Steve Louw

The Heart's the Best Part

The Killing Floor

Waiting For The Dawn

Horizon

Going Down With Mister Green

Best Of The Decade

Beyond The Blue

Trancas Canyon

Heart & Soul

The Heart's the Best Part1984

The first single from All Night Radio's debut album... "Breaking Hearts" is probably the noisiest and freshest-sounding rock single produced in this country to date. - Andrew Donaldson, Cape Times

Released in 1984 on Previous Records, catalogue number PRL 1. Mixed at House of Music, New Jersey. Mastered at Sterling Sound, New York City. Produced by John Rollo.

Musicians:
Nico Burger, guitar
Steve Louw, vocals and acoustic guitar
Rob Nagel, bass and harmonica
Richard Pickett, drums and backing vocals

The Argus Tonight (3 October 1984) by Shannon Sherry
First off, if only for its trail-blazing status, is All Night Radio's double A-sided record, Breaking Hearts and Sea Side Love. This is the much talked-about first product of the Cape Town band's collaboration with producer John Rollo, an Englishman living in the United States who has produced amongst others, Little Steven & the Disciples Of Soul, Roberta Flack, Stevie Nicks, the Kinks and George Benson.

While on the subject, some gossip might be in order. The story goes that ANR's Steve "Alltime" Louw just happened to be going to Johannesburg at the same time that Little Steven was in town, a fact mentioned to a local journalist who had been hoping to interview Little Steven but couldn't get to the Golden City to do it. The said scribe then drew up some questions, gave them to Louw and arranged the meeting from Cape Town. Louw, with a formidable nose for a break, grabbed the meeting, dumped the questions and, on meeting the great one asked: "Will you produce my band?" According to the rumor, he also insisted that Little Steven listen to the tapes. "Er, I'd really like to," said Little, "but, you see, I just can't spare the time."

But we are proud to report that, by this time, our Steve had his teeth firmly in the jugular, expressing his band's willingness to wait. Realizing his defeat, Mr van Zandt declared that although he couldn't do it, he could introduce Mr Louw to the co-producer of his album, one John Rollo. Transatlantic phone calls followed, Money was discussed and Music listened to and Mr Rollo winged his way to Cape Town, leaving George Benson waiting nog.

Carefully watched by Louw, he completed the mixing in his New Jersey studio - and voila! More seriously: With local producers coming under a lot of fire recently, the results of their work are going to be carefully scrutinized. Does it really make a difference? You bet. It just leaves local produce miles behind. The sound has presence and immediacy - I have yet to hear a local band sound as good on record as ANR do here. Louw's vocals are commanding and passionate, the guitars have that gritty edge and the whole appears to be strong chart-orientated stuff.


Cape Times Review (5 October 1984) by Andrew Donaldson
The first single from All Night Radio's debut album was released last week. The double A-sided rocker, Breaking Hearts, c/w Sea Side Love, is a no-nonsense uncompromising recording debut, and an exciting glimpse of what the group intends to offer on its forthcoming album. Produced in Cape Town by New York-based John Rollo, "Breaking Hearts" is probably the noisiest and freshest-sounding rock single produced in this country to date. Guitarist Nico Burger effortlessly establishes himself as wunderkind here in one neat and fluid solo. ANR think they're a great group. They probably are. I will be having words with them about this.


Cape Times Funfinder (9 November 1984) by Andrew Donaldson
Back home, All Night Radio's The Heart's The Best Part is a thunderous debut, with its hard-driving snare-drum guitar orientated sound (Springsteen a la mode). Forget the "well-produced, technically perfect" spiel (it is a remarkable album in that aspect) and listen to the songs. Singer Steve Louw displays a talent for crafting songs that are free of obvious and clichéd hooks. They're energetic, they're thoughtfully constructed and, what's important, they have a shelf like that takes you far past the first listening.


Zigzag Rock Etceteras
A return to basics, that's what Cape Town's All Night Radio wanted on their debut single so it's a no-nonsense double A-sided rocker, Breaking Hearts / Sea Side Love. The group - Steve Louw (vocals, guitar), Nico Burger (guitars) and Rob Nagel (bass guitar, harmonica) - wanted to capture their pent-up raucous and emotive energy without compromising their live spirit. ANR needed a state-of-the art quality studio recording and got it. The album, The Heart's The Best Part, was recorded by New York-based engineer/producer John Rollo (know for his work with The Kinks, Little Steven van Zandt, Stevie Nicks and George Benson), and was completed in 10 days in Cape Town's UCA Studios with the help of session men Richard Pickett on drums, and Brian Seftel, on keyboards. It was mixed at House of Music in New Jersey and mastered by George Marino at Sterling Sound, NYC.

ANR met at Stellenbosch University, where a common love for the Blues and Rock 'n Roll found them playing with David Kramer and Leslie Rae Dowling in various folk-dives and student one-offs. The three split up - Steve Louw heading for New York City and Rob Nagel going to Hamburg. After two more years of sweaty rock and roll dives, Rob and Steve decided to return to Cape Town and, reuniting with Nico in June, last year, use the city as the base for their assault on the record industry. Then came months of all-night rehearsals, live gigs to test the songs, more rehearsals, more gigs, and skeleton studio and live recordings until April this year, when the band felt they were ready to record. Steve van Zandt, former E-Street Band guitarist, put the band in touch with John Rollo, who had just completed the Little Steven album, Voice of America.

On the strength and spirit of ANR's music on a hissing four track cassette, Rollo decided to pack his bags, fly from New York to the bottom of the darkest continent, and record these South African rockers. Together with Steve Louw, Rollo returned to his home studio in New Jersey, where the album and single was mixed. Rollo then enlisted the support of long-time friend George Merino to master and cut the disc at Sterling Sound. A US distribution deal is currently being negotiated while the band plan to tour in November.

Close Reviews
Breaking Hearts

Breaking Hearts

She's the One

She's the One

Debbie

Debbie

Sea Side Love

Sea Side Love

Heart Of My Heart

Heart Of My Heart

Rising Storm

Rising Storm

The Heart's The Best Part

The Heart's The Best Part

City Hall

City Hall

Killing Time

Killing Time

Land Of Sin

Land Of Sin

Love Will Carry You

Love Will Carry You

The Killing Floor1986

Released in 1986 on Previous Records, catalogue number ASF 3136. Produced and engineered by Kevin Shirley.

Released in 1986 on Previous Records, catalogue number ASF 3136. Produced and engineered by Kevin Shirley.

Musicians:
Nico Burger: Electric Guitar, Slide Guitar, Dobro
Mike Campbell: Electric Bass
Tony Drake: Piano, Organ, Sythesisers
Herman Eugster: Drums
Mike Faure: Saxophone
Steve Louw: Vocals and acoustic guitar
The Glee Singers: Choir on 'Fire of Reign'
Tim Parr: Guitar on 'The Killing Floor'
André de Villiers, Tracey Dogon, Mynie Grove, Tam Minter: Backing Vocals

Cape Times Funfinder
All Night Radio's second album, The Killing Floor, has met with the wrath of the SABC. One of the main tracks, Reign of Fire, has been banned from airplay. Frontman Steve Louw went up to Johannesburg last week to do an interview on Radio5?s program Loud and Proud and said he was told several tracks had been banned. "I was stunned. DJ Dave Charles broke the news to me. They also wanted to ban the first cut Bernadette because of the reference to District Six; Prisoners because of the lines 'prisoners of what we are told, prisoners out in the cold and prisoners in this land of gold'" Louw said after some negotiating with the SABC's own censor department only Reign of Fire was banned. The album will be released in Australia shortly.

Fair Lady It was a fair while ago that we saw All Night Radio's debut The Heart's The Best Part charge off blindly into the night like some wild rambunctious rock 'n roll beast. They'd hired a British engineer to produce them, and he liked to make the boys sound lean and hard and live - I went to visit the studio while they were recording, and he'd put the drum kit in a steel-lined service elevator at the back of the room. Somebody banged on the snare and I had to back off in pain. So that's what it sounded like - very bright and loud. Of course, Stellenbosch yokel Steve Louw made no attempt to hide his Yankophilia, and his voice came roaring out like some weird cross between John Cougar Mellencamp and Tighthead Fourie.

