Hi. I’ve been great, thank you! While it’s been a hot and sticky August, there are plenty of gigs to play and lots of music to write and produce!
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Central Park”?
I actually wrote “Central Park” a couple of years ago. I was playing and singing in a piano bar, doing the American Songbook repertoire. I love all those formula chord progressions and sometimes write in that style depending on my mood. “Central Park” wrote itself – the lyrics just are so up and fun.They are totally descriptive of my favorite park in the world. And the music, well it sounds like it was written in the 40’s or 50’s and could have been sung by Sinatra or Ella, doesn’t it?
Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?
Sometimes I get tired of writing “lovelife gone wrong” songs, even if they are a lot of fun to write. “Central Park” is just my love song to Central Park!
Any plans to release a video for the single?
Perhaps if Tony Bennett or Michael Buble or Diana Krall records it, one of them will do a video!
The single comes off your new album So New York – what’s the story behind the title?
Well, “So New York” is another song on the album as well. Its very must in the style of Central Park – but it is a love song to NYC as a whole. So it was just a natural choice to make “So New York” the title of the album.
How was the recording and writing process?
I write almost every day or night – I just need a title or concept and I go with it. Sometimes, a “Central Park” is born. Other times, it’s just an exercise in how far I can go before I give up and move on. The recording process was different for me. I music prefer live recordings – because they are organic and fresh and raw. This album was done differently – just me on nylon guitar and a Share SM58 for the guitar/vocal tracks. Then we brought in a rhythm section. It’s not a perfect recording. But it’s true and satisfying to me.
What role did New York play on the writing of this record?
I love NYC. Period.
What is it about the 50s that you find so fascinating?
Well, the truth is the music of the 50’s was simple, easy to play, easy to sing, fun, and uplifting. The lyrics and stories were youthful, not at all complex. We need more of that today. Reality sucks in 2018 and we all need some relief. And the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s are really my roots, and I believe writing in those styles is fresh today.
Known for playing with different genres – how do you get to balance them together?
I love variety. It’s a challenge to move among styles in a set, vocally, musically, and rhythmically. I enjoy the challenge and I think it keeps the audience interested.
Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
It’s a craft for me to write a song. How is the form/music interesting? Does it compliment the lyric? Is the lyric saying something that will be of interest to the listener? Is it too self-indulgent? Is the key right for my voice? Does the chorus deliver? All of that goes into each of my songs. Surely there are kernels of personal things from my life experience that I use sometimes, but they are mostly just kindling for the fire I hope to create.
Any plans to hit the road?
When I get an offer to perform a set that matters anywhere in the USA, I’m on the next flight. Meanwhile, I’m all over NYC all the time at venues like Shrine, Pianos, Silvanna, Arlene’s and Bowery Electric. I’m just trying to hone my sets, add tunes, insert covers, vary tempos, and get stronger and stronger. In truth, I’m really not a touring kinda guy- I need my home routine and access to Zabar’s at all times!
What else is happening next in Steven Blane’s world?
Well, I’m a brand new first time grandpa. I’m also a Rabbi and High Holiday Services are coming up in September at the Bitter End in NYC (we will sell out both Services). I’m going to Nashville in late August to play a set and soak in some crazy fun bluegrass music. And I’ve already got another album in my head that I’ll probably record this Fall/Winter.
I just know that someone’s gonna cut one of my tunes one day – Central Park is a total winner for some established artist out there. Meanwhile, I just keep moving on.