On the radio they don't play no rebel music.
A few months ago we bemoaned the dearth of talent promoted by record labels while there's an abundance of it out there unsigned, and put forth Vancouver's own Heidi McCurdy as an example of overlooked artistry. About three hundred miles south in Portland, Oregon is yet another diamond in the rough who also recently self released a CD of his originals.
His name is Scott Fisher and Step Into The Future is a welcome respite from the treadmill of heavily sampled, heavily clichéd state of pop music today. Fisher's music, led by his acoustic piano, electric piano or organ (no synths allowed here) is homemade and handcrafted, something that we used to take for granted in an earlier era. He draws roughly equally from the wells of rock, soul, jazz and reggae, and sings as much about social injustice as he does the aches and pains of love.
When he sings of social injustice, as he does on numbers like "Step Into The Future," "See The Day," "3,000 Years," "State Of Mind" and "No Remedy," he does so with more than a passing nod to Jamaican greats Peter Tosh and Bob Marley. From lyrics like "The way they shape the truth and sell us wars/With indifference in the heart the veil of ignorance s worn" to the heavy faux Kingston twang, Fisher is downright channeling these reggae giants, or at least is making an earnest attempt to do so.
Instrumentally, Fisher is backed up amply by Bob Dunham (guitars), Enrique Gonzales (frums) and Matthew Voth (bass). It's a tight little group with jazz sensibilities and a rock attitude. And lest anyone thinks self-released equates to poor recording quality, Fisher was able to bring in some major league engineers from L.A. to provide the finishing touches the gives this collection a clean but not-overdone sound.