STEVE PALMER BAND (SPB) is gearing up to release their powerful debut rock CD Apparition March 1, 2011. Simultaneously, Steve Palmer, lead singer and creative force behind SPB, is raising money for children’s charities, giving interviews and planning to back up their 2010 tours with Blues Traveler, Sister Hazel and Bob Schneider.
Steve Palmer, describes the title track “Apparition” as, “An edgy rock song about a woman beckoned to break away from a demonic force that wants to control and destroy her.” This storyline applies to obstacles Palmer has confronted in bringing his songs public - songs that are “timeless and transcend genre” (Celebrity Café, 2010). The release follows a long roller coaster ride culminating at their Hollywood Music in Media Award (HMMA) performance and nomination for the single “Apparition” (Best AC/AAA Song).
As SPB gears up to hit the road, Palmer has given interviews to Maximum Ink, Big Bend’s ‘Rants Raves and Radio’ show, In The Now, the Traverse City Record Eagle, plus a live interview and performance for New Jersey’s Power Play and a radio interview with KJAG-FM DJ James Lowe, a self-described “huge fan.”
"We are also thrilled that our sites registered 10,212 free downloads of the single 'In Love' which benefits Save The Children and St. Jude's," said Palmer.
In 2009, the band filmed three concerts in Nashville at Mercy Lounge, Sound Check and 3rd Avenue South, as well as producing a live “in-the-studio” video for the single “Apparition”. The same recording appears on the CD.
SPB also has filmed ten music videos and recorded two records at Cue, Omega and Blackbird Studios . . . one CD was recorded four times and the other three times.
“Well by our eight effort, I hope we will get the thing tamper proof. We’re making strides on quality control. After a lot of creative engineering in studios throughout my career, we ended up at a basement studio called Downtown Battery Studios, which was a necessary step.”
Joining Palmer (lead vocals and rhythm guitar) for the Blackbird Studio sessions were Bryan Ewald (lead guitar); Anthony Setola (bass) now replaced by Josh Chapman; Tony Morra (drums); Larry Hall (keyboards and Hammond B3 organ); and Vicki Hampton (background vocals). Its members are all veteran players with a collective century of studio and concert experience that have joined together with Palmer into a genuine and committed band. On the road, Steve often adds Brian Fullen, Judd Bolger or Brandon Bartlett and others from Nashville and Maryland.
“I was recording great music before with Stewart Smith, Mike Ault and Kajun Kelly. But great guitar playing is only part of being a great band member. I played with Danny Gatton, for example, who was enthusiastic about working with me and a great musician and I’m real happy with my current band. Bryan Ewald is my new MD and he has been very supportive.”
Palmer draws inspiration from a wide range of rock and pop from the ‘60s and ‘70s.
“Yes, Led Zeppelin, Johnny Cash, Boston, Willie Nelson and Beatles were some of my favorites,” he says. “But some of my biggest influences are five great singer/songwriters: CSNY, Cat Stevens, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, and Joan Armatrading. I also liked Chicago, Van Morrison, Bruce Springsteen, Meat Loaf, Aerosmith, Hendrix and Joplin, Fleetwood Mac, Boston and Stevie Ray Vaughn. "
Palmer explains, “All those players taught me about being true to the music. For example ‘No Words To Say’ is a ballad, pure and simple. ‘Her Own Place’ is a long story accented by the big stomping rhythmic beats. ‘Apparition’, on the other hand, has an edgy minor strained sound, more like Nirvana or Dave Matthews Band. And, hopefully, you just want to dance to ‘Livin A Lie’.”
By his junior year of high school, Palmer had made his initial solo quarter-inch reel- to-reel recordings, followed soon by studio sessions at age 18 in Plymouth, England and then Connecticut with first call New York musicians. He followed with self-funded sessions in Chicago, Indiana, Maryland and DC and recorded four records in Virginia between 2004-6. But no one would help distribute and promote Palmer’s music.
“People either didn’t want to work with me or just took the money and not only didn’t help much but actually hurt me.” In the middle of all this, Palmer studied at Northwestern and Georgetown “to keep one foot in the ‘real world’ and the other one on the peripheral, dreaming and writing.”
Since 2002, Palmer has spent every waking hour fighting strong head winds, writing, recording, developing his band and growing a virtual major label with high caliber industry professionals.
In running Arythmia Records, Palmer mixes in the business sense he learned over the years: earning money as a kid working in yards, supermarkets and restaurants (Alligators and The Keg); starting a student paper in England; bringing black and white student groups together to promote appearances by Dick Gregory, Chick Corea and Gil Scott Heron; interning with Alderman Danny Davis on Chicago’s West Side, and working as a professional in New York, Philly and Washington D.C.
Palmer adds. “I will not be satisfied until my music gets out to all the people and all the road blocks and hard times for other artists and myself are destroyed. People need great music to feel good and be inspired to hope and dream. And that’s one thing I hope to give to everyone."