As the show opened with a roaring ‘Any Way You Want It’, we became transfixed with this new singer who confidently commanded the whole show with incredible vocals and an easy swagger that Steve Perry’s prima donna persona never seemed to quite capture.
What we saw was a guy who genuinely looked like he liked being in Journey, and was totally confident leading one of rock’s most successful acts. As he led Journey throughout the early 2000′s, he didn’t just do Steve Perry impersonations at the mic every night, he brought a brand new warmth and confidence to the live shows, the songwriting and the recorded work all at once.
Songs like ‘All The Way’ and ‘Higher Place’ propelled a revitalized Journey into an arena-rock powerhouse once again.
All these years later, Steve Augeri has found his way back to the mic after a battle with paralyzed vocal chords, only this time, the sound is all his own. Free of Journey and Steve Perry comparisons, Augeri’s first single: ‘Riverside’, is a soulful mid-tempo rocker that has about as memorable a hook as you are likely to find. The well-crafted, organic feel of ‘Home Again’ is a stellar showcase for Augeri’s soaring vocals and expansive songwriting.
Surrounded by a stellar group of musicians, Augeri’s singing and songwriting is absolutely world-class. While the sound of Augeri’s gritty tenor might bring to mind his old gig, the lyrics and melodies are something completely outside his old Journey catalog. Layers of warmth in acoustic guitars and incisive keyboards create one great melodic hook after another. When Augeri hits the mic, it’s an absolute home-run.
While Journey soldiers on, Steve Augeri proves he’s not just a pinch-hitter for a