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Steve Case | Somewhere Where I'm Not

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Somewhere Where I'm Not

by Steve Case

Join Steve Case on his musical journey of one man in a van taking a year driving around Australia with unforgettable melodies and huge sing along choruses.
Genre: Folk: Folk-Rock
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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Living the Dream
3:41 $1.00
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2. Campfire Song
3:00 $1.00
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3. The Tree
4:17 $1.00
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4. Distant Shores
4:00 $1.00
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5. Older Wiser
3:40 $1.00
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6. Somewhere Where I'm Not
2:53 $1.00
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Steve Case - Somewhere Where I'm Not

After years of working behind a desk and slowly suffocating from the boredom of white collar work, singer-songwriter Steve Case cracked it!
Within weeks Case chucked in his career, farewelled his Brisbane friends and the comforts of home, bought a van and hit the road on a year-long solo adventure driving around Australia.
By the time he got back to his home town of Wagga Wagga, NSW, he had driven more than 28,000kms and collected a swag of songs, stories and memories of his time on the road.
Despite living an unremarkable middle-class life up to that point, Case was surprised as to how easily he adapted to life as a travelling troubadour.
"I've always lived pretty simply, not needing much apart from food, water and a guitar," he says.
"I feel I was destined to eventually find my place on the road playing music, but it took a massive leap for me to actually break free from the trappings and expectations of my previous life and totally devote myself to music which is the only thing that has ever made any sense to me."
His experiences on the road have provided the inspiration for his latest release "Somewhere Where I'm Not".


Somewhere Where I'm Not Ep

"Travelling around the country, singing for your supper and being the master of your own destiny is something a lot of people whom I met were envious of and inspired by," Case says.
Many folks labelled him a "grey nomad in training" and said he was certainly "living the dream".
"When I sat down to decide on what songs to include on the Ep, I was concerned that some of the subject matter or sentiment was too cheesy to put out in the public domain.
"However, all of the songs are honest and true to my experiences of travelling around this magnificent country."
For the recording of the Ep, Case returned to where it all began years ago at well known and respected country musician Grant Luhrs' Flying Fox Studios.
"I came late to song writing as I never really had the confidence to pursue it but one day I decided to record a few songs on a cassette and post them to Grant for some feedback as I was too shy and nervous to speak with him face to face in case he thought I was terrible," Case says.
Luhrs was impressed with the material and was instrumental in bringing Case out of his musical shell, firstly with some solo acoustic recordings and later producing hist first Ep.
"It felt right to record with Grant again and I was happy to make the most of the home town hospitality during this time."
The Ep features big sing along choruses provided by the "Campfire Choir" and reflects the experiences of singing with others around a campfire at night.
"I really wanted to capture that group feel on the songs and make the choruses sound big and I think we achieved that thanks to the campfire choir."


The Songs

Track 1: Living The Dream

This is the first track on the CD and the last one I wrote whilst on the road. It's an autobiographical account of the past year having chucked in my old life to travel around in a van playing music to anyone and everyone who would listen and essentially "Live The Dream". I drove around Australia in an anti-clockwise direction so literally to my left there was land and to my right was the ocean. I've realised that "home" isn't four walls and a picket fence, it's about being in the company of friends and wherever you feel happiest.


Track 2: Campfire Song

This song is about my time spent playing around the campfire to guests at the Undara Outback Resort in far north Queensland. It is by far the most light-hearted and cheesiest song I have ever written but it is absolutely honest and true to my experiences there. It was a wonderful opportunity for me, having an intimate listening audience every night around the campfire and I feel I learned a lot about being a performer during this time. I also met a lot of interesting people from here and abroad.


Track 3: The Tree

Musically this song was inspired by a riff that my guitarist and good mate James Speet had been playing around with for a while. One day while killing time on the road I just started messing around with it and all of a sudden I had a new song! Lyrically the song is quite dark with the subject matter being about rural suicides. On my travels I met a few different couples who related similar stories about their sons who had sadly taken their own lives due to the pressure of trying to make a living off the land.


Track 4: Distant Shores

This song relates the ghost story of Cathal and Catherine Spense. As legend has it, Cathal was transported to Australia as punishment for a crime committed in Ireland. In 1877, his wife Catherine could no longer live without the love of her life and so she sailed to Australia to be with him. On the night of their intended reunion she waited on the shores of Albany for Cathal as he rowed his boat from nearby Oyster Harbour. Unfortunately when he saw her on the shore he got all excited, furiously waving and jumping up and down, and he toppled out of his boat and drowned. Catherine is said to have collapsed and died of shock and her ghost still haunts the shores where she pines for her poor husband lost to the tides of the Southern Ocean. The song also reflects more generally the idea that if you lose your soul mate you will eventually meet again if you truly wish for it.


