Exposé Online banner

Steve Howe — Homebrew 5
(Howesound HSCD005, 2013, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 2014-01-10

Homebrew 5 Cover artWith Homebrew 5, Yes and ex-Asia guitarist Steve Howe continues with another collection of his recent demos and partially completed pieces. On first pass, it’s clear that Howe makes steady progress with his ongoing drive toward the more confident, complete composer. His initial ideas have always been strong, guitar centered pieces, and he has always had something to bring to any band for new songs to refine to completion. Five pieces such as “Silver” and “Hiding from the Sun” from Asia’s XXX release show the guitarist presenting not only initial ideas but also fully fleshed out constructs. In early form, these songs benefit from Howe’s straightforward rhythm playing and restrained leads. On the vocal front, the composer presents only two tracks that showcase his lyrical context but still his singing doesn’t disappoint. On the guitar playing front, Howe continues to refine all his riffs, melodies and chord transitions and throw in a few ripping solos in just the right place. His use of sampled Hammond B3 organ is an arrangement high point on the disc across nine tracks targeted for the Spectrum release from 2008. Liner notes again reflect Howe’s personal statements referring to the original ideas he was working on at the time. Many songs transform significantly from birth to finished product. Howe’s personal photos again accompany the credits booklet with many amusing choices for each song. Overall this volume offers a clearer view into the creative process of Yes and Asia’s most consistent songwriter.

Filed under: New releases, 2013 releases

Related artist(s): Steve Howe

Latest news

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more

2019-02-21
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Slivovitz - Hubris – Here’s one of those hard to classify albums that covers a lot of ground but is generally centered in a sort of ethnic area of the jazzosphere, with some nods to Zappa as well as middle-eastern...  (2010) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues