Steve Conte - Manchester
Featured Tours

Steve Conte – Manchester

Monday 5th December 2012
Ruby Lounge Manchester
Doors 7.30m, £8adv

Steve Conte And The Crazy Truth
(ex New York Dolls)
Mr Fist / The Fevers / The Zero Symphony

Named for a Charles Bukowski poem, The Crazy Truth began to unfold in 2005 when Steve ran into high school pal Lee “Leeko” Kostrinsky on the street in New York City. Leeko's punk, reggae & indie rock influences were a perfect foil for Conte's love of the blues, classic rock and 60's garage bands. Rounded out by Scarborough's own Phil Stewart on drums, the trio played their first show in NYC within a few months – a T Rex memorial concert where they performed a cover of Marc Bolan's classic “Rip Off” and 9 new S.C. originals.

Working between records & tours as lead guitarist/backing singer and co-songwriter with the legendary New York Dolls, Conte has produced his band's debut album, a scorching 11 song rock & roll disc called simply – “STEVE CONTE & THE CRAZY TRUTH”. It features guest performances by Dolls front man David Johansen on harmonica, the soulful voices of Nikki Richards (Tina Turner/Madonna) and Catherine Russell (Al Green) and horns by Danny Ray (Sylvain Sylvain/ Johnny Thunders), Tom Timko (Stevie Wonder) and Kiku Collins (Beyonce).

Sonically, The Crazy Truth lies somewhere between garage rock and punk blues with hints of Latin-soul in a dark, smoky lounge. It’s the Stooges and the Stones versus Morphine and Tom Waits. The overall vibe is best described by Conte as “classic roots with a modern twist.”

Steve Conte delivers the power, soul and raunch. He’s a runaway guitar hero on the edge of falling apart – with the voice of a derelict angel. Drummer Phil Stewart is equal parts Max Roach and Keith Moon while bassist Leeko was weaned on The Clash and old school reggae.

Says Conte, “This album sounds like a band playing live because it’s drums, bass and guitar together in one room, solos recorded live on the basic tracks, rough and tough. It was like doing a gig. I love playing live with this band because it’s all about interplay and the moment. We don’t just deliver the songs…we JAM!”

Lyrically, the songs reflect two decades of life and excess in New York City…the distractions troubled souls move toward to fill the emptiness. Dive bars, gambling, sex and drugs. It's all there, but not celebrated with the traditional macho rock attitude. It’s more about redemption.

On The Truth Ain’t Pretty, Conte sings, “I’m always putting the last things first, that’s why I’m starting out with the second verse,” while on The Goods Are Odd he croons “Drag queens, drama queens, future ex-porn stars, we’re all looking for lovers with beautiful scars.”

Whether he’s the morally bankrupt guy “coming downtown in a Gypsy Cab” (from the standout track Gypsy Cab) or riding a Busload of Hope to Atlantic City, Conte offers a sense of optimism in the song This Is The End – “In the end we transcend – we’re divine”.

Special guests on the album includes David Johansen (New York Dolls) on harmonica, Catherine Russell (David Bowie) and Nicki Richards (Madonna) on backing vocals, plus Danny Ray (Sylvain Sylvain/Johnny Thunders), Kiku Collins (Beyonce) Tom Timko (Stevie Wonder) on horns

The album was mixed by the legendary Niko Bolas (Neil Young, Keith Richards) and mastered by Richard Dodd (Tom Petty, Green Day).

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