Track 5: Older Wiser

This song was inspired by a lady whom I observed bush dancing at a Folk Festival which I attended early on in my travels. She looked exactly how I imagine a girl whom I used to date will look like in her older age. She was visibly older than this girl I knew but she still looked lovely as she glided effortlessly around the floor. It got me thinking about how things may have turned out if this girl I knew liked me as much as I liked her and how cool it may have been to grow old together.


Track 6: Somewhere Where I'm Not

I came up with this song during the copious amount of downtime experienced while working my desk job and listening to a lot of Flight of The Conchords. It's a simple, light-hearted little tune that has seemingly resonated with a lot of people who are either living the dream or longing to do so. It was recorded live with the "campfire choir" as an afterthought before we wrapped it all up in the studio - but I think it's a fitting finale to the Ep.



Reviews of Steve Case's previous release "Leaving Home"

Chris Spencer - "Trad N Now" Magazine

This isn't folk - this is pure unadulterated pop!
Ah but what melodies! What harmonies!
Other reviewers have called his genre, folk country pop; others mention blues, but I didn't find much of this influence on this recording.
From the delicate opening of Four Walls, Case impresses with his pop sensibility and his strong songwriting.
He is supported by musicians who are understated, a producer who is sympathetic to the cause and who provides a delicious mix of instruments.
Hell or High Water is a highlight with its country tinges, provided by the steel pedal playing of Joe Cryle.
In contrast, the title track, isn't as strong, but is lifted by the backing vocals of Sarah Collyer and a thudding drum pattern that is a credit to the producer, Martin MacDonald.
At times I am reminded of the vocals of someone like James Taylor, particularly on Home Town in which the song begins with just Steve singing unaccompanied, and gradually he is joined by backing instruments - the too short electric guitar solo by James Speet is exquisite.
The Runner ironically slows down the tempo a bit and again we have the pedal steel, moaning and whining underneath.
I found myself humming along to a couple of these songs, an indication that Case can write a catchy melody.
Finally, the last song, Ballad of Joe, is another gem.
Lyrically, Case has avoided the usual love songs, and has written about leaving home, reminiscing on his origins and his place in the world.
Case is originally from Wagga Wagga, but now resides in Brisbane, where this ep was recorded.
I look forward to a full length album.


Steve Tyson - Trad N Now Magazine

I have to admit to a bias upfront here.
I am a big fan of Steve Case's music.
I played a few shows with Steve in Brisbane over the past couple of years, and got to hear his material first hand.
Suffice to say I was mightily impressed.
Steve originally hails from Wagga Wagga, but left there to move to Brisbane a couple of years ago, serious about getting his music to a bigger audience.
His development as a songwriter and a performer in that period of time has been quite amazing.
I guess being away from home provides plenty of fuel for new songs, so it is no surprise that this mini-album "Leaving Home" has that as the underlying theme throughout its six tracks.
Some of the songs speak in a straightforward manner about the place Steve left behind, such as "Home Town", with a line making reference to the sign at the entrance to Wagga Wagga that tells you the place is so good they named it twice.
You can almost feel the pain in Steve's voice as he sings about being away from family and friends.
"Four Walls" deals with the exactly opposite emotion, the feeling of being hemmed in, living in a country town.
"The Runner" reflects on an unsettled life, moving from place to place, whilst the "Ballad of Joe" tells the story of a young kid essentially abandoned by his family, a kid "always on the wrong side of right".
The title track is sort of self-explanatory, but is a real highpoint of the record.
It might seem that these are all pretty simple themes that have been dealt with a million times before by countless songwriters, but these songs cut through, they tug at your heart, and never for a moment do you feel as if you've heard it all before.
A large part of the reason for that is Steve's voice and delivery.
Musically, the material sits somewhere between "Harvest"-era Neil Young, "Massachusetts"-era Bee Gees, and Whiskeytown-era Ryan Adams.
When I hear Steve's voice, I hear Cat Stevens, or Barry Gibb (before he got tight pants).
But there is passion and earnestness in bucketloads.
Steve recorded the album with the help of the Common Trees, a couple of guys who played regularly with him live, plus a couple of serious studio ring-ins.
James Speet plays some tasty, understated electric guitar throughout, and David Law's piano is the key to "Four Walls" in particular.
Laurie Keating plays drums, and on bass, Steve was able to secure the services of Brisbane folk legend Mark Cryle.
I'll bet Mark was a hell of a sounding board in the studio.
Mark's son Joe contributes on pedal steel.
One of the main features of the record is the vocal contribution of Sarah Collyer, herself a wonderful songwriter predominantly in the jazz vein.
Sarah's combination with Steve is truly special, reminding me of the Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris collaborations all those years ago.
If there is to be a criticism it is simply this - the record is too short at just 6 tracks...but what is it they say about always leaving your audiences wanting more?
Steve has recently left Brisbane and has set off on a year-long journey around Australia.
He will be popping up at festivals, playing blackboard shows whenever possible.
So he is certainly taking the notion of "Leaving Home" to the nth degree.
You can help him out by buying this fine mini-album through the Trad & Now shop for only $12.
Believe me, it will be money well spent.


