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The theme of Push Record is simplicity. The title track is meant to reflect how far Matt Andersen and Mike Stevens took this theme, the liner notes say: “The tune arrived in the rehearsal room so we just ‘Pushed Record.’” It’s just two talented musicians, one with a harmonica, and the other alternating between acoustic and hollow-body electric guitar.
Escaping all the technological frills that alter the recorded product in a studio, the artists boast that “All the recording was live off the floor—no headphones, no overdubs, no edits and no processing.”
The album was written in five days, recorded in one day in Banff, and mixed the next. It manages to catch some of the sparks that fly when two gifted artists and friends come together
The record is the second collaboration between Perth-Andover, New Brunswick’s beloved blues guitarist Andersen and Sarnia Ontario’s bluegrass harmonica expert Stevens. The songs, all original and alternating regularly between slow and fast, are a mixture of blues and folk, with Andersen and Stevens drawing on their respective backgrounds.
One of the best songs is “Pawnshop,” certainly the most convincing of the slow songs. The mournful tune then segues nicely into the very upbeat “The Mountain.” But, even though they were going low-tech, they didn’t exactly take it easy. Things got so heated in the studio that you can actually hear Andersen’s amp blowing up at the end of the last song.
Portions of review by Simcha Walfish, Arts Contributor for dalgazette.com