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Laurie Geltman | No Power Steering

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Rock: Americana Rock: Folk Rock Moods: Featuring Guitar
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No Power Steering

by Laurie Geltman

At the core, a rootsy Neil Young/Band vibe with departures into punk, blues, jazz and more; Geltman plays lead guitar, writes and sings with passion and insight.
Genre: Rock: Americana
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Growing Down
4:59 $0.99
2. Bloodline
5:42 $0.99
3. Payoff
4:18 $0.99
4. Bobby Called From Texas
4:17 $0.99
5. Paris
5:34 $0.99
6. Red, Green, Black & Blue
4:24 $0.99
7. Wonderland
3:52 $0.99
8. Saddle Up Sally
4:33 $0.99
9. Elbow
4:21 $0.99
10. Walk This Plain
3:39 $0.99
11. Ghost In The House
4:37 $0.99
12. I Got Somethin' On You
2:07 $0.99
13. Growing Down (acoustic version)
4:59 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"Geltman's comfortable playing full-tilt rock as well as introspective ballads. She's the whole package." - (Billboard Magazine)

Known for electrifying performances with her band, singer, songwriter and guitarist Laurie Geltman has been placed in high esteem in both rock and acoustic circles. Geltman's ability to cross over from out-and-out rocker to acoustic songsmith has been a constant thread in her career.

Before spreading her music nationally, Laurie Geltman established herself in the vibrant Boston music scene. A Boston Music Award winner for Outstanding Female vocalist (1998), Geltman has garnered a total of 7 nominations in four different BMA categories, was a semi-finalist in the legendary WBCN Rock 'n' Roll Rumble (1997) and showcased twice as a finalist in the now-defunct Acoustic Underground Competition (1991, 1992). In the very crowded Boston singer-songwriter scene, Geltman won the Levi Strauss-Lilith Fair Emerging Talent Search, earning her a spot on the 1998 Lilith Fair Tour. When she's not headlining area clubs or touring nationally, she is called upon to open for some of the biggest acts coming through Boston, from legends like Joe Cocker to rising stars like Susan Tedeschi.

On the road, Laurie Geltman has been making a name for herself as well, touring both solo and with the band. What new audiences often notice first is her guitar playing. Baltimore-born and Boston-bred, Geltman began playing guitar and writing songs at age seven. A self-proclaimed "guitar junkie," Laurie was hooked early on to the sounds of her favorite players: Keith Richards, Jimi Hendrix, Neil Young, Jimmy Page and Robbie Robertson. Respected for being "a top-flight guitarist" and a versatile singer/songwriter, it is Geltman's songwriting that showcases her diversity the most, and parallels her exploration of most musical genres. Critics seem to appreciate Geltman's healthy disrespect for boundaries:

"Geltman deploys elements of rock, folk, country and punk with panache...tying them altogether with well-honed hooks..." - (The Boston Herald)

"Nothing is off limits...Folk, funk, alternative, blues, jazz and good-old rock and roll permeate..." - (Northeast Performer Magazine)

"Geltman's songs contain the lyrical meatiness of folk with a musical jolt of rock, a potent blend." - (The Patriot Ledger)

In Geltman's words: "I like knowing I have a large palette to choose from if I want, but what I write and perform is basically rock music. My definition of 'rock' encompasses attitude and energy as much as volume or instrumentation."

After studying film and art history, and following a sojourn into street playing in Paris, Laurie returned to Boston and earned a degree at Berklee College of Music. A film-score major at Berklee, Geltman recently scored director/writer Kaylyn Thornal's short film A Lot of Green starring Kay Hanley (Letters To Cleo, Disney's "10 Things I Hate About You"). Thornal used Laurie's song "Payoff" as the title track of her critically acclaimed music documentary Payoff in which Geltman, Jen Trynin and Juliana Nash of Talking to Animals were the main subjects.

