Today, in the unlikeliest place imaginable, a musician restored my faith in music. His name is Steve Grand and believe me when I say that he lives up to his name.
I first heard about Steve a year ago when his video for “All-American Boy” spread across the Internet like a wildfire. Being an ardent supporter of talented people (because there are so few of them left!) I downloaded the song, donated a little money to his Kickstarter campaign for an album, and followed him on the Twitter.
Then last week I found out that he’d be at Market Days this weekend and quickly made arrangements to be there, too. Given the venue and nature of the audience, I was not expecting much. Steve is handsome and built like a truck, so I thought he’d come out shirtless, the audience of boys would fawn over him for the duration of three songs, and that would be that.
How wonderfully wrong I was.
Steve came out fully clothed-- wearing a plain white V-neck tee shirt, skinny black Levis, and boots. The audience did its fair share of fawning, but we quickly gathered our wits about us to pay attention. And pay attention we did: no one around me moved or left for the entire hour he was on. I couldn’t tell if they were long-time fans or if they were just discovering him for the first time, but we were all firmly in his musical grasp.
The show itself was an eclectic mix of some new songs, some old songs, and some borrowed songs. He performed versions of Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” and Elton’s “Benny and the Jets” that would’ve made them both proud. He did his song “Stay” (my personal favorite) and “Back to California” which he assured us is not about him going straight ::phew:: He also sang a lot of catchy new material that will be on the new album and closed with “All-American Boy”. By the time he finished his set, I was a sweaty pile of musical delirium.
There were just so many things to enjoy about this show.
Steve himself came across endearingly sweet and funny. He seems like a regular dude, who loves music, and is humbled by all the attention he’s received. He also can’t pronounce the word anonymity so bless his heart. He's cute but he’s talented, too— and for once the latter outweighs the former! Not only does he sing and write(?) his songs, but he plays the guitar and the keyboard. Can Britney do that, any of that?
My point here is that Steve Grand is a terrific throwback to when artists were really artists. You can tell by the way he performs that he is personally and profoundly invested in his music. His is the broken heart in his songs. He is the one writing his “songs of love, and life, and loss, and just a few about you”. He is the All-American boy that we will root for now and forever.