Dean Stevens is my choice to kick off the "Great Unknown" feature of the SongMine. This Costa Rican-born musician is a world class guitar player with a unique open tuning style and a wonderfully engaging singer with a hint of Burl Ives warmth and generosity. He's not a prolific songwriter but when he pens one it's a goody. And he's a fine and generous interpreter of other people's material, something we need a lot more of these days. (Remember the role that people like Judy Collins and Maria Muldaur played in shaping our song culture in years gone by?)
Dean is also a committed social and political activist, traveling several times a year to help the people in Central America, and is tirelessly active in his hometown of Boston.
Dean has a new album out called At Last, and it's a delight! Great songs in English and Spanish from a host of excellent writers, with shiny production and top shelf singers and players. Everyone should buy one. (Remember the 2nd Law of the Post-Hitocracy: "Artists shouldn't starve on the Webiscite."
In the future I hope to have videos and interviews with my unsung (or not-sung-enough) heroes. When I get that going I'll post a follow-up to this Dean Stevens page. For now let me just put up a rough mix of Dean's version of one of my songs "Let It Blow My Way." It was an overwhelming honor to have Dean choose a song of mine to include in his long awaited album, and I thought the message of the song was appropriate for the start of the SongMine. To hear Dean's finished version you have to buy the album.
Let It Blow My Way performed by Dean Stevens:
And here's the version of the same song performed by my band, The Backboners. (Is this ego-maniacal of me? If you think so let me know and I'll take it down. I just thought the contrast of styles was interesting.)
Let It Blow My Way performed by The Backboners.