Corey Stevens
@ The Cabooze, April 10, 1997

Corey Stevens
Photo © 1997 by Tom Asp, All rights reserved
Riding high on the crossover success of his first album Blue Drops Of Rain, Corey Stevens took the Cabooze by storm with his guitar driven blues/rock! I have never seen the Cabooze this packed before. It took me at least 5 minutes to walk (push, shove, elbow, duck) about 20 yards from the door to my seat (yes someone was saving a stool and he looked pretty bloody from defending it). The sold out show featured Corey Stevens on guitar along with bass and drums for an evening of classic blues/rock, heavy on the guitar and with a surprising amount of straight blues numbers.

I had read that Stevens was just another Stevie Ray Vaughan clone. I could see where some might get that impression from the dress, the jewelry, maybe the hat and even some of the blazing guitar playing, but what I saw this night at the Cabooze was a blues rocker with his own style. Stevens does draw upon his guitar influences, but they are varied and run deep in the blues as well as some classic rockers -- Albert King, Freddie King, Buddy Guy, SRV, Eric Clapton and the Allman Brothers to name a few.

With the crowd packed in like sardines the room was in a constant swaying motion, like a turbulent sea of bodies ebbing and flowing with the music. Stevens grabbed everyone's attention from the first note on his guitar and left almost everyone hot, sweaty and fulfilled by the end of the show. Most of the audience knew all the words to the songs from his first album and were not afraid to join right in with the singing. He did most of the songs from his first album and gave us a good sampling from his new one Road To Zen. Stevens' voice has a strong resemblance to Eric Clapton's and comes nowhere near the intensity of his guitar playing but that seemed to be lost on the rowdy crowd that night.

His blues/rock style of playing is a natural for the cross over audience (blues to rock) which allows him to have a much wider appeal. One of the strongest responses that night came after he sang one of his hits from the first album, It's Over. He also performed a number of classic blues like Cross Cut Saw, some Albert King, Buddy Guy and a great version of Freddie King's Hide Away (I just love that song). Toward the end of the show, after he had been passing out guitar picks all night, he said he was "gonna play until I give all my picks away. I have 3 left." Well those last three pics lasted quite a long time!

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Copyright © 1998 by Ray M. Stiles
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