"...The playing is top notch as is the songwriting and Steve's warm, evocative lead vocals...For anyone who loves strong melodies (and who doesn't) you won't find a better album this year; similarly if you like an album that is edgy and lyric driven" ... Mike Morrison, American Roots, UK
"...The 10 Welner original songs are reminiscent of John Hiatt during his musically fertile period of, "Riding with the King", "Bring the Family", Stolen Moments", and "Perfectly Good Guitar"... Francois, Rootsville SWA
Steve Welner is a New York based singer-songwriter/guitarist steeped in Americana music, and whose writing portrays themes related to the down-trodden, the vanishing landscape, the evils of corporate greed, political corruption, and hypocrisy in general. Close listening reveals the subtle black humor and unexpected plot twists. It is easy to focus on the hooks and riffs, and completely miss the punch lines. He is best known for his work with the bands, The WellDiggers (2008-present) and Fourteen Feet (2001-2008).
Past reviews have compared his work to that of John Prine, Tom Petty, John Hiatt, and Uncle Tupelo, and his “reedy” vocals to those of Brian Henneman (Bottle Rockets). His music ranges in format from folk and blues to full throttle rock 'n roll. Like many of his early influences, Bob Dylan, Townes Van Zandt, Woody Guthrie, and bands such as Little Feat, The Band, The Ramones, and the Grateful Dead, his musical offerings come from a wide Americana palette.
His latest album, the self-titled,“Sweet Simple Life” (2017), highlights the roots genres that authentically flow from him; folk, rock, and country blues, all within the framework of imaginative tales and narratives. Mike Morrison, in his American Roots UK review of the album wrote, ...”Sweet Simple Life” is an album that any lover of roots music with strong country leanings will need in their collection, and one that will be pushing towards the upper echelons of my albums of the year in a few months time!” Prior to recording the album Steve contacted guitarist, producer, Eric “Roscoe” Ambel (Del-Lords, Joan Jett, Steve Earle) and asked him if he might be interested in playing and singing on a "bunch" of songs. The two first worked together in 2007 when Eric produced and played on Steve’s highly praised and successful album, “Stole Away, the Billy Sessions". With Roscoe aboard he then enlisted multi- instrumentalist/ engineer, Bob Stander (PeteTownshend, The Platters), drummer Shawn Murray (Willy Deville), and keyboard/accordion ace, Paul Errico (Steve Forbert) for the album.
Steve began playing the guitar and writing songs at an early age. He first picked up a guitar when he was about five years old and began writing songs for his first band at the age of twelve. To date, Steve has released five albums; his latest self-titled album, along with four band albums from, The WellDiggers and Fourteen Feet. His albums have all received much praise and excellent reviews. "Stole Away, the Billy Sessions" (2008), was the number one selling album for 12 weeks on the popular Americana distribution site, Miles of Music, and stayed on their top 10 list for nearly a year. Steve was nominated to the Austin, Texas based Freeform American Roots (FAR) charts as one of the top 5 songwriters of 2008 for the album. His album, "Hope and Fear" (2012) was selected as one of the top 10 albums of the year by, American Roots UK's, Mike Morrison and by, Folk 'n Roots 31NR (96.5) DJ, Colin Fielding.
Steve mostly performs locally, in and around the New York area with his band, The WellDiggers. The band plays in different configurations, ranging from a scaled down “acoustic revue” (duo or trio), to a “voltage enhanced” (4 or 5 piece), roots-rockin’ and twangin’ electric band. A varied cast of musicians make up the band including, Don Gabis (bass, vocals), Bob Stander (guitar), Shawn Murray (drums), Lanny Sichel (guitar, vocals), and Steve Kaplan (bass). Other musicians that sit in with the band include, Mike Leuci (drums), Danny Dimaina (guitar), Jeff Goldstein (bass), Russ Seeger (guitar/fiddle), Al Speed (keyboards), and Paul Errico (keyboards/accordion). Some of the more well known venues that they have played include, My Fathers Place, Stephen Talkhouse, 89 North, the Lakeside Lounge, Rodeo Bar, Hanks Saloon, Spike Hill, Banjo Jims, Northsix (now, Williamsburgh Hall), along with many assorted music festivals.