Steve Conte & The Crazy Truth
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Steve Conte is lead guitarist/songwriter/backing singer in the New York Dolls. He is also the lead singer/songwriter/guitarist of the bands Crown Jewels and The Contes, both along with his brother John Conte.
Sonically, The Crazy Truth lies somewhere between garage rock and punky blues with hints of Latin-soul played in a dark, smoky lounge. Stooges & Stones meet Morphine & Waits. Classic roots with modern twists. It's the kind of rock & roll that swings. Steve Conte brings the power, soul and raunch; a guitar hero on the edge of falling apart - with the voice of a derelict angel. Drummer Phil Stewart is equal parts Keith Moon and Max Roach while bassist Leeko was weaned on The Clash and old school reggae.
You can't affiliate yourself with the legendary New York Dolls and not gain some advantage from it. Steve Conte is in the enviable position once held by Johnny Thunders. With gritty guitar and a recognizeable NYC attitude, this formed trio (one of several Conte projects) has released an album of 11 good, old-fashioned '70s NYC barroom Rock 'n Roll.
The lyrical subject matter is the same ground traversed by the original NY Dolls. There's every element that reflects the truth about NYC at it's nightime darkest. The straight-ahead Rock that fuels those words is, strum for strum, beat for beat, highly respectful of the NY Dolls legacy. While Conte's lead work is much more polished than Thunders could have produced, the chordwork is great.
Conte and The Crazy Truth are joined at points by David Johansen, who brings his harmonica to Conte tunes, and others like Danny Ray, who has played with Syl Sylvain and Thunders.
The songs are all fun to listen to. The Rock heard on this S/T debut are solid and memory-invoking. It may not be the equivalent of much of NYC's finest, but trust me, Conte & The Crazy Truth serve their purpose on this release, which was to entertain at a high level. With songs like "Gypsy Cab," "The Truth Ain't Pretty," and the best track on the album, "Junk Planet," Steve Conte has nothing to prove. We are satiated. -- Matt Rowe, Musictap.net, 10/28/09See all Editorial Reviews
Top Customer Reviews
However, this album by far exceeded my expectations. This is Steve Conte reaching his prime as a songwriter and a performer.
I've read the other reviews here and at other sites (and there are a lot of people saying good things about it), and lots of people are trying to define its genre or compare it with other artists. I suppose a reference point is helpful for someone who is wondering whether or not to listen to or buy the album ... but the plain fact of the matter is that if you like rock and roll (or used to like rock and roll), you're going to like this album. It doesn't matter what subgenre you're into or what other artist you're a fan of.
This is 100% pure rock and roll with a punk attitude over a poet's heart. What does that mean? Probably nothing. I can't turn a phrase like Steve Conte (and few people can). Stop reading reviews and listen to the music.
My favorites are "Strumpet Hearted Monkey Girl" and "The Goods Are Odd" ... well, I also really dig "Gypsy Cab" and "The Truth Ain't Pretty". But this is an album with depth ... I've actually enjoyed reading others' reviews of this album as they've made me go back and listen more closely to other songs that others have favorited in their reviews.
I'm planning to buy copies of this CD as Christmas gifts this year. It's been a long time since I've enjoyed an album enough to do this.
A solo effort by the guitarist from the New York Dolls, Steve Conte & the Crazy Truth, was finally released in October this year. I had been waiting for it for a while. I've been a New York Dolls fan since 1977 (thanks to a guy named Steve Heckman who I hope is doing OK) and when they started up again a few years ago I started listening again.
Originally, the only replacement members were the drummer (Gary Powell replacing Jerry Nolan) and the guitarist (Steve Conte replacing Johnny Thunders).
While both were good, Conte - as a guitarist - was much more visible (obviously, eh?).
So you're seen much more readily when you're in a position in front, and that can be good or bad. Talent has little to do with that. Whether you're good or you're bad, you're still gonna get noticed.
Conte looked like he fit perfectly with the Dolls, and as a Dolls fan I started doing some research and found that he'd been around for a bit. So now I'm embarrassed because I pride myself on knowing stuff like this. But Conte is still touring with the Dolls so I'll have more chances to find stuff out about him, right?
Enough of the history lesson. Another chance to find something about Conte came about earlier in October when `Steve Conte and the Crazy Truth' released the self-titled CD.
11 tracks on the CD. For this to make any difference to you, you have to understand that I grew up in the age where you would buy an album and be happy if three of the 10 tracks were good (a.k.a. any Steve Miller release). Of these 11 tracks there's only one I'm not terribly fond of - and that's the third track; Texas T. It's still decent and the solo is great, but the rest of the CD is so good...Read more ›