Country Music Capital News - December 2011

Whilst singer songwriter Steve Case isn't quite sure where he fits in he says he is having all sorts of fun trying to find out.
It took what he says "an ironic twist" to move from Wagga Wagga to the city of Brisbane to discover a love of country music where he's reconnected with his country roots.
Four Walls is that claustrophobic feeling of a small town and wanting to get out; Hell or High Water is about making that change; Leaving Home's storyline is about Steve heading north in his Pop's old care and all those 'firsts' of being away from home; Home Town is a lovely ode to Wagga Wagga "so good they named it twice" and a wish that there was two of himself to split between home and his new city life, The Runner was written on the way from Qld to NSW to attend the Tamworth Country Music Festival where he thought if he just kept driving he'd soon be back in Wagga Wagga; and the final track Ballad of Joe is about his cousin who didn't have such a great upbringing and Steve how Joe's lonely life may have been.


Rhythms Magazine Review - September 2011 - Martin Jones

Having packed up to leave his home town of Wagga Wagga for a new life in Brisbane, Steve Case wrote a kind of concept release about it. At six songs, Leaving Home is somewhere between an album and an Ep and is centred around the self-explanatory title track.
As for the rest of the material, Case says, "When I sat down to decide which songs to record, I soon realised the best songs all had the theme of 'home' at their core." 'Home Town' explores the town he left behind, the place "so good they named it twice," whilst 'Four Walls' explores the other side to the coin - small town claustrophobia.
Some might find the straightforward way in which Case approaches such evidently personal matter a little simplistic, but to me his charm lies in his ingenuity.
Case even has one of those pure, blue-eyed '70s voices that presents anything he sings as unflinchingly sincere.
Add some sweet early '70s country rock instrumentation and you have a pretty convincing formula.


The Drum Media - 16 August 2011

The Leaving Home (Independent) Steve Case & The Common Trees refer to is apparently his walking away from a life spent watching life in Wagga Wagga.
There is a thoughtful loneliness in the music, the quietness of it entangling you, before some gentle country swing pulls you out. Clever.


Rave Magazine - July 2011 - Sam Hagaman

Cool name, solid EP.
Poor Steve Case has had a hard time pigeon-holing his music - not altogether country, but not simply blues - it's tough when entering genre music competitions, but great when creating an eclectic EP that's a melting pot of influences.
The Wagga Wagga local has recently moved to Brisbane and joined with the rest of the Common Trees - the Leaving Home theme, reflected throughout this collection of six songs, is a genuine one.
Big transitions in life sometimes prompt the best creative work.
This first taste of Case shows he's a burgeoning talent when dealing out folk-country pop.
Soft and sensitive at times, tracks like Home Town and Hell or High Water are winners with simple melodies, carried along by country guitar riffs and piano.
Earnest yearning in the vocals is very easy to like and conveys experiences universal enough, never mind what pigeonhole it's in.


Time Off Magazine Review - June 2011

Folky strummer Steve Case sounds very nice on record with his band The Common Trees.
He's pretty dramatic, he sings on one song that "All his friends are doing time" but I find it pretty hard to believe that such a sweet sounding dude would associate with the criminal element.
Poetic license I guess, no-one says songwriting has to be autobiographical.
He gets all countrified on Hell or High Water, but resists the urge to twist his very honest sounding vocal into a country twang, although he does pronounce the word 'planets' as 'per-lanets' which is strange.
The title track sounds like a 70s folk ballad as performed by a hippie hanging over from the 60s, reflecting on his glory days of taking acid and freaking out, heading out to the country to leave all that behind and raise some cows and shit.

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