FAME Review: Steve Weinstein - Last Free Man
Steve Weinstein - Last Free Man

Last Free Man

Steve Weinstein

No online purchase resource found at the time of posting this review.
Check Steve Weinstein's web site after Dec 10, 2013.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

Sometimes, my friends, the brainiacs are hiding a lot more than they're showing. In the case of Steve Weinstein, who's ridiculously intelligent—prof of Philosophy at the U of Waterloo, affiliate at Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, and not exactly unknown for his work in quantum theory, cosmology, and the nature of time (HEY!, all you bastards who are thinking Big Bang Theory, knock it off!!), as well as a cat featured on the TV special Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman—there's actually enough curriculum vitae to fit the resumes of five other top flight gents. What he's been hiding, however, is his musical side, though that's now cured with Last Free Man.

Actually, the artist in the egghead has been acknowledged for a while now by, and associated with, some mighty good musos: Reeves Gabrels (Bowie, The Cure), Aaron Comess (Spin Doctors), Paul Bryan (Aimee Mann), and others, but the picker and singer Hyde side refused to stay in the back alley: Weinstein released a slab in '87 (Walkin' by the Light of the Moon), then went back to academe and re-hung that shingle. Now we have another CD, and in it, we find the guy's a protest singer with more than a few references to Neil Young (catch the guitar work in Centerline as well as the title song), Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, Ian Hunter, and Ray Davies but not to any degree I'd call derivative, instead influenced, and often through a lot of the 80s groups he hung with.

Weinstein managed to recruit G.E. Smith, among others, for some cool-ass guitar work (Steve himself also plays a six-string) and even caught hold of Sara Lee (League of Gentlemen, B-52s) for bass work. Though he favors some rough and raucous rock and roll, my ear was particularly caught by the eerie and laconically mellifluous Storm Warning, a wistful paean that trudges sadly through life kinda like what we're now subjected to in the capitalist nightmare and surveillance state Weinstein loathes. The guy's singing is solid prole, informal but sincere and often angry, and the backing chorus in Throw It Away offsets that beautifully, but I think what will bring the bacon home is his Everyman positioning tossing anarchic bombs at the system while…heh!…working within it. Aren't we all caught up in that mess?

Track List:

  • Lost & Found
  • Centerline
  • Last Free Man
  • I Don't want to Come Down (Caroline)
  • No Vacancy
  • 'Til I Die
  • Seeing Stars
  • That's how I Escaped my Certain Fate
  • Storm Warning
  • Throw It Away
  • Girls that don't Exist
No songwriting credits given (promo copy).

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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