Steve has done it again -- a great mix of songs. I find myself humming "Next Year in a City of Peace" at odd times. It's just one of those sticky tunes that my mind doesn't want to let go of. Not that I mind; it's really lovely.
I do have one quibble with "October Waltz" (an amazing song, also firmly stuck in my mind): I know Marilyn Suffet. She's smart, centered, independent, and a lot of fun to be around. These are not qualities I usually associate with a saint, Steve! But I guess if Marilyn doesn't object, I'll have to write it off as artistic license... It IS a really great song.
But the "wow" track is the last one, the live performance of "Lonesome Valley/Join the Union." It has incredible energy and gives a more accurate picture of who Steve is and what his music means than anything else I have ever heard him record. Steve and his audience have such a vibrant connection, and this recording draws the listener in and makes him/her a part of the song like no studio recording ever could. It is worth buying this CD even if you rarely listen to anything but that one track -- it's THAT good. But please don't skip "Next Year in a City of Peace" or "October Waltz" -- you'll be happy to have them attach themselves to your brain the way they've done to mine. I only wish they had been recorded live as well.