Nico Burger's lead guitar tore through some pretty neat melodies, while bassist Rob Nagel contented his deepest ZZ Top fantasies by dyeing his beard red and sporting a baseball cap and shades. Ja, The Heart's The Best Part was a good album. The best ANR concerts had them fooling about with Presley and assorted blues, and their stand-in drummer played standing up. Naturally Steve played 'rock star" without much hint of irony. Nobody laughed too much. We had an excellent time. Now All Night Radio have a second album, The Killing Floor, which kicks up rather a different storm. It fades in with a light acoustic jig, fades out again, then suddenly guns off into territory I would never have thought possible. We're talking The Cramps, deep dark rockability with more than a hint of bad psychosis. I must listen to it again, but that was my first impression.

Then comes their cover of Them's Here Comes The Night - certainly an accomplished effort, but disappointing for adding little to either Van Morrison's lament of David Bowie's Pinups Ham-up. But onward: The Killing Floor is a loose, unhassled kind of album - there may be one too many entirely sappy American middle-of-the-road ballads in the Toto mould, but elsewhere the band's unexpected return to bluesy old rock 'n roll compensates with much rude aplomb.

Close Reviews
Bernadette

Bernadette

Here Comes the Night

Here Comes the Night

On Through the Night

On Through the Night

Prisoners

Prisoners

The Killing Floor

The Killing Floor

Believe In Love

Believe In Love

Reign of Fire

Reign of Fire

The Hunger

The Hunger

Hopetown 1975 (Stolen Gasoline)

Hopetown 1975 (Stolen Gasoline)

A Visit to St. Francis Church

A Visit to St. Francis Church

All Night Long

All Night Long

Waiting For The Dawn1990

This album is epic because of the superb songs. Tracks like 'Waiting For The Dawn' (with bagpipes by the Cape Town Highlanders), 'Slow Dancing' and the gospel-tinged 'Power In The Darkness' captivate the listener. - Brian Currin, 2001

Released in 1990 on Gallo Records, catalogue number ASF 3324. Re-issued in June 2001 on the Epic label, catalogue number CDEPC 8170. Produced by Kevin Shirley. Mixed by Shelly Yakus.

Musicians:
Don Laka: Piano, keyboards
Robbie McIntosh: Guitar, Slide guitar
Rupert Mellor: Accordion, Piano
McCoy Mrubata: Sax
Steve Newman: Acoustic Guitar
Nico Burger: Guitar
Jimmy Mngwandi: Bass
Steve Louw: Acoustic Guitar, vocals
Godla Mgcinga: Drums
Honest Rod Nagel: Harp
Benmont Tench: Piano, Hammond organ
Waddy Wachtel: Guitar
Roy Bittan: piano on 'Here Comes The Night'
Cape Town Highlanders (The 1000 Pipers) : bagpipes on 'Waiting For The Dawn' The Atlantic City Horns: Horns (arranged by Mike Campbell) The Long Street Gang: Backing vocals

SA ROCK DIGEST, Issue #113, 10th July 2001 by Brian Currin
This classic debut album by Big Sky (Steve Louw and Big Sky were the support act for the 1998 Rodriguez tour of SA), originally released in 1990 and for a long time unavailable has now been re-issued with 2 bonus tracks. It is appropriate that this CD should be re-issued on the Epic label, because it is an epic and powerful album, featuring a mix of musical talents from both SA and LA. Mixed by Shelly Yakus (U2, Tom Petty, Dire Straits) and produced by Kevin Shirley (The Council, Springbok Nude Girls, Iron Maiden, Black Crowes), this album features performances from Robbie McIntosh (Pretenders, Paul McCartney), Don Laka, Rupert Mellor (McCully Workshop), Roy Bittan (Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band), Benmont Tench (Tom Petty's Heartbreakers), McCoy Mrubata, Steve Newman (Tananas) and Honest Rod Nagel (All Night Radio, Blues Broers) to name just a few.

But forget the name-dropping; this album is epic because of the superb songs. Tracks like 'Waiting For The Dawn' (with bagpipes by the Cape Town Highlanders), 'Slow Dancing' and the gospel-tinged 'Power In The Darkness' captivate the listener. This album also includes a great version of Tom Waits' 'Downtown' (with references to "the sugar-man"... hmmm). One of the bonus tracks is a re-recording of a track from All Night Radio's (Steve's first band) second album 'The Killing Floor' titled 'Here Comes The Night' which itself was a cover of the old 1965 Them hit song, which featured a young Van Morrison.

The Star TONIGHT! (26 September 1990) by Glynis O'Hara
STEVE PRODUCES STUNNING NEW WORK
BIG SKY "Waiting For The Dawn" (GRC) - What a pleasure it is to put on a local rock record of quality. Here Steve Louw, formerly of All Night Radio, has got together a line-up that includes Don Laka (keyboards), McCoy Mrubata (Sax), Jimmy Mngwandi (bass) and Godla Mcinga (drums). Added to this are guitarist Robbie McIntosh (formerly of The Pretenders, now with Paul McCartney), keyboard player Benmont Tench (from Tom Petty's Heartbreakers) and Roy Bittan of Bruce Springsteen's band. They recorded a lot in Los Angeles, you see, so all these other okes popped in and just added their bits. Louw's strengths are downhome hard rocking and heartfelt ballads and it's here that the record really takes off - in the R 'n B stunner of "Blood Money" (with the help of the Atlantic City Horns) and in "Slow Dancing" and "Home to Stay". The last, built on piano, acoustic guitar and accordion alone, is truly beautiful, with a gloriously tear-jerking strings reprise. If you need a cry put this on - and then follow it up with Katie Webster's "Never Let Me Go" from "Two-Fisted Mama". You'll be a mess on the floor for sure.

The title, somewhat anthemic track, refers to the South African situation and includes the lines: "People suffer for so long now ... We're still waiting for the dawn / For the sea to wash the sins from our sands." Good stuff. And "Power In The Darkness" too, a hot Tom Robinson song, employs a ragged street choir to chant the chorus on a really good arrangement. Robinson was/is a gay/political rights musical campaigner in Britain and the lyrics go thusly: "Freedom to choose what to do with your body / Freedom to believe what you like / Freedom for brothers to love one another / Freedom for black and white." At times, Louw sounds very much like Lloyd Cole - not a bad thing at all. The weakest point is the cover of Tom Waits's "Downtown". The only way to follow that hellish growl is to completely re-invent the song - slow it down, speed it up, change the melody, sing in falsetto, anything. Only don't do a relatively straight down-the-line copy. It's OK, but only just. Otherwise, a fine album.

YOU (27 September 1990) by Cornelis Bach
ALBUM OF THE WEEK - BIG SKY - WAITING FOR THE DAWN
Steve Louw, he of the monster breath with All Night Radio, has somehow transformed himself into Big Sky. There he stands, guitars at hand and a microphone strategically placed. He hops between Studios in distant parts of the globe, surrounding himself with musicians of the stature of Honest Rod Nagel, Nico Burger, Benmont Tench, Steve Newman and Waddy Wachtell. And it works. For the first time in his career Louw's music really shines through, thanks to his co-producers Kevin Shirley and Shelley Yakus. Big Sky sounds big, even to the point where one can forget about the vocals sometimes being a bit on the thin side. Obvious crowd-pleasers would be the title track, Slow Dancing, Home To Stay and Diamonds And Dirt, but to my mind the track that really declares Big Sky to be an ongoing concern is the rendition of Tom Waits' Downtown. With 'Waiting For The Dawn' Steve Louw really has come into his own.

