Reviews

Article by Joy Adams

American Entertainer, Stephen Pride is heading to New Zealand in May 2006 to perform a number of Shows with Waikato based Country Entertainer – Joy Adams.

Shows confirmed to date are guest appearances at the annual Waikato Winter Show in Hamilton, The Bay of Islands Country Rock Festival,

The Rock’n’Roll Party Hop and The Norfolk Island Country Music Festival.

It is also possible that Stephen may feature at a couple of major South Island events as well.

Stephen is the younger brother of Country Legend CHARLEY PRIDE and was born in Marks, Mississippiti Like most of his family, Stephen was musically inclined and grew up singing in the choir at church and school.

He has carved out a successful music career in his own right and has performed at well-known venues in Texas like the Crystal Chandelier (Dallas),
Tommy Allsup’s Saloon (Dallas), Billy Bob’s (Ft. Worth), Gilley’s (Houston), The Longhorn Ballroom (Dallas) as opening act for Roger Miller, Desert Rose Band, Louise Mandrell, Charlie Daniels and Willie Nelson, and as a featured artist at the Johnny High’s Country Music Revue (Arlington Music Hall), Wylie Opry, Mesquite Opry, Grapevine Opry, just to name a few.

Other appearances include The Jimmy Rogers Festival ( Meridian, Mississippi), Roy Orbison Festival( Wink, Texas), Charley Pride Theatre (Branson, Missouri). In 1994, Stephen had an unexpected performance at the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas. During the middle of Charley’s performance, Stephen was asked by his brother to come on stage and perform. Stephen had only come to enjoy the show. However, after his performance of Travis Tritt’s “Help Me Hold On”, he was given a standing ovation from the crowd and had an excellent write up in the paper the following day. The combination of Stephen’s vocal range and the haunting “Pride” timbre makes for a soulful treat that’s
hard to beat!


Stephen Pride – Pride On The Wild Side
By: Cheryl Harvey Hill, Sr. Staff Journalist

If you read my reviews often enough, you already know that I am a huge fan of traditional country music. I am a total and complete sucker for two-steppin’, sawdusty, boot-scootin’, stone-cold country music and this album is packed with it. From first stanza to last I was utterly, totally and completely focused on this album, the lyrics and the music. This is definitely one of those “push the keyboard away, lean back in your chair, put your feet up, and just listen” albums and I just know, that somewhere in honky tonk heaven, Keith Whitley was smiling because the style, and the meter, of Pride’s phrasing is reminiscent of Whitley’s. That’s not to imply that he sounds like him; Pride doesn’t sound like anybody else. His voice is unique and he definitely seems comfortable just about anywhere between baritone and tenor.

There are far too many really good songs on the album for me to name only one or two that stood out but “Master of Illusion” just blew me away. Pride certainly has a knack for picking songs with meaningful, and memorable, hooks. This album gives you an even dozen of fantastic lyrics; masterfully delivered vocally, and reinforced by some dynamite instrumental riffs. The songs are diverse in theme but, by the same token, they are absolutely perfect silage for true country music junkies who crave honest lyrics that are relevant to real life.

“No Need Knocking” reinforces the positive lyrics with some delightful instrumentals and vocal harmonies but just as you are feeling deliriously happy about everything, “She’s Not You” flows out from the speakers, washes over your psyche and wraps around your heart. It doesn’t necessarily bring you down but it is guaranteed to encourage a nostalgia trip to a lost love.

For those of us old enough to remember, “The Truth is I Lied,” will transport you back to the late fifties and dredge up old memories of sock-hops in the school gymnasium; while the saxophone on this cut is absolute perfection and encourages a “stroll” down memory lane.

The final cut, “Good Thing,” has an uplifting gospel feel to it. I didn’t want it to end. Seriously, I just wanted to keep swayin’ to the music, eyes closed, hands in the air … man oh man I needed that break! Great stuff.

After listening to this album, several times, I wasn’t able to figure out why it is titled Pride on the Wild Side. Although my lack of understanding about the title had absolutely no bearing at all on how I felt about this album – I love it – my curiosity was killing me so I sent off a note to Stephen Pride. As it turns out, the title of this album is a prelude to the next album and I’m certainly not going to spoil the surprise by telling you what it is. However, I can tell you that it will be the perfect encore for the twelve songs on this CD.

On his website it says “The vocal stylings of Stephen Pride will carry you back to places you’ll remember, and whisk you away to places you will long to be.” I categorically agree; completely.

Another great review at Country Juke Box.