Steve Yanek is a singer-songwriter based in Pennsylvania. Before moving to the tranquility of the Pennsylvania countryside, he enjoyed a successful career as a singer-songwriter in Los Angeles. His life has been nothing short of exciting up to this point. In addition to his work as an artist manager, he also founded a tiny independent record company. With the release of his new album “Long Overdue” which is set to release on the 5th of August., he is now ready for a brand-new chapter in his life. 

On this album, Yanek presents ten original songs in which he embraces life’s difficulties as they come, investigates the complexities of interpersonal relationships, and, throughout, finds inner peace and a sense of purpose. Before the pandemic, Yanek had written and recorded all of his new songs, having begun the process sometime after the 2005 release of his album “Across the Landscape.” There was an almost two-decade hiatus between solo albums. Jeff Pevar, who performs on acoustic, electric, resonator, lap steel, bass, and backing vocals, is one of the album’s key contributors. Kenny Aronoff contributed percussion to four tracks. On three tracks, Rod Morgenstein and T Lavitz play drums and keyboards, while Billy Payne of Little Feat plays piano. Three tracks feature bass playing by Dave Livolsi and background singing by Larry Kennedy, a former Jellybricks lead vocalist that Steve used to promote through his record label. 

To me, it seemed that this album could not have been made unless you had that much life under your belt. It may be playful at times but it’s also profound. The album is mostly made up of heartfelt singer-songwriter and folk songs, with a dash of country sprinkled in for added fun. There are hints that classic rock-influenced the album as well; nonetheless, the spontaneous guitar draws you into a familiar and comfy terrain with its catchy rhythms as well as the album’s sentimental lyrics.  

The album’s title track, “Long Overdue,” is a classic romantic country ballad, a love letter from one person to their partner. It establishes the mood for the rest of the album. However, Yanek’s thematic catalogue is vast, and songs like “Goodbye,” which deal with the heartbreak of losing a loved one and coming to terms with the inevitable, are just the tip of the iceberg. It’s one of my favorites and serves as a nice counterpoint to the album’s title tune. Yanek’s soulful vocals shine through in “You Move Me,” which is further emphasized by its mellow pace. So much richness and power were added by including backing vocals in this arrangement. “All The Sorrow” sounds like the aural equivalent of a gathering over a crackling campfire. The combination of the traditional guitar chords and the piano evokes images of chilly days and autumn leaves. 

All I have to say about this album is that it’s a masterpiece, and I feel privileged to have been entrusted with reviewing it.