Joy
Song Isle Publishing

 Since first moving up to the Portland area from Louisiana just a few short years ago, Steve Kerin has captured the listening audience here with his stunning work on the piano and has earned himself two Muddy Awards as keyboardist. Well versed in the styles of New Orleans masters like James Booker, Dr John and Professor Longhair, Steve is quite the accomplished crafter of his own material as well. Having showcased his talents with several bands in Portland, including Atomic Gumbo, Berthaline, Franco & The Stingers and Kolvane as well as others, Steve returned to his native Lafayette, Louisiana to put together his new CD, Joy.

The album features almost entirely Louisiana-based musicians, such as Jerry LeJeune on drums, Pat Breaux on accordion and Michael Juan Nunez on guitar, providing that truly authentic flavor of the Bayou and Crescent City. Portland guitarist Bob Shoemaker also makes an appearance throwing down some fine slide guitar. And Steve himself did the work of a one-man army of studio sidemen having played not only piano, but also guitar, bass, organ, triangle, accordion, ukulele and various strings and percussion.

Like the music of Louisiana, Joy takes on a variety of different sounds. They come across very chameleon-like with their interpretation with Steve rolling through several approaches that can cross-over to genres like Cajun, country, folk, rock, funk and blues. All done in spectacular fashion, the twelve selections are all Steve Kerin originals.

There is much to like here. I love the sassiness in “Everything Is Temporary,” uh-huh, yeah right! The deep down bluesy sound on the piano on “Bonnie And Clyde.” How much that “Greg’s Song” sounds like it could’ve been pulled right off from a Robbie Robertson recording. The beauty of “Joy” and “Blueberry Way.” The funkiness on “Cards.” The interplay of piano and slide guitar on “Yesterday,” that comes across to me as very John Lennon-like in its lyrics and approach. And closing with the acoustics of ukulele, fiddle, accordion and percussion on “Waikiki Yacht Club” weaving into the dialing of a radio focusing into the Lafayette station and segueing into an incredibly played piano solo that leaves a nice gentle flavor in your mind that makes you want to turn around and play the whole disc all over again.

Steve Kerin has a definite winning release with Joy. An amalgamation of fun sounds that befits the title.

Total Time: 50:47

One To The Bottle / Bonnie And Clyde / Joy / Everything Is Temporary / Yesterday / Going To Louisiana / Greg’s Song / Walking Down The Road / Cards / Blueberry Way / I Aint’s Complaining / Waikiki Yacht Club