I'm continually intrigued by the way that records begin. It spoke volumes to me, therefore, that mercurial veteran Steve Poltz' new one Traveling opens with over a minute of a very spacey Country blues/pedal steel/maracas vibe that swells and builds. At 35 seconds, it slows down a little, and establishes the song tempo. And then a voice appears at a minute ten:
I only think of you
And just when I think I get where we're headed, we're already there, and the song ends. And it's perfect, a beautiful start. And it keeps getting better till the end, and I put it on again.
Steve Poltz is known best of the co-writer of Jewell's career launching single "You Were Meant For Me." (He's also written with Cracker, Mojo Nixon and other notables, but Jewell's rang the bell around the world.)
He did an absolutely hilarious bit around the origin of this song when he was recently performing at The Basement in Nashville, and Jewell joined him onstage for that and another song, two of the videos you will find in next month's interview with the artist. But do not miss Poltz if he blows through your town, because he is quintessentially what even most good singer songwriters are not--vastly entertaining.
He's also a very sharp guitar player, which is borne out on this new disc. His live show personality was very generous, in the moment, and enlightened in a rock and roll kind of way. He's a serious yogi, loves Mexican food and the Padres, the co-writer of the longest running tune on the Billboard Hot 100, and one well-traveled mofo by the looks of it. He loves his job more than most musicians I know, and seems to be having a helluva good time. We highly recommend this CD and this artist, and we invite you to check out our interview with him in the next issue.