Steve Welner/Sweet Simple Life 2017
Mike Morrison American Roots UK

'Sweet simple life' is Steve Welner's fifth album but the first issued under his own name. Of the previous four, three were the band 'Fourteen Feet' and there was also 2012s tremendous, 'Hope and Fear' by The Welldiggers, about which I wrote a rave on this website. On all of those albums Steve wrote all of the songs, as he did on this one, produced all bar one (Eric Ambel on production duties on one of the 'Fourteen Feet' albums was the exception) and has the kind of versatile, full of character vocal style that gives anyone in any of the 'country music' offshoots a head start when it comes to quality depictions....
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Steve Welner/Sweet Simple Life 2017
Manadens Musik, Herring Bros Music tips
Sweet Simple Life is New York musician, Steve Welner's album debut as a solo artist. He is the frontman and founder of the band, The WellDiggers. It appears that one of his favorites is John Hiatt as this album consists of a similar type beautiful mix of some rockier songs along with hearty ballads. Among the musicians are guitarist Eric "Roscoe" Ambel. Best song: Trouble Behind.

The WellDiggers/ Hope and Fear 2012
Doc Blues, LIBS
In order to hear high lonesome, country Appalachian and old timey real groove, it really isn't necessary to voyage to TN,KY or WV. Right here, our WellDiggers provide authentic as it gets, dosie doe, shit kicking and porch swing swaying down home charm. Welner's chords resonate with warmth and power and recreate a youthful Tom Petty while the band resounds with old time meets Son Volt. Recorded with presence and clarity, the love and passion pour out of 11 cuts that reflect the diversity of Americana from roadhouse jukein', banjo fueled bluegrass, twanging boogies and soft ballads....and there is pristine pedal steel and fiddling! These boys do it right.

The WellDiggers/ Hope and Fear 2012
Colin Fielding (D.J.), 3INR 96.5 inner fm
"...Love the record, man...will definitely be in my best releases for 2012!!! All tracks will find their way to air. You know I only put multiple tracks to air from albums I love, ha, mainly because I find it too hard to choose just one when they're all so good, and I figure it's my gig so I can do what I like!"

The WellDiggers/ Hope and Fear 2012
Mike Morrison American Roots UK 4.5**** stars (out of 5)
'Versatility' is often a dreaded word in music that makes promoting an artist a nightmare, but not in the case of The WellDiggers. They show a versatility within the boundaries of 'deep roots music' that whilst heavily weighted towards alt country also includes aspects of old timey mountain music, country blues, even at times a discernible whiff of bluegrass, all played with a large amount of flair and expertise. They are very much the brainchild of lead singer, songwriter and producer Steve Welner and he has collected around him a bunch of like minded musicians who are comfortable within their excellent blend of 'sub genres'. Welners’ vocals at times have a similar feel to John Prines’ of many years ago, with their appealing lack of tuition that ensures plenty of character and a powerful atmosphere.
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Zevonathon at Banjo Jim's 11/12/09 (live review)
Richard Wallace, Lucid Culture
"...For this show, Schweber was joined by JD Hughes on drums, Allison Jones on bass, Rich Hinman (Madison Square Gardeners among others) on guitar, and Andy Mullen on piano, and together they were able to do an outstanding job of recreating the stylish west coast feel of Zevon's early recordings. Among the standout performances were Jesse Bates ("I'll Sleep When I'm Dead"), Steve Welner ("I Was In the House When the House Burned Down"), Steve Strunsky ("Mister Bad Example"), and Andy Mullen ("The French Inhaler"). Schweber and his bandmates added, "Frank and Jesse James", "Mohammed's Radio", "Lawyers, Guns, and Money", and of course the irrepressible, "Werewolves of London"."

Fourteen Feet/ Stole Away..."The Billy Sessions" 2008
Jeff Weiss, Miles of Music
Fourteen Feet have the Uncle Tupelo/Bottle Rockets sound down pat. The addition of Eric Ambel behind the board has given the band the feeling of the White Freightliner barreling down the interstate across America's heartland. Steve Welner's reedy voice skips across the top of the rubber-laying guitars. Like a long haul trucker passing through small towns, the band takes it down periodically, presumably, to gibe the listener a rest before again putting pedal to the metal. Stole Away... The Billy Sessions -- named for the band's late drummer Billy Cairns -- should be played on endless repeat as you travel America's highways.

Fourteen Feet/ Stole Away..."The Billy Sessions" 2008
Francois, Rootsville (SWA)
The boys of Fourteen Feet have placed my review of their previous album "Running Hearts" on their website, thanks guys! Like we told you before, the one and only Eric "Roscoe" Ambel (Del Lord, Yayhoos, The Dukes) and Tim Hatfield would be the guys working on the new album, "Stole Away ", and they kept the promise. Anyway, this time Ambel let the Welner do his own thing which is great. Also the sublime contribution of Rob Arthur on keyboards cannot be underestimated. The new album, "Stole Away" was named in tribute to drummer Billy Cairns (10/21/55-1/10/08) who passed away soon after the tracks were completed. Fourteen Feet this time, runs even better than their previous album, "Running Hearts". 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"; the time where John Hiatt got his breakthrough to the general public. Whether this will happen for Fourteen Feet is still a big question mark, but for my opinion it can happen because we like hometown roots-rock and we like to party.

Fourteen Feet/ Stole Away..."The Billy Sessions" 2008
Colin Fielding (D.J.), 3INR 96.5 inner fm"
It's a fantastic record, as good as anything I've heard this year. When I sat down to think what couple of songs I'd put to air first it was just too hard to pick so I figured what the hell it's my show I'll play as many as I like! Hopefully they have a radio up above and Billy got to hear them being spun down under. I'm sure he'd be happy for you guys and what he's hearing !

Fourteen Feet/ Running Hearts 2007
Don Zelazny, Americana Roots,
One of the fun things about writing CD reviews is giving some attention to bands that doesn't get a lot of press. Fourteen Feet is a New York band that has been together playing music since the late 1990s. Running Hearts is the bands 2nd full-length CD. It was self-recorded and produced in a home basement studio. The band is presently in the studio recording their third CD. How come the name “Fourteen Feet”? The band says Fourteen Feet is the distance that Curly fell through a laundry chute in a 3 Stooges episode. If the Stooges are involved you've got my attention. The band plays a no frills brand of Americana centered by the guitar playing and vocals of leader Steve Welner. Basically we're talking guitars, bass and drums here. Harmonica and organ make a few cameos on the disc as well. The CD opens with the lively toe tapper “Far From Here.” The required Americana CD “song with a girl's name as the title” is “Angeline” in this case, a jangly tune about....Angeline! My favorite song on the disc is the title cut which has a country feel with banjo and organ added to the basic line up. I liked the additional instrumentation and would like to see more of it on the new CD. Other highlights include “Twenty Five Miles,” a catchy rockin' tune with a driving guitar beat to match the traveling theme of the tune; and, “New Star,” a softer mainly acoustic number that is a very pretty tune. If you like straight forward Americana without a lot of flash, or are looking for a CD to play when you host a Three Stooges marathon, then check out Fourteen Feet, and look for a new CD from the band sometime soon.

Fourteen Feet/ Running Hearts 2007
Aled Roberts, Americana UK
Recorded in a basement recording studio, Fourteen Feet made a country-rock album that manages to sound modern whilst still keeping the classic country template. Consisting of a match of up-tempo (‘American Atom’, ‘Bad Karma’), and medium-paced (‘Whatdayaknow Blues’, ‘Running Hearts’) songs, the 2 standout tracks on the album have a rocky edge that is concurrent with the sound of the album. The opening chords of ‘Far From Here’ hint at an edge first touched upon by Uncle Tupelo, and by the time ‘I-95’ comes along there is the feeling that similar methods have been applied. With an undercurrent of country used, ‘Fourteen Feet’ overlays it with a rocky sound, giving it a more modern feel while still allowing great song writing to come through. A consistently good album, and plenty of good thoughts to suggest that the next album will again be a blessing.

Fourteen Feet/ Running Hearts 2007
Francois (SWA), Rootstime
Steve Welner is the inspirator of the band Fourteen Feet, which originates from New York. He loves a joke, because "Fourteen Feet" is just the distance from…the gallows to the trap door. With the motto, "Make Songs Not War" he happily swims in the roots-pond with big fish like Uncle Tupelo, Bottle Rockets, Son Volt, the Hangdogs, Georgia Sattelites, and Drive-By Truckers. Even traces of Tom Petty, and last but not least John Hiatt are clearly noticeable in his approach to, and performance of the eleven self-written songs which you can find on 'Running Hearts'. The opener, 'Far From Here', 'New Star', and 'Angeline' sound a bit similar to Hiatt, opening the way for the roots-rocking, 'American Atom' (+slide guitar) and 'Red Hot Tires' which now already seems to be framed into the soon to be launched 3rd album which is taken care of by no-one less than Eric "Roscoe" Ambel and Tim Hatfield. Title-track, 'Running Hearts' is another jewel on this record that Jeff Weiss, Miles Of Music, rightly regarded, 'A jukebox-ready CD from start to finish as it creates a smoky bar vibe by going from heart - felt weepers to rockers and back again'. The harp on 'Whatdayaknow' puts the bluesy side of 'Fourteen Feet' into the spotlight whereas with 'Bad Karma', Welner and his comrades Mike Breier (bass), and Rich Lanahan (guitar) dive into rock & roll-history ending up somewhere in the neighborhood of Buddy Holly and Sonny Curtis’, 'I Fought the Law' (big hit for Bobby Fuller Four). Whether with Steve Welner a 'New Star' is arising…'You Never Know'…time will tell, but 'Running Hearts', successor of 'All You Need', released in 2001 and currently out of stock, is a very deserving attempt which is probably less than 'Twenty Five Miles' away from the definite break-through.

Fourteen Feet/ Running Hearts 2006
Jeff Weiss, Miles of Music
This NY-based band draws its inspiration from the country-esque rock of Uncle Tupelo and The Bottle Rockets. This release captures the spontaneity of the performance, leaving in the honesty and soul of the songs. Steve Welner's slighty- reedy vocals, similar to Brian Henneman's vocal work with the BRox, works well with both the barnstorming electric tracks as well as the more sensitive country songs. This CD is jukebox-ready from start to finish as it creates a smoky bar vibe by going from heart-felt weepers to rockers and back again.

Fourteen Feet @ The Hard Luck Cafe 2006
Huntington Folk Society
...On this occasion, even though their drummer was not able to make it here tonight, they delivered a rousing solid set, featuring cuts from their upcoming second album Running Hearts, due to be released this September, capping a thoroughly enjoyable evening.