Her early recordings were for the experimental rock group Vasco Da Gama. When VDG disbanded in the early 90's, Geltman and former bandmate Daniel Kellar had already begun playing-out with various rhythm sections under Geltman's own name. Although Kellar no longer performs with Geltman, his innovative violin sound can be heard on almost all of Geltman's recordings.

Her self-released album, Departure (1992), won enthusiastic praise from critics and fans alike. It was named on several critics' Top 10 lists--a rare feat for a cassette release--and thrust Laurie into the local music spotlight. In the same year, her contribution ("Sway") to the Rolling Stones tribute album Boston Gets Stoned was consistently singled-out as a highlight. The songs were selected by the Stone's producer Jimmy Miller.

1995 began a new phase for the band with the addition of former Del Fuegos and Big Dipper drummer Woody Giessmann and former Letters to Cleo bassist Brian Karp. 1995 also saw the release of a two-song 7" single ("Bobby Called From Texas"/"Paris") to college and AAA stations nationwide. "Paris" was used as one of the lead radio tracks on This Is Boston...Not Austin Vol. 2, a CD compilation produced by Eastern Front Records and Black Wolf Records. In 1996, The TAB voted Laurie's band one of The Top 10 Best Unsigned Bands in Boston.

"Once the right people hear No Power Steering by one of Boston's best kept secrets, Laurie Geltman, we're confident that the perilous jump from the fringes of obscurity to the national limelight will be one of the easiest jumps Geltman will ever have to make - she's that good." - (CMJ New Music Report)

Geltman released her CD No Power Steering in 1997 on her own label (RBP) to critical acclaim. Some of the guests on No Power Steering include Jim Gambino (Swinging Steaks) on organ and piano, A&M recording artist Patty Griffin on backing vocals and Rich Gilbert (Zulu's, Uncle Tupelo, Frank Black) on pedal steel.

Eastern Front Records then re-released her CD nationally in 1998. The CD garnered extensive airplay with over 230 adds and close to 40 stations in heavy rotation in markets as diverse as Berkeley, San Antonio, Cleveland and Anchorage. The band set out on two tours that year, playing clubs, making in-store and radio appearances, and steadily building their audience beyond the Northeast.

In 1999, with her confidence as a band leader and electric guitarist intact, Geltman rediscovered her power on the acoustic guitar while touring and working on new songs for the next CD. Geltman embarked on a successful solo tour of the West Coast and Alaska, opening for more folk oriented performers like Catie Curtis, Cliff Eberhardt and Cheryl Wheeler. Her song "Ghost in The House" is included on the compilation Respond (Signature Sounds) benefiting Respond, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting victims of domestic violence. Respond was named the number one album of 1999 by the editor-in-chief of Billboard Magazine.

Laurie Geltman has shared the stage with such acts as Sarah McLachlan, Morphine, Eric Burdon, Aimee Mann, Freedy Johnston, Joe Cocker, Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin, Marshall Crenshaw, Letters to Cleo, Mary Lou Lord, Leon Russell, Jonatha Brooke, Derek Trucks Band, Amy Rigby, The Push Stars, Chris Whitley, Rick Danko, Old 97's, Dan Zanes, Jen Trynin, Susan Tedeschi, and many more.

Since Geltman's career has always been more about the journey than the destination, it's no wonder her music took her around the world to Nepal in March, 2000. Geltman was invited by promoters of cultural events in Kathmandu to perform a concert benefiting a charity of her choice. Proceeds went to the Snow Lion Foundation, an organization responsible for looking after the education, health and social welfare of Tibetans living in exile in Nepal.



to write a review

Highly recommend - you'll love it. She's as great on disc as live.
Love the CD as much as when I first heard these songs performed at the Prodigal Son in Hyannis, back in 1999. Laurie's as great on this disc as she is live. Highly recommend - you'll love it.

The Boston Phoenix

a consistent knack for pop hooks.
Unlike many writers who work in a roots/folkish vein, she shows a consistent knack for pop hooks.

