Steve Sainas Simple As This Sainas Songs/SteveSainas.ca
Steve Sainas has been playing the blues throughout British Columbia’s lower mainland for years, with his band Mud Dog releasing three albums of straight-ahead, contemporary acoustic blues/rock.
Wielding an aggressive approach to resophonic and flat-top guitars, Sainas’ first release under his own name is an appealing slice of blues with a noticeable singer-songwriter bent. Emphasizing descriptive songwriting, Sainas provides listeners a guitar-rich journey through original creations.
A self-produced, self-released project, Simple As This is elevated by the cohesion of Sainas’ songs. Optimistic where the blues is frequently pessimistic, Sainas has elected to (largely) emphasize positive aspects of a society increasingly destructive through upbeat, engaging, and lively songs.
“Ruby Jo” benefits from a breezy approach befitting a tale of strength and freedom, with the apocalyptic “Cities On Fire” featuring forceful drumming from Kelly Stodola. “Why Do We Fall” and the title track are softer in their approach, and “Got Your Love” features nimble picking in the Doc Watson style. The searching quality of “So Alone” is buoyed by the throaty “My Darkest Days Are Done,” with “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright” sending us off into the good night.
Given that instrumental parts of the album—guitar, bass, and drums—were captured in isolation at three separate studios and—one supposes—melded together, Simple As This is a surprisingly unified recording.
With little fanfare, Steve Sainas has delivered a satisfying and appealing trio album with lyrics receiving prominence not usually encountered in modern blues.