Close Reviews
Waiting for the Dawn

Waiting for the Dawn

It's a slow train that takes me back to
The dreams and hopes we had when we were young
In the backstreets of the city
People fighting for the hope thatjust begun

Waiting for the dawn
Waiting for the dawn
In the night sky the starsare shining
On a billion dreams I'll never knoww
They hold the promise of this new day
Where people live together

Waiting for the dawn
Waiting for the dawn

People suffer for so long now
Under the cross that shines upon our land
We're still waiting for the new dawn
For the sea to wash the sins from our sands

Waiting for the dawn
Waiting for the dawn

With our eyes burning our hearts beating
Beating out the sounds of the drum
We sit waiting in the dark night
For the new dawn, the morning sun

Waiting for the dawn
Waiting for the dawn
Blood Money

Blood Money

Power in the Darkness

Power in the Darkness

Forever Love

Forever Love

Diamonds and Dirt

Diamonds and Dirt

This is a small round world we're living in
With everybody trying to own everything
Aint got a wife, no home or family
Just got these hands and no one to stop me

Diamonds and dirt
Blood on my face and my shirt
Diamonds and dirt
Ever since Iwas born life hurt
Diamonds and dust
See the blood turn to dust
Diamonds and dust
See the love turn to lust

Got all these bills and no money to pay
the landlord's going to put me away
Was gonna leave this town anyhow
Well I might as well leave this world now

CHORUS

I was born down and that's how I'll die
Got nothing to show and nothin' to hide
Don't know where to start
Don't know where to stop
A few more hours is all I got

Don't wanna be rich don't wanna be poor
I don't want to be anything anymore
Gonna take a woman in my arms
And die tasting her charms

CHORUS

You got a match for me I'll light the fire
A gallon of gas and a few used tyres
I can hear sirens I can hear drums
I can see heaven and here I come

CHORUS
Downtown

Downtown

Shine On

Shine On

Slow Dancing

Slow Dancing

Always slow dancing
With your body close to mine
We're dancing in circles
On the wings of time

There's a bird outside calling
I always want you to be free
And a warm wind blowing across the land
Bringing you closer, closer to me

Always slow dancing
I can feel your heartbeat
Slowdancing together
Feel warm in your body heat

There's a bad moon outside shining
Shining down on the sea
You cast your spell upon me
Till we're dancing, dancing cheek to cheek

Always slow dancing
I can feel your heartbeat
Slowdancing together
We're frozen in time

Like the rivers that keep flowing
Bringing water to the sea
We were always moving closer
Now we're dancing, you're dancing with me
Home to Stay

Home to Stay

Every time that I saw you
With those bloodshot eyes so blue
I swore that I can love you
And that you will love me too

But you never ever noticed
You didn't seem to care
So I gave you my Zippo
And a heart that you could wear

Now the years have gone by
And some friends have disappeared
I found you in a bar last night
And I wiped away your tears

You asked me what took so long
Where're you been all these years
Then you showed me my old lighter
Took out the heart that you still wear

Strange how things happen
I would've put money on this turning out another way
Now there's a ring on your finger
And I'm back home to stay

There's a house down on main street
It's got a dog in the yard
A leather jacket on the bedpost
Red roses in a vase
Home to Stay (Reprise)

Home to Stay (Reprise)

Every time that I saw you
With those bloodshot eyes so blue
I swore that I can love you
And that you will love me too

But you never ever noticed
You didn't seem to care
So I gave you my Zippo
And a heart that you could wear

Now the years have gone by
And some friends have disappeared
I found you in a bar last night
And I wiped away your tears

You asked me what took so long
Where're you been all these years
Then you showed me my old lighter
Took out the heart that you still wear

Strange how things happen
I would've put money on this turning out another way
Now there's a ring on your finger
And I'm back home to stay

There's a house down on main street
It's got a dog in the yard
A leather jacket on the bedpost
Red roses in a vase
Waiting For The Dawn (Radio Edit)

Waiting For The Dawn (Radio Edit)

It's a slow train that takes me back to
The dreams and hopes we had when we were young
In the backstreets of the city
People fighting for the hope thatjust begun

Waiting for the dawn
Waiting for the dawn
In the night sky the starsare shining
On a billion dreams I'll never knoww
They hold the promise of this new day
Where people live together

Waiting for the dawn
Waiting for the dawn

People suffer for so long now
Under the cross that shines upon our land
We're still waiting for the new dawn
For the sea to wash the sins from our sands

Waiting for the dawn
Waiting for the dawn

With our eyes burning our hearts beating
Beating out the sounds of the drum
We sit waiting in the dark night
For the new dawn, the morning sun

Waiting for the dawn
Waiting for the dawn
Here Comes The Night (Bert Berns)

Here Comes The Night (Bert Berns)

Horizon1995

With his second album "Horizon", Steve Louw managed to clinch the "Best Rock Act" of 1996 award at the FNB Music Awards. The album is still cruising the airwaves with songs like "Kathleen" and "Strange Room" - Martell Blues Rock Festival

Released in late 1995 by Polygram, catalogue number BPCD 1. Mixed by Rob Jacobs and Shelly Yakus. Produced by Steve Louw.

Musicians:
Steve Louw: vocals, acoustic guitar
Scott Crago: drums, percussion
Mark Harris: bass
Benmont Tench: Hammond organ, piano
Tommy Girvin: electric & acoustic guitars, backing vocals
Mona Lisa & Terry Young: backing vocals on 'One Cut With A Knife'
Kip Lennon & Mark Lennon: backing vocals on 'Bye Bye Johnny' & 'Kathleen'

Martell Blues Rock Festival
BIG SKY - with his second album "Horizon", Steve Louw managed to clinch the "Best Rock Act" of 1996 award at the FNB Music Awards. The album is still cruising the airwaves with songs like "Kathleen" and "Strange Room".

In The Groove by Evan Milton
Hit the open road to this sound

Big Sky: Horizon
A follow-up to 1990's Waiting For The Dawn, Horizon is the lovechild of Clifton singer-songwriter Steve Louw, formerly of 80's rockers All Night Radio. To achieve the quality necessary for his idea, Louw took his songs to Los Angeles, where producer Shelly Yakus helped polish the product. Yakus has worked with U2, Dire Straits and Tom Petty, which suits the Big Sky three-chord rock 'n roll sound just fine. One Cut With A Knife deals with the loss of self-respect which abused women experience in relationships they struggle to escape from. Penned with sensitivity and sung with feeling, the song delves deeper into human relationships than your average pop hit, showing the terrible truth of someone in a position to say: "I hate myself for loving you." This isn't to say Horizon is heavy and maudlin: the album swings, grooves and gets you to shake that funky thang the way solid rock should. Big Sky's songs capture the unique imagery of South African life and retell it in a rock 'n roll, jeans, leather and cowboy boots, six-string on my back, motorbikes and strong whisky kind of way. Buy this before your next long trip - or maybe buy it just because you're stuck in an office and can't take one.

Big Sky Horizonx by Michael Cross
Calling Steve Louw, who is Big Sky, "the local Bryan Adams" might annoy him, but it's a tag I tend to agree with. The album is slick, epic, made-for-big-screen stuff, and sure doesn't sound like it's from here at all. In fact, it was recorded in the USA with the best backing musos he could afford, but it's not all indulgent. Steve's as passionate about what he does as the next guy. He tackles Tom Waits' San Diego Serenade, which is a little ambitious, but by far the best is Strange Room - a "S'Effrican in New York" thing with a reference to Sting, singing about Russians and trees, and all he's got is a one-way ticket and a case of anti-freeze. Truly terrific. Steve Louw was with Cape Town rockers All Night Radio before commuting overseas to make albums with serious session men. It beats the hell out of disappearing without a trace.

TOP 40 (July 1995)
Once upon a time there was All Night Radio, led by the sometimes abrasive and generally in your rock 'n roll face Steve Louw. They played raunchy and punchy rock songs at a time when everybody else was going ethnic, and they gave the impression that no stage or territory was big enough for them. It was a rather premature attitude, and after a couple of years of hard gigging and a reasonable amount of chart success, they went Horizonthe way of so many other bands in this country. All was quiet on the All Night Radio front, and many thought that was it. Then, with little fanfare and fuss, Big Sky appeared; a mature version of the same thing, a great album which was all over your radio in 1990, an album that went on to sell thousands. Louw was back, less abrasive, more thought provoking, and producing a music that stood on it's own, both here and abroad. Horizon is the second release by this band, and what a good one it is; the intervening period has been put to good use, and this selection of finely crafted and produced songs is evidence of that.