Cmj New Music Report

With a fertile roots-rock foundation always near or at the fore, Geltman's songs at times sound folky, country-ish, even punk-ish, while her close personal atachments to the songs' subjects is always evident.

Boston Herald

Laurie Geltman's debut CD is a roots-rock winner.
Drenched in ringing guitars, Hammond B3 organ and violin, Boston-based Laurie Geltman's debut CD is a roots-rock winner.
The ex-Vasco Da Gama singer deploys elements of rock, folk, country and punk with panache on "No Power Steering," tying them all together with well-honed hooks and a voice that's tender and corrosive by turns. And Geltman proves herself to be a first-rate guitarist and lyricist as well.
Backed by former members of Letters to Cleo and the Del Fuegos, Geltman has made an album that should catapult her from well-kept local secret to national talent.
"No Power Steering" shows it's a well-earned promotion.

Alan Lewis, New England Music Scrapbook

The melodic landscape is panoramic, and Geltman's timeless music is filled with
Laurie Geltman's songs "come from the heart" and pay "little heed to trends." -- Steve Morse, Boston Globe, May 6, 1997

Laurie Geltman
No Power Steering
Eastern Front (originally released on RBP)

No Power Steering is the work of a sophisticated composer. It features eleven songs and includes two hidden tracks. The melodic landscape is panoramic, and Geltman's timeless music is filled with nuance and texture. This material would be really impressive if it were the work of four or five members of a band. But these songs came out of just one musical imagination--Geltman's--making this achievement all the more remarkable. The beautiful "Walk This Plain" has been running through my head for weeks. As for the hidden tracks, "I've Got Something On You" crackles with rock and roll energy. The alternate version of "Growing Down" is the one I favor; Geltman's singing on that recording is simply gorgeous.

Geltman's attractive voice ranges from a sexy whisper on "Paris" to a punk snarl on "I've Got Something On You." She excels in passages that express heartbreak and longing. Geltman is an accomplished and often passionate electric guitarist, picking in what might be called a traditional, post-Hendrix rock style.

"Red, Green, Black and Blue" is easily one of the album's best tracks.* Brian Karp's ominous bass riff and Daniel Keller's answering violin line blend with shimmering Hammond organ accompaniment by Jim Gambino over Woody Giessmann's muscular drumming. Geltman's singing is impassioned; and though Patty Barkas' vocals are not prominent in the mix, they are always effective. Barkas has long been one of the scene's best backup singers. Keller's skilled, sympathetic violin work is the focus of the mid-song instrumental break; and Geltman's tasty guitar solo at the fade-out leaves the listener wanting more.

The lyrics are the heart of "Red, Green, Black and Blue." The first time through, it seems like a fiery love song; but the last three words in the title suggest something disturbing. There's passion in the opening line, "Love is red, redder than the truest heart." The second verse begins, "Love is green, greener than the springtime fades." Normally, we think of springtime as blooming, not fading. It's the artful use of that word, "fades," that alerts the listener to a shadowy turn in the lyrics. "Fading into darker days. Love is green, but I'll make love to you."

At the time I was doing research for a profile of Geltman, I had special reason to binge on some of my all-time favorite albums; and hearing No Power Steering back-to-back with renowned classics such as the Beatles' Rubber Soul (American version) and lesser-known gems such as Ian and Sylvia's Great Speckled Bird, it was fascinating how well Laurie Geltman's work holds up against really tough competition. She should be very proud. -- Alan Lewis, revised 5/25/2001

Once the right people hear No Power Steering ... we're confident that the perilous jump from the fringes of obscurity to the national limelight will be one of the easiest jumps Geltman will ever have to make--she's that good. -- Glen Sansone, CMJ New Music Report, February 19, 1996

* When I first wrote this notice, I said flat out that "Red, Green, Black and Blue" was the album's best track. Very quickly I realized that on another day I might have picked "Ghost in the House." "Walk This Plain" and the acoustic version of "Growing Down" are other personal favorites.

Copyright © 2001 by Alan Lewis. All rights reserved.

New England Music Scrapbook News