Steven Moore has won multiple championships for his prowess on the five string banjo and is currently a member of The David Mayfield Parade. His debut solo project, Just A Little Talk With Myself, displays Moore’s broad abilities as an instrumentalist, composer and arranger.
The opening track, A New Leaf, gives the album an energetic start. Featuring Moore on banjo along with Stuart Duncan on fiddle, Byron House on bass, Cody Kilby on guitar, and James Selliga on mandolin, this bouncy piece sets the tone for Steven’s contemporary musical ideas.
The title track, Just A Little Talk With Mysel,f is a collaboration between Moore and David Mayfield. Set to an original melody crafted by Steven, Mayfield’s lyrics are an expression of peace and inner contentment.
The Ride is an up-tempo instrumental rooted in traditional bluegrass elements. This track features superb dobro work from Gaven Largent. Another instrumental titled O’Connell Street has a strong Irish influence as evidenced by Steven Moore’s penny whistle playing.
While it’s possible that just about everyone has heard the John Denver classic, Take Me Home Country Roads, they’ve likely never heard a rendition like this one. Featuring Elliott Park on lead vocals, the deep raspy vocal quality gives these sentimental lyrics a strangely haunting quality.
Another song outside of the bluegrass canon on this project is Bent To Fly, originally recorded by none other than Slash of Guns N’ Roses. John Cowan delivers a truly great performance here. The track also features Chris Brown on drums. While it can be heard prominently in the mix, it doesn’t clash with the other instruments. Its inclusion on this song is appropriate.
The Bill Monroe classic, Wheel Hoss, is a wonderful example of why Moore made a name for himself in various banjo championships. This arrangement is part melody, combined with technical wizardry and improvisation. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I found it to be an enjoyable rendition.
Just A Little Talk With Myself is an intriguing recording. Steven Moore is a multifaceted musician and composer. The material covers a wide scope of ideas, and it captures Moore’s creativity brilliantly.