Produced in L.A. by Steve Louw and Shelly Yakus - he of U2 fame - Horizon stretches this band's horizon's considerably. It's an unashamed rock album, paying lip service to a variety of influences; you'll find yourself thinking oh, that's familiar, but without being able to put your finger on it. The reason for this is clear; it's a work that fits firmly into its genre whilst maintaining it's own originality and individuality. With the exception of San Diego Serenade, a Tom Waits track, the songs are all written by Louw, and what an exceptional songwriter he has become. Look to find 'One Cut With A Knife' on the radio almost every time you switch it on; it's just the right combination of hook and rock, a humming and bopping thing. There's something for everybody here; Mr Louw has clearly mellowed somewhat, and there's a bit of country, a bit of blues and some fine ballads. The cover and the name are apt; it is an album that is full of space and wide horizons, and the cover picture is emblematic of all that, a guitarist leaps into the sky, and hopefully takes you along with him. Buy it.

Close Reviews
One Cut With a Knife

One Cut With a Knife

One cut with a knife
One hit and my life
Just shatters in peices
Just scatters and he says on your feet

Out in the night
Out of my life
I didn't mean it - I'm bleeding
I didn't mean it - I'm pleading

I hate myself for loving you
For all the things you've made me do

One cut, one knife
One hit, one life

Honey come over here
Honey you've got nothing to fear
Why did you make me so bad
Why did you make me so mad

I hate myself for loving you
For all the times I've been used
About self-respect I just don't know
Just can't find my way home

Chorus
Step On

Step On

Bye Bye Johnny

Bye Bye Johnny

The River Flowing

The River Flowing

Strange Room

Strange Room

My comboy boots and a coat of black leather
Walking down the street I'm feeling better
Seems like it's been so long ago
That I felt like I had somewhere to go
Out here where I've never been
Seen some people I've never seen

Got a map in my hand and a book on mars
Reading about people they say are the stars
There's a new moon rising across a yellow moon
Clouds throwing shadows across a strange room
Sting's on the cover of Rolling Stone
In a country where the nomads roam
Singing songs about Russians and trees
I got a one way ticket and a case of anti-freeze

My comboy boots and a coat of brown leather
Walking down the street I'm feeling better
Seems like it's been so long ago
That I felt like I had somewhere to go
Sting's on the cover of Rolling Stone
In a country where the nomads roam
Singing songs about Russians and trees
I got a one way ticket and a case of anti-freeze
Run To Me

Run To Me

The sky is crying
See the tears turn into a rainbow sun
I see you laughing with your head thrown back
You're saying you're the one
Shake the tree and butterflies float through your blue eyes
I hold your face as the clouds float by we learn to Hy

Oh baby run to me
Oh baby run to me
We see a purple sky
Reach up and touch us we're so high

Fields of flowers
Turning in the chains of your long hair
I kiss the clouds
As we're climbing up these ragged stairs

Chorus

Touch the clouds under me
Floating higher flying free

Rolling and tumbling
Through the diamonds burning in the sky
I reach up for you
And pull them down one by one

Chorus
Kathleen

Kathleen

Oh Kathleen you're a real live wire
Oh Kathleen you're my heart's desire
Oh Kathleen feel my heart break
With every step that you take

You're going to miss me
When I'm gone
Come here and kiss me
Let me feel those loving arms
Baby Kathleen my baby Kathleen

Oh Kathleen I love you so
With all my heart with all my soul
You came to me from the stars
Feel your love beating in your heart

Chorus

Oh Kathleen you're a real live wire
Oh Kathleen you're my heart's desire
Hells Gates

Hells Gates

San Diego Serenade

San Diego Serenade

Blue Eyes

Blue Eyes

Blue eyes shining bright
Come to me, in the night
Darling blue eyes deep and wild
Sleep now my little child

Blue eyes I love you so
Fill my heart soothe my soul
Blue eyes filled with tears
Hold you close still your fears

Blue eyes I love you so
Little child heart of gold
Part of me part of you
Sleep now my baby blue
City of Love

City of Love

Going Down With Mister Green1997

There aren't many SA musicians who can produce albums of this intensity and quality but Steve Louw's done it three times in a row. - Stephen Segerman

Released in 1997 by Polygram, catalogue number BPCD 2. Mixed by Rob Jacobs and produced by Steve Louw.

Musicians:
Steve Louw: vocals, guitar
Scott Crago: drums, percussion
Mark Harris: bass
Benmont Tench: keyboards
Tommy Girvin: guitar
Tim Pierce: sitar on 'Wasted'

Top Forty

Needing little introduction, Big Sky is a local music legend, and they are still pulling out all the top-notch stops.


Stephen Segerman
Throughout these 11 songs, Louw's effervescent guitar licks and yearning lyrics dominate. The first single, 'Wasted', is the resigned but optimistic cry for spiritual renewal and another nod to the "Mr Green" of the title. 'Diamond Head's' soft, gruff vocals and sensitive acoustic backing is pure Big Sky as is the sweet 'Sally And Suzie'. 'Be My Country' is a lilting country-rock ode to SA and 'Cowgirl' brings this varied collection to a calm and reflective close. There aren't many SA musicians who can produce albums of this intensity and quality but Steve Louw's done it three times in a row.


The Cape Times

Big Skys songs capture the unique imagery and retell it in a rock n roll, jeans, cowboy boots way.


Bylae by Die Burger (12 September 1997) by Herman Wasserman
DAAR'S 'N GROEN PAADJIE VIR STAP
Hy is geen groentjie nie. Steve Louw maak al musiek sedert die tagtigerjare, toe hy lid was van All Night Radio,en het in 1990 die groep Big Sky gestig. Twee albums (Waiting For The Dawn en Horizon) en 'n FNB toekenning later, is Big Sky terug met Going Down With Mister Green, en die album het alles wat nodig is om nog 'n mylpaal in die groep se geskiedenis te word. Die snitte wissel van 'n heerlike popwysie soos die titelsnit tot sulke grower, gatskop-bluesrock - a la ZZ Top - soos "Hitch-hike". Die onderwerpe het grootliks maar te doen met die liefde, maar ook met ander aardse waardes soos die terugkeer na die natuur, soos in die titelsnit: take off your jewels / lay them on the ground. Louw se stem is sterk en suiwer, met 'n sweempie nostalgie en wereldwysheid, maar tog lig en energiek genoeg om te spreek tot jonger luisteraars se pop-sentimente.

Partykeer klink hy mymereend, en die ver af klank van sy stem agter die melodie en ritme herinner selfs (op snitte soos "Hold Me" en "79/35?) aan Bono van U2 se Keltiese anthems. Maar meesal is dit opgewekte, ritmiese, stuwende folkrock, met vernuftige verwerkings en goeie melodiee met duidelike rigting. Louw is ewe tuis in sterker rock nommers en stadiger liefdesballades. Maar die oorheersende gevoel is 'n folkagtige, akoestiese een, en in snitte soos "Take My Heart" spog die ritmiese akoestiese kitaar vir 'n aansteeklike, opwindende pas. Daar is sweempies country te bespeur in die gebruik van glykitare, so ook van blues in sommige van die patrone en die gebruik van 'n Hammond orrel. Maar as die klavier oopgemaak word in "Sally & Suzie", het dit saam met Louw se heserige stem 'n pragtige, greinerige liefdeslied tot gevolg. Stap gerus die groen paadjie saam. Dis knap uitgele en gemaklik onder die voet.

Close Reviews
Mr. Green

Mr. Green

A hundred dollar bill
Tattooed on her heart
Diamond rings anf a credit card
You want love well that's not hard
I'll lead you down the path to Mr Green

Going down with Mr Green
Seen some strange things
Never wanted to see
Going down with Mr Green
Take a trip Mr Green and me

Take off your jewels
Lay them on the ground
Take off your robes
Listen to the sound
Of the night coming through the clouds
Of the day still beating loud

Going down with Mr Green
Seen some strange things
Never wanted to see
Going down with Mr Green
Take a trip Mr Green and me
Take My Heart

Take My Heart

Sally And Suzie

Sally And Suzie

Hold Me

Hold Me

79/35

79/35

Raise Up Your Hand

Raise Up Your Hand

Wasted

Wasted

Diamond Heart

Diamond Heart

Hitch Hike

Hitch Hike

Be My Country

Be My Country

Cowgirl

Cowgirl

Best Of The Decade1999

To use a rock cliché in describing a work that is not clichéd, but rather is personal and musical: this CD has some infectious songs. I defy even the most hardened distortion lover from tapping along to songs like 'Blue Eyes', 'Run to Me', and 'Strange Room' - Kurt Shoemaker, October 2001

Compilation album released on the Epic label on the 4th October 1999. Catalogue number CDEPC 8120 R. Compilation produced by Kevin Shirley and Steve Louw.
All songs written by Steve Louw except 'Slow Dancing' and 'Skin Deep' written by Steve Louw and Kevin Shirley.

Musicians (on 1999 recordings):
Steve Louw: vocals, guitars
Anton Fig: drums
Pat Thrall: guitars
Mickey d'Michelle: bass
Eric Bazilian: guitar
Adam Holzman: Hammond organ
Kevin Shirley: dulcimer on 'Destiny'
Alex Foster: sax on 'Skin Deep'
Andy Kravitz: percussion on 'Skin Deep'

The Citizen Spotlight by Christina Kennedy

Big Sky... an exceptional live act with an arsenal of renowned musicians sharing the stage.


Big Sky - Best of The Decade by Mike Behr

Several years ago, during a spellbinding two-hour set of near religious ecstasy at the House of Blues in New Orleans, I had the pleasure of acquainting myself with the music of Canadian singer-songwriter Bruce Cockburn.What amazes me now as much as it did then, is how a cruel twist of fate has for decades denied Cockburn the fame he deserves. In another time and place, Canada's best kept musical secret could have been a Springsteen, a Mellencamp or a Jackson Browne.

Just as astonishing is the way big-time success has eluded our very own best kept rock secret, Steve Louw. Heaven knows, South Africa's premier singer-songwriter has paid his dues, from tireless gigging with All Night Radio - which he formed at Stellenbosch University in the early Eighties while he was studying law - to prolific movie soundtrack work and the elegant output of his all-star band Big Sky. The lack of wider recognition would have been palatable had Steve's rocking 'n rolling been mediocre. But, as anyone who knows his distinctively relaxed style will attest, the man is a class act. The kind that lures collaborators of a similar pedigree.

Steve started keeping auspicious company in the studio way back in the early Eighties when a bunch of scratchy C60 demos impressed New York-based John Rollo enough to agree to produce All Night Radio's debut, The Heart's the Best Part. Having worked with Roberta Flack, Stevie Nicks, former E-Street Band guitarist Steve van Zandt and The Kinks, Rollo had what it took to capture on vinyl the raucous, raunchy essence of All Night Radio's famed live shows. The next producer of note to work with Steve was South African born Kevin Shirley. In 1986, he produced All Night Radio's second album, The Killing Floor, before launching an international career that would find him producing Aerosmith, Silverchair, Black Crowes and a host of other hot global acts. Two years later, Shirley teamed up again with Steve to produce Big Sky's debut, Waiting For the Dawn. A watershed album in the history of South African rock 'n roll, it spawned a trio of top 10 radio hits: Waiting For the Dawn, Diamonds and Dirt and the delectable Slow Dancing. Each one finds a place on this classy retrospective which was released to satisfy a growing demand for a Big Sky back catalogue that is in scarce supply.
Scan the credits, and you'll notice that Steve rock 'n rolls in the super league. Besides a star cast of South Africans, the musicians who took their three songs to the top of the charts included Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers keyboardist Benmont Tench, Chrissie Hynde and The Pretenders guitarist Robbie McIntosh, Linda Ronstadt guitarist Waddy Wachtell who also played for Keith Richard's Xpensive Winos and Eagles drummer Scott Crago.

Big Sky's second album, Horizon, a beautifully crafted, mostly acoustic set spawned two huge radio hits in One Cut With a Knife and Strange Room before edging out younger, hipper bands like Urban Creep and Squeal to win a South African Music Award for Best Rock Act. Both hits, plus four other songs from Horizon, are featured on this collection. Steve's sequel, Going Down With Mr Green, maintained the same high standards of his previous albums. The bitter irony is that playing in the big league hasn't opened the doors to the big time - yet. Listen to the pair of brand new songs that fit this retrospective like an old slipper and you'll discover that Steve Louw is not about to hang up his guitar. Titled Destiny (penned for his wife Erna for their 11th wedding anniversary) and Skin Deep, both sparkling rock gems with Kevin Shirely behind the studio controls. Not one to make rash predictions, Shirley remarked during his recent recording of the new Springbok Nude Girls album that Destiny in particular is good enough to crack the American charts. Having been there several time, he should know.
After such a long haul, it would be sweet rock 'n roll justice if Steve got to thrill the heartland that has inspired his music through the years. God knows, he deserves it. The only bummer is then we'd have to share our best kept secret...


KRVM radio station in Oregon USA by Leigh Barrett

Big Sky - still a favourite of mine. Steve and co went Slow Dancing with my listeners.


SA Rock Digest Issue #127 (October 2001) by Kurt Shoemaker

I have heard that Japan does not permit masters of certain crafts to leave the country for fear of losing them. The fact that Steve travels to the States and NYC in no way diminishes how I think of him as a rock master. Y'all won't lose him, though, because his heart is in South Africa.There is no posturing, no rear-wagging and tongue-unfurling here, only unabashed good-feeling rock, heavy on melody; rock resonant with a clear and sharp electric guitar and strong drums.This is mature rock, not rebel-without-a-clue anger-for-the-sake of-anger rock. So if you think Huck Phlegm and the Pissed-Off Kids is gobs of fun, this might well not be a CD for you.
However, if you have a couple of kids whom you adore, one with blue eyes, a forever love of your life (and a long-ago girlfriend named Kathleen), and a passion for melodic rock played with masterful finesse, then this is a CD to spin for the fun of it.

The closest Steve Louw gets to anger is a slow burn at best on the tune 'Mr. Green', where he laments our loss of inner-strength and its replacement by materialism. Mostly he sings of people-things: relationships and love, side trips into disappointments, feeling wasted, and diamonds and dirt. All sung with open sincerity, all cleanly played on the electric guitar, without forgetting the pounding drums - both really are nicely favored in the mix.

Not to diminish this CD's rock value, but it can be played softly for melodic rock background, or it can be cranked up to dominate the room and keep a small party chugging along. It can even make work pleasant. 'Best of the Decade' is not laid back - don't think that - but it does have a casual insouciance, an inspiring lift, that talks to you if you're at a certain responsible age of life.

See I sometimes think that female singers sing to me, and male singers sing for me. In this greatest hits CD, Steve seems to be coming from a place and time in his life where he sings for me, expressing in song what I haven't the musical skill to sing and play, though I have the life to feel. I enjoy the rolling beauty and almost plaintive feel of Steve Louw's music. He's a masterful guitarist and assembles a great band - not to mention having a friend like Kevin Shirley produce a number of the tracks for him in New York City.

To use a rock cliché in describing a work that is not clichéd, but rather is personal and musical: this CD has some infectious songs. I defy even the most hardened distortion lover from tapping along to songs like 'Blue Eyes', 'Run to Me', and 'Strange Room'.
If you enjoy the sort of work work I've described, and can't sustain anger and screaming for 56 minutes, you might could, as we say in Texas, check out Steve Louw and Big Sky's international rock with its heart in South Africa.


Stephen Segerman October 1999

When Big Sky won the SAMA award for Best Rock Act in the mid-'90?s, beating off a strong challenge from the younger turks of the SA rock scene (Urban Creep, Squeal), many folks' reaction was "Who?". A typical response towards an artist who has worked consistently since the early '80?s to establish himself as one of SA's foremost rock musicians. Steve Louw began his career with All Night Radio before creating Big Sky in 1990. With no other fixed band personnel involved, Louw worked with an assortment of producers and musicians, usually international, to create his '90?s body of work. He worked with Kevin Shirley on the first album, 'Waiting For The Dawn', and then used the legendary producer and arranger, Shelley Yakus, for his second, 'Horizon', which was the album that won the SAMA award. The third album, 'Going Down With Mr Green', completed his trilogy of exceptional '90?s rock albums.

But despite the quality of the material on these three albums, Steve Louw remained SA Rock's "Invisible Man". He popped up with a full band as the support to Rodriguez on his 1998 SA tour and caught the attention of a host of SA rock fans who then went looking for some of these albums. Now Steve has released a compilation of the best tracks off these three albums, and 'Best Of The Decade' is a worthy title and damn fine album. Besides the older hits like 'Waiting For The Dawn', Diamonds And Dust', 'Slow Dancing', 'One Cut With A Knife', 'Run To Me', 'Wasted', and 'Strange Room', there are two new tracks - 'Destiny' and 'Skin Deep'. Steve Louw is a no-frills rocker with an ear for elegaic melodies and intelligent lyrics. He deserves far more attention then he has received and hopefully this strong collection will achieve just that.


YFM

Ok, he's no Carlos Santana but he plays some wicked tunes, Steve Louw is the man behind Big Sky and he's the man who's recognised in the forefront of South Africa's Rock 'n Roll. He's a class act and his distinctively relaxed style. He's almost too smooth and he unfortunately also fell victim to the South African soil that doesn't do much in marketing our local sounds abroad. Big Sky's second album, 'Horizon', won them a South African Music Award for Best Rock Act and that they are. Whether through mixing their sounds or sticking to acoustics they are just brilliant. In the song 'Slow dancing' he features Don Laka on piano and the collaboration is simply out of this world. In all honesty I've always loved his music but had never bothered to find out his name - call it inexcusable ignorance. You'll enjoy this - definitely the best of the last century.

Close Reviews
Destiny

Destiny

Mr Green

Mr Green

A hundred dollar bill
Tattooed on her heart
Diamond rings anf a credit card
You want love well that's not hard
I'll lead you down the path to Mr Green

Going down with Mr Green
Seen some strange things
Never wanted to see
Going down with Mr Green
Take a trip Mr Green and me

Take off your jewels
Lay them on the ground
Take off your robes
Listen to the sound
Of the night coming through the clouds
Of the day still beating loud

Going down with Mr Green
Seen some strange things
Never wanted to see
Going down with Mr Green
Take a trip Mr Green and me
Run To Me

Run To Me

The sky is crying
See the tears turn into a rainbow sun
I see you laughing with your head thrown back
You're saying you're the one
Shake the tree and butterflies float through your blue eyes
I hold your face as the clouds float by we learn to Hy

Oh baby run to me
Oh baby run to me
We see a purple sky
Reach up and touch us we're so high

Fields of flowers
Turning in the chains of your long hair
I kiss the clouds
As we're climbing up these ragged stairs

Chorus

Touch the clouds under me
Floating higher flying free

Rolling and tumbling
Through the diamonds burning in the sky
I reach up for you
And pull them down one by one

Chorus
Waiting For The Dawn

Waiting For The Dawn

It's a slow train that takes me back to
The dreams and hopes we had when we were young
In the backstreets of the city
People fighting for the hope thatjust begun

Waiting for the dawn
Waiting for the dawn
In the night sky the starsare shining
On a billion dreams I'll never knoww
They hold the promise of this new day
Where people live together

Waiting for the dawn
Waiting for the dawn

People suffer for so long now
Under the cross that shines upon our land
We're still waiting for the new dawn
For the sea to wash the sins from our sands

Waiting for the dawn
Waiting for the dawn

With our eyes burning our hearts beating
Beating out the sounds of the drum
We sit waiting in the dark night
For the new dawn, the morning sun

Waiting for the dawn
Waiting for the dawn
One Cut With A Knife

One Cut With A Knife

One cut with a knife
One hit and my life
Just shatters in peices
Just scatters and he says on your feet

Out in the night
Out of my life
I didn't mean it - I'm bleeding
I didn't mean it - I'm pleading

I hate myself for loving you
For all the things you've made me do

One cut, one knife
One hit, one life

Honey come over here
Honey you've got nothing to fear
Why did you make me so bad
Why did you make me so mad

I hate myself for loving you
For all the times I've been used
About self-respect I just don't know
Just can't find my way home

Chorus
Diamonds And Dirt

Diamonds And Dirt

This is a small round world we're living in
With everybody trying to own everything
Aint got a wife, no home or family
Just got these hands and no one to stop me

Diamonds and dirt
Blood on my face and my shirt
Diamonds and dirt
Ever since Iwas born life hurt
Diamonds and dust
See the blood turn to dust
Diamonds and dust
See the love turn to lust

Got all these bills and no money to pay
the landlord's going to put me away
Was gonna leave this town anyhow
Well I might as well leave this world now

CHORUS

I was born down and that's how I'll die
Got nothing to show and nothin' to hide
Don't know where to start
Don't know where to stop
A few more hours is all I got

Don't wanna be rich don't wanna be poor
I don't want to be anything anymore
Gonna take a woman in my arms
And die tasting her charms

CHORUS

You got a match for me I'll light the fire
A gallon of gas and a few used tyres
I can hear sirens I can hear drums
I can see heaven and here I come

CHORUS
Skin Deep

Skin Deep

Hold Me

Hold Me

Wasted

Wasted

Kathleen

Kathleen

Oh Kathleen you're a real live wire
Oh Kathleen you're my heart's desire
Oh Kathleen feel my heart break
With every step that you take

You're going to miss me
When I'm gone
Come here and kiss me
Let me feel those loving arms
Baby Kathleen my baby Kathleen

Oh Kathleen I love you so
With all my heart with all my soul
You came to me from the stars
Feel your love beating in your heart

Chorus

Oh Kathleen you're a real live wire
Oh Kathleen you're my heart's desire
Forever Love

Forever Love

Strange Room

Strange Room

My comboy boots and a coat of black leather
Walking down the street I'm feeling better
Seems like it's been so long ago
That I felt like I had somewhere to go
Out here where I've never been
Seen some people I've never seen

Got a map in my hand and a book on mars
Reading about people they say are the stars
There's a new moon rising across a yellow moon
Clouds throwing shadows across a strange room
Sting's on the cover of Rolling Stone
In a country where the nomads roam
Singing songs about Russians and trees
I got a one way ticket and a case of anti-freeze

My comboy boots and a coat of brown leather
Walking down the street I'm feeling better
Seems like it's been so long ago
That I felt like I had somewhere to go
Sting's on the cover of Rolling Stone
In a country where the nomads roam
Singing songs about Russians and trees
I got a one way ticket and a case of anti-freeze
Slow Dancing

Slow Dancing

Always slow dancing
With your body close to mine
We're dancing in circles
On the wings of time

There's a bird outside calling
I always want you to be free
And a warm wind blowing across the land
Bringing you closer, closer to me

Always slow dancing
I can feel your heartbeat
Slowdancing together
Feel warm in your body heat

There's a bad moon outside shining
Shining down on the sea
You cast your spell upon me
Till we're dancing, dancing cheek to cheek

Always slow dancing
I can feel your heartbeat
Slowdancing together
We're frozen in time

Like the rivers that keep flowing
Bringing water to the sea
We were always moving closer
Now we're dancing, you're dancing with me
Blue Eyes

Blue Eyes

Blue eyes shining bright
Come to me, in the night
Darling blue eyes deep and wild
Sleep now my little child

Blue eyes I love you so
Fill my heart soothe my soul
Blue eyes filled with tears
Hold you close still your fears

Blue eyes I love you so
Little child heart of gold
Part of me part of you
Sleep now my baby blue

Beyond The Blue2002

An impressive effort from Louw, one of this country's best and most confident song writers that marries the sounds of early U2, Tom Petty and Rodger Waters with the strains of Louw's acoustic guitar. This fine album is proudly South Africa. Mail & Guardian

Released on 9th September 2002 by SonyMusic, catalogue number CDEPC 8223. Produced by Kevin Shirley.
All songs written by Steve Louw.

Musicians:
Steve Louw: vocals, acoustic guitar
Anton Fig: drums, percussion
Keith Lentin: bass, harmonica, acoustic guitar on track 9
Blondie Chaplin: guitars, vocals
Pat Thrall: guitars
Adam Holzman: keyboards

Die Burger by Gabriel Bothma

Louw is onmiskenbaar en onteenseglik in oorspronklike, begaafde en produktiewe rockliedjieskrywer wat deur die jare al outentieke radiotreffers soos "One cut with a knife" en "Strange room" ingeryg het.


MP3 by Steve Louw and Big Sky (14 September 2002) by Stephen Segerman & Brian Currin

Seems we have a new theme song at SAmp3.com! It is called 'MP3', and it is by Steve Louw. 'MP3' is one of the songs on 'Beyond The Blue', the just-released fourth studio album by Steve Louw and Big Sky.

'MP3' offers Steve Louw's view on this new way of promoting music online. 'Beyond The Blue' has 11 songs including 'Flying', 'Chainsaw Blues', 'The Road Ahead' and 'The Story Of Vicky And Dan', and features drummer Anton Fig (ex-Hammak, ex-Spider, currently with Paul Schafer's house band on the David Letterman Show in the USA), Keith Lentin (ex-Alpha Set, ex-Hammak, ex-Spider, bass), Blondie Chaplin (ex-Flames, ex-Beach Boys, ex-Rolling Stones, guitar, backing vocals), Pat Thrall (ex-Asia, ex-Meatloaf, ex-Hughes/Thrall, guitar), Adam Holzman (ex-Miles Davis, ex-Chaka Khan, piano and keyboards), and Steve Louw on acoustic guitar and vocals. 'Beyond The Blue' was produced and mixed by Kevin Shirley at Hit Factory in New York City.

Here's an extract from the lyrics of the song 'MP3':

"The MP3 means a lot to me, I'm back on my feet, I'm not down on my knees; The MP3 means a lot to me, You get your tunes, I get my royalties."

SAmp3.com is about promoting and marketing SA music online to encourage sales of CDs in South Africa and internationally. Many SA labels and artists already understand this, and SAmp3.com is getting flooded with songs from new, unsigned, and unheard artists, as well as old campaigners like Steve Louw, Koos Kombuis, Roger Lucey, Piet Botha, Sons Of Trout and Anton Goosen.


Mail & Guardian

An impressive effort from Louw, one of this country's best and most confident song writers, ... marries the sounds of early U2, Tom Petty and Rodger Waters with the strains of Louw's acoustic guitar ... This fine album is proudly South Africa.


Rapport by Theunis Engelbrecht

Beyond the Blue sal Steve Louw & Big Sky se aanhangers ook gelukig maak.


Beyond The Blue by SA Sounds

Steve Louw & Big Sky are well known names in the area of South African contemporary rock. Steve debuted in 1984 with All Night Radio's "The Heart's The Best Part", an album overseen by E- Streeter and Springsteen sidekick, Steven van Zandt. In April 2002 Steve arrived in New York City to complete recording on his 7th album. As usual an impressive ensemble of musicians we're gathered to meet with producer Kevin Shirley (Louws old sidekick) and before anyone even realised it , Steve Louw & Big Sky had begun work on their next album "Beyond The Blue".

A few weeks later 'Beyond The Blue' was created and ready to return home. Described by Steve as a "Black & Blue rock album", this record carries a character of it's own, moving through layers of laid back blues rock through to more upbeat contemporary and folky storytellers. 'Beyond The Blue"s introductory track "Flying" begins the album from a point of depth and reflection, the lyrics (although clearly of deep personal meaning to the writer) carry relevance for all of us. This flavour is continued into "Carry Me To You" a serene track, lyrically offering a hopeful return to one's lost love.

"Chainsaw Blue's" moves the album into Blues Rock with the warm presence of a character filled lead guitar accompanying the quirky lead vocal. "Your Love" a sentimental ballad brings us back to a straight blues sound, the smoothness of this track is hypnotic and allows the listener an insight into the heart of Steve Louw.

Next up is "Shadows" a track initially draped in ambience, that grows into a determined yet tragic love story. "The Road Ahead" the album's first radio single is next up, a more typical Steve Louw track, this song echoes the determination of the artist, symbolising strength through Rock n Roll ("She's still young we're getting old ...").

"The Story of Vicky and Dan" brings the album's storytelling aspect to a head with the charming story of a young couple getting together in the romantic, poverty stricken world of the artist and musician - does it have a happy ending? - you'll have to listen for yourself. Steve confesses that this track was actually inspired by the story of Charlize Theron and her rise to stardom from Jo'burgs East Rand to Hollywood.

"You Are In Heaven" a beautiful lullaby about a loved one lost, the emotions conveyed in this track are illustrated in a way all of us will well appreciate when we face a similarly bitter day.

"Come Back Baby" echoes the final section of the record, with a Steve Louw typical blues guitar and vocal hook, Blondie Chaplin features prominently on backing vocals, adding to the melodrama of a man's love and loss.

Next is "MP3", an upbeat folky sounding construction of a modern themed story about a broke musician associating himself with the newer wider world of the modern record industry. The song actually gives some rather good advice for young muso's starting out. What is that advice? buy the record!

And finally into "Black Sun" almost a blues standard, and an appropriate ending to an album tainted with emotion and carried by the song writing skill of one of the strongest musical heads in South African rock.

"Beyond The Blue" has been constructed to be a quality product for quality people, produced by Kevin Shirley in New York City and featuring amongst the best in former South African blues rock musicianship and technology. Buy it, listen to it, be inspired by it.

Close Reviews
Flying

Flying

Carry Me To You

Carry Me To You

Chainsaw Blues

Chainsaw Blues

Your Love

Your Love

Shadows

Shadows

The Road Ahead

The Road Ahead

I'll stand by you
I'll take your hand
I'll walk with you tonight
To the water across the sand

Days of dust nights of light
Planets streaking across the skies
Ancient spirits came at night
Laid their hands upon my eyes

Where will we go where will we go
When we walk into the light
Rock and roll rock and roll
Showed me how to soothe my soul

Ancient spirits held my head
Showed me where to make my bed
Showed me where to find my soul
Showed me how to rock and roll

Where will we go where will we go
To our dreams into the light
Rock and roll rock and roll
She's still young we're getting old

Looking for the road ahead
We found ourselves instead
We'll find water for our souls
Traded in silver and gold

Where will we go where will we go
When we walk into the light
Rock and roll rock and roll
Showed me how to soothe my soul

Where will we go where will we go
To our dreams into the light
Rock and roll rock and roll
She's still young we're getting old

Where will we go where will we go
To our dreams into the light
Rock and roll rock and roll
She's still young we're getting old
The Story of Vicky And Dan

The Story of Vicky And Dan

You Are In Heaven

You Are In Heaven

Come Back Baby

Come Back Baby

MP3

Black Sun

Black Sun

Ever since the dj man
came on the radio to say bad moon's going to shine on me
shine down another day
I feel like some pieces have been lost
feels like my wires they've been crossed

You walked in tears in your eyes
I looked at you and I began to cry
it's a black sun going shine today
it'a a bad moon brought these tears to stay
feels like my wires they've been crossed

Going to walk right out this door
I'm not going to see you no more
I'm not going to ask why
cause some day we all going to die
things have been found and things been lost
I can't keep count I can't count the cost

I've felt love I've felt loss
I've felt like I've been double crossed

So many days so many nights
I've lain awake and I've searched the skies
for just one trace of you
for something I could relate to
40 days since you've been gone
it's a bad moon a black sun
it's a bad moon a black sun
it's a bad moon a black sun
it's a bad moon a black sun

Trancas Canyon2008

'Trancas Canyon' was recorded in a house in a canyon in Malibu, California, over three days. And that's exactly what it sounds like - great songs played by a bunch of friends having a blast. - iAfrica.com

Released in 2008 by Sony Music, catalogue number: CDSM276

Musicians:
Steve Louw: vocals, acoustic guitar
Blondie Chaplin: guitar, backing vocals
Pat Thrall: guitar
Ricardo Melick: keyboards
Anton Fig: drums
Keith Lentin: bass

Jason Curtis

The music within Trancas Canyon... is fuel enough to generate yet another chapter born in Africa.


iAfrica.com

Big Sky, fronted by singer-songwriter Steve Louw, are back with the launch of their fourth album, 'Trancas Canyon', at Die Boer in Durbanville on 24 and 25 April. The shows will be recorded and filmed for a future DVD release.

'Trancas Canyon' was recorded in a house in a canyon in Malibu, California, over three days. And that's exactly what it sounds like - great songs played by a bunch of friends having a blast. The warm, earthy-sounding album was produced by long-time collaborator Kevin "The Caveman" Shirley who has succeeded in placing Louw's personal songs in the context of fine rock 'n' roll.

'Trancas Canyon' is an elegant addition to the band's back catalogue of classic rock songs. At Die Boer they'll play hits like 'Waiting for the Dawn', 'One Cut With a Knife' and 'Mr Green' in addition to selections from the new album.

Joining Louw on stage will be Willem Moller on guitar, Simon Orange on keyboards, Schalk Joubert on bass and Tim Rankin on drums.


Cape Review

Steve Louw is a world-class talent... a true national treasure.

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Bring The Night On

Bring The Night On

Bring the night on
bring together lovers torn apart
bring the night on
darkness comes and covers
bleeding hearts

You knock on my door
you ask me for
a way out of this fire
I touch your lips
with my fingertips
I taste your desire

Bring the night on
bring together lovers torn apart
bring the night on
darkness covers our pain

As we lie on
the burning fire I can feel the flames
feels like we'll die on and on
two lovers reborn again

You are my hunger
you are my pain
you are my lover
I want you again
John The Revelator

John The Revelator

I've been walking for just a million miles
I've been talking more than a million times
take a ride with me to the edge of the sea
where we will dive into our destiny

Tell me who's that coming
Tell me who's that coming
Tell me who's that coming
just who's that coming
must be John John
just John the revelator (repeat)
John John the revelator

I've been walking towards the edge of the dawn
I've been talking loud it comes out a shout
and I found myself turned inside out
to the land below to the mountains of soil

Chorus

Who's that coming
just John John
John the revelator
Fade Away

Fade Away

Your brand new car it drives so fast
how many years since I seen you last
in your suit and tie the look in your eyes
it tells your story don't tell no lies

How many years have come and gone
how many roads have we been on
don't fade away, don't fade away
as time fades away

You shake my hand you slap my back
we talk about the way that
we were brothers of the night
we running free we were running wild

How many years how many nights
how many dreams faded from your sight
don't fade away, don't fade away
as time fades away

The wind is so sweet tonight
and the air is so clear
we'll drive by the full light
tomorrow we'll be out of here

don't fade away, don't fade away
as time fades away
don't fade away, don't fade away
as time fades away
One Day

One Day

Around Again

Around Again

And the worls turns around again
it's a little colder now than it was yesterday
I know you can take wing and fly
but I'm going to love you
until the day I die

I know your life has had pain
I feel your heartbeat beating again
love is a treasure that we've found
when I see you feels like loves come around
around again, has come around again
around again

Your're in my heart you're in my soul
don't you ever ever let me go

Chorus

Leaves are blowing we're walking under grey skies
no yesterday tomorrow
this light shines in your eyes
Mona Lisa

Mona Lisa

Pony Blues

Pony Blues

Poor man rich man beggar man thief
they all keeping bad company
all riding with time on our side
thinking we're too young to die
poor whining I need something to eat
he felt a hand in his pocket it was thief

There lay the dice in the palm of his hand
showed the number of every man
one and one and one and one more
the numbers they make four

Pony pony come on let's ride
ride with me on into the night

I'll trade you these diamonds for a ticket to ride
take these rings they'll fetch a good price
well I'm only a beggar I got nothing to trade
listen here to what I got to say
I've seen the future and I'm still around
one of you is going down

Well it must be poor man cause it can't be me
quick as lightning poor man killed thief
one and one and one is three
they were left standing around the dead thief
one and one and one is three
there's a rich man a poor man and a beggar on his knees

Your diamonds they can't save you now
his blade spoke and spit blood on the ground
one and one that's just two
poor man a beggar don't know what to do

Pony pony come on let's ride
get out of here into the night

Let's throw the dice for our destiny
see who's standing who will it be
I'll call my number he said with a grin
let it fall right now let's see who has sinned

Pony pony come on let's ride
ride with me on into the night

The dice went spinning the blade flashed in the night
there was shining in the dead man's eyes
rich man a thief and a beggar too
left poor man standing with blood on his shows
the meek shall inherit and so shall the poor
the kingdom of heaven the keys to the door


All we have is time on our side
when that day comes look death in the eyes
all we have is the time on our side
when that day comes face death with a smile

Pony pony come on let's ride
ride with me on into the night
Back Again

Back Again

All I see blue sky above
all I feel is broken love
kill the need inside of me
I'm begging you to set me free

I need you to kill the pain
I need you to take me back again
I'm your pleasure I'm your pain
I'm the hunger that's back again

My jacket down on your windowpane
calling up to you calling out your name
come on in to you and out the rain
I can feel our love burning up again

Got to take me I'm bleeding
once more I'm pleading
I know that you're leaving
you make me believe in love
believe in your love

CHORUS
Come To Me

Come To Me

The Wind Blows

The Wind Blows

Sun is gone, gone sinking down
on this one horse one horse town
you're in my heart, you're in my soul
you sweet edges they just roll

The years have gone by so fast
the road's the only thing that lasts
like a river it just rolls
where I'm going nobody knows

Called to Jesus Mary Joseph too
called to spirits called out to you
if I could see in to your eyes
if I hold you I'd hold back time

The years have gone by gone so fast
I'm riding down a mountain pass
like a river it just rolls
where I'm going nobody knows

Feel a quiver in my soul
Someone coming on up the road
night calls out, out to me
in this darkness I can't see

The years have gone by gone so fast
I'm riding down a mountain pass
like a river it just rolls
where I'm going nobody knows

I ride beneath the yellow moon
black sky turning I'll see you soon
satellites spin in the silver rain
sun lights up another day

The years have gone by gone so fast
I'm riding down a mountain pass
like a river it just rolls
where I'm going nobody knows

Heart & Soul2009

Recorded live in front of a sell-out crowd at Cape Town's historic Little Theatre. The show captures iconic South African songwriter Steve Louw and his band performing classic material from their other albums as well as previously unreleased songs.

All songs written by Steve Louw. Mixed by Johan Griesel and Neal Snyman. Mastered by Tim Lengfeld. Directed by Glen Thomas and Mark Siebert. Staged by David Kramer.
Released on DVD in 2009 by Sony Music Entertainment, catalogue number: DVBSP3211

Musicians
Steve Louw: Acoustic Guitar and Vocals
Willem Moller: Electric and Slide Guitars
Jacques Steyn: Double Bass, Electric Bass and Mandolin
Simon Orange: Keyboards, Tea-Chest Bass
Rob Nagel: Harmonics

Die Burger deur Theunis Engelbrecht

Steve Louw, sanger van die groep Big Sky,is al vir 25 jaar een van die mees gerekende liedjieskrywers in die land. Die groep se langverwagte DVD, Heart & Soul het musiekliefhebbers in hul noppies.

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Click here to watch the DVD.