The Living Colour front man and renown New Jersey guitarist-producer unite for an album of heavy pop and soul.
“Stevie is the man,” says Corey Glover, the Grammy winning front man for the legendary band Living Colour. “Excellent, excellent engineer. Amazing guitar player. And some of the best songwriting I’ve ever seen in my life.”
Corey teamed up with Stephen DeAcutis—aka Stevie D.— for their recent release, Torn From The Pages, which has received accolades from many rock websites and magazines and reached #12 on the Mediabase classic rock charts, no small feat for a new release. The album combines heavy rock with soulful vocals, touches of Beatle-esque pop, and even some blues and funk. Yet it maintains a unifying musical blend that keeps your ears piqued throughout.
“I met Corey in the late ‘90s when he was recording his first solo album,” recalls Stevie. “A mutual friend of ours, Mike Ciro, suggested to Corey that he come to Sound Spa to record a couple of the heavier tracks on his solo record that already been done and mixed, but Corey and Mike weren’t convinced. So Corey agreed to redo the tracks with me and those versions made it.”
Many Jersey musicians know Stevie from his studio, Sound Spa, where he has produced and recorded hundreds of albums for local artists, as well as quite a few for national acts that seek his expertise. But for all the years he’s been a fixture on the New Jersey music scene, this is his first foray into putting out his own music.
“It kinda just worked out that way,” he laughs. “I had started writing the songs as far back as 2009, but I didn’t know the ideas would become part of this record. The record started to conceptually take shape in 2010, shortly after I suddenly lost my mom. It became a sonic summery of my life experiences as far back as my childhood.”
A new single, “Outta My Head,” is just hitting the airwaves, and this one contains not only Corey on vocals, but also Doug Henthorn, a powerful vocalist known for his work with Jason Bonham and Joe Bonamassa. “‘Outta My Head’ is a song about addiction in the negative sense, and how it feeds off of a person’s weakness for it,” relates Stevie. “The addiction becomes stronger the weaker you become, and at some point it is all one can think about, even though it will eventually be your demise.” The track has a New Orleans vibe to it, and includes some other Jersey musical stalwarts, such as bassist Jack Daley and shore horn players Joey Stann, Tommy Meares, and Jim Squirrell.
It was actually a reunion of sorts for Stevie and Doug, as they were in a band in the mid ‘90s signed to Sony Records called POD. They were signed by the legendary A&R man John Kalodner and recorded an album with producer Kevin Shirley (Aerosmith, The Black Crowes).
Stevie’s writing process is strongly influenced by his use of the studio. “Eight out of 10 times my songs will begin with a guitar part, and a melody concept soon after,” he explains. “Being that I am the studio creature that I am, I will be recording as I am writing so it’s not uncommon that by the time I finish the song, it’s already recorded. I try to record reference tracks with the intension they could end up on the final.”
While the studio can bring up images of a sterile, uninspiring environment, that was anything but the case for these sessions. “I like to write music that evokes a feeling melodically, and takes the listener to a place or a time in their life,” Stevie Relates. “And I like my productions to be locked down groove-wise.”
Although there are some heavy grooves permeating the album, Stevie’s background encompasses a wide variety of genres. “I am a student of the ‘60s and ‘70s, growing up listening to AM radio in my mom’s car,” he says. “I remember the Motown stuff, and of course The Beatles and The Monkees. I gravitate more towards songs that move me, more so than artists. It just so happens the Beatles are in the lead in that department.”
The band has already made a couple New Jersey appearances, and they expect more in the future, pending everyone’s schedules. The live debut was at the Debonair Music Hall in Teaneck, which was followed up by a show at The Saint in Asbury Park. Both shows got rave reviews, and featured shore drummer extraordinaire John Hummel (Matt O’Ree Band, Lady Gaga, Lisa Bouchelle), and bassist Charlie Torres (Rick Derringer, Edgar Winter).
Although he didn’t participate in the writing on the album, Corey was very moved by the lyrical content, which enabled him to fully emote and lose himself in the lyrics. “I felt very personal about a lot of the songs,” he says. “I mean, we did one session where we were both crying. Just balling our eyes out over tracks. So it’s very personal to me; it’s very, very special. It’s a special record. Amazing songs, amazing record. Go out and get it, you won’t be disappointed!”
The new single, along with the full album, is available everywhere through Mighty Music, and can also be found at tornfromthepages.com and soundspa.net. You’ll also find more information about Stevie D Featuring Corey Glover, and updates about future shows.