Home All Day, Home All Night
Home All Day, Home All Night, the pandemically named and recorded eighth album and fourth as an acoustic trio for The Furious Seasons, finds them stretching out more into a full band mode. Bandleader/ guitarist/songwriter and vocalist David Steinhart sees this as a more eclectic effort compared to last year’s La Fonda, a song cycle dealing with losing a best friend to alcoholism. Along with Steinhart are his brother bassist David and guitarist/vocalist Paul Nelson. Guests provide violin, drums, accordion, and percussion. Five-time Grammy-winning producer and engineer Alfonso Rodenas again helmed the sessions which unlike their usual recorded live with the three in a semicircle in front of microphones, they recorded in four separate studios apart. The time and different studios afforded the opportunities to play more instruments. David Steinhart played drums and Jeff played keyboards so that most of these tracks have drums and piano, unlike their usual guitar-guitar-upright bass configuration. These themes touch on love, childhood, aging, and certainly the pandemic.
The songs, even the titles, have a very much L.A. flavor such as “The North Valley,” “The Smallest Beach,” and “Lovely Backyard.” The latter speaks to the pandemic in David singing that he is grateful she has a great place to spend her time but perhaps the most direct pandemic lyrics are in “7420,” about the Fourth of July in the city intertwined with the social unrest and disturbing political atmosphere – “The fireworks in the L.A. sky/feel like an act of pure defiance” and these from which the album takes its title – “You’ll be home all day/we’ll be home all night/Laying low and abstaining/From all of our non-essential activities/They boil down to just four or five things/Still we’re left here with a whole lot of nothing.”
The vocal harmonies, the flourishes of guitar where Nelson makes the Weissenborn and dobro sound like a pedal steel imbue so many of these eminently listenable songs, most of which, certainly in comparison to last year’s effort, are upbeat. It’s hard to beat the infectious vibe of “ Down for Me,“
“Long Vacation ,” or “Birthday Song,” as just three examples. Aubrey Richmond’s fiddle imbues the more contemplative “The North Valley” while Eduardo Tancredi’s drumming drives the upbeat “Puff of Smoke,‘ which speaks to our fleeting time and its indelible line “I’m a walking ghost.“ The trio was even inspired to take on David Bowie, rendering “Changes,“ slowing it down and building more drama into it than the original.
The music is beautifully rendered throughout behind David’s expressive, emotive vocals. It’s not only Nelson’s deft touches on the string instruments but Jeff’s bass work and injection of organ and piano in just the right spots. The songs are well-crafted, highly melodic, and rife with stellar musicianship.
- Jim Hynes
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