s really hard to explain to anyone below the age of 30 what that feeling is like. That spending that seven dollars to get that collection of 10 or a dozen songs that you would then sit there and listen to over and over again. And importantly, these were albums – collections of songs that hung together and told the story, or at least told the story of where that band was at a particular point in time. They were snapshots of life put to music. Dreams in motion.DSC01551a

We are trying to carry-on in that same tradition. Writing songs that stand on their own and tell a story, but which also hold together as a total album.  Collections where you can put the disc in (and maybe eventually put the LP on) and lose yourself in a story or a mood for a half hour or an hour.

Time and Motion does that. What we’re putting together for Robbing the Cradle will do that.  Already have the basics of the songs set up, and we’ll make the collection available in bits as we have it. We will also put a few downloadables up on Bandcamp when we think they’re ready.

But… please reach out to us and let us know what you think! Let us know what you like, and what you’d like to hear more of.  Also let us know about the music that’s made a difference in your life! It’s a grand journey, life. Let us know what your soundtrack sound like!

And… Maybe you could share our music with others like us. People who want to hear real songs laying out stories of life and love and really loud guitars. You know, the good stuff!

(PS – the photos above? Yeah, that’s me, Chris – main songwriter and curator of the blog. One photo from age 16 and one from December….)

A Little Early Present…

HolidayNewton, MA

Happy holidays everyone! 2015 has been a great year for Steeling Time, and we hope it has been for you too.

When Time and Motion came out, it was incredible for us – more than we’d hoped.  And yet, it left us a little lost…

2015 started with that little to-do: “Record and release an album…”  Then we did that, and it provided the spark for something special.

We looked around a little bit and try to figure out what was going to happen next. And there’s a lot of happen next to happen yet (we still have about half a band missing, for example.)

We’ve made some progress on that front, and for 2016 the biggest goal is to get out of there and start playing live. That’s gonna be some combination of some of us performing for open mic, and then – with a little luck – having a full band together so that we can do some pub and bar shows later on in the year. Ideally, this then turns into a little on the road time soon after that.

So, speaking of on the road.…

We have a little present for you. As has been mentioned in this blog a few times, we’ve been working on new material which will eventually become an album called Robbing the Cradle – in honor of and reference to the legendary Cats Cradle in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where our own musical tastes got broadened (considerably!)

We’ve already recorded a couple of different tracks. Some of them are more together than others, but two of them are ready now, we wanted to share them with you as a little bit of a holiday present.

First is a song about being away from home and wanting to come back. Ironically, “Take Me Home” was also the title of an old Tunnel 18 song from a long while back. Chris reused some of the bridge and the main riff in the solo section, but the feel and message of the song is different.  Without getting too much into it, it’s here for you to listen to and enjoy as you go ahead and enjoy your holiday with friends and family.

The next – the B side, if you know what that means – is “Pleased to Meet You,” may be the song you start to hum when it’s time to go home after being with friends and family a little too long… It’s actually a song written during a too-long business trip, and pretty much speaks for itself.

So, Happy Holidays from Steeling Time! We have much getting ready to share with you in 2016, and really, really hope to see you in person sometime very soon!

Satori in Geneva

File Nov 19, 5 09 37 PM

Geneva, NY

If you ever find yourself in Geneva, NY (a great little city in the Finger Lakes), you must go to Area Records & Music. Ask for Jeff. He gets it. I just walked in there a little while ago and talked about guitars, small guitar stores competing with the big guys, how Gibson and Fender are completely alienating their customer base, and why you make music in the first place.

He told me about how so many of the kids come in and they want to make money and impress girls. Invariably, these are the kids who come back in a couple of weeks wanting to return the guitar because it’s too hard to learn how to play. Anything that’s worthwhile doing is hard at first.

On top of that, the reason you learn how to play music is not to make money and to impress girls. That might be a useful side effect later, but the reason that you learn to play music is because there’s music inside you that you need to be able to play. There’s something inside you that needs to get out, and the instrument is the way it gets there.

The instrument is the tool that gives voice to your soul.

Shifting gears entirely…

The guys from Rush once said that they never had any outtakes from any albums, because why would you ever work on a song that you weren’t going to put on an album?

Kinda wish I had that discipline.

Instead, the first album had at least four songs that didn’t make it onto the album. Some of them made it onto the Soundcloud site, but will never actually make it to disk.   (They’ll be those “deep tracks” we pull out for extra special audiences live…)

And, already, Robbing the Cradle has been cut from 13 songs down to 11. Largely because the other two just don’t fit. It’s one of the struggles about writing an album rather than writing a song. The songs need to work together. They need to be of a theme, and of a feel. There are each like scenes from a movie, and need to hang together in order to tell the overall story.

So, what I’m getting around to saying in a fairly long way is that the album is taking longer to write, but is getting much better as it goes along.

The good news is that production has started on a couple of songs, and with a little bit of good luck, maybe we’ll have some new music coming your way before the end of the year. And buy new music I’m not just talking about one song, but maybe a few so you can get a flavor of where we’re going.

And don’t forget in the meantime, time and motion is available at CDbaby and you can listen on Spotify.

What do you call this thing, anyway?

Maine

Bangor, ME

A few pieces of news over the past couple of weeks, all of them good. First of all, just found out that our album is up on Spotify. Yay! Didn’t actually realize that was going to happen but I guess that’s all part and parcel of the CD Baby thing. Really very cool!

Also, looking to add a few open mic gigs in the Newton, Mass area (west of Boston) sometime over the next couple of months. We will post these as that all becomes a little bit clearer.

Finally, I found out quite to my surprise earlier today that some of our CDs have been making their way around Portland, ME a little bit. I sent a couple up to some friends, and they’ve been showing them around. Walked into a room earlier today and somebody said: “oh you’re the guy with the band, and that album!  It’s really cool stuff! Classic rock?”

So, this next thing is going to probably be a stupid question:  What do you call this stuff, anyway?

With been trying not to be too pedantic trying to classified as anyone thing. To me it’s always sounded like 90s alternative rock. Maybe y’all think it something else?

Please let us know. Just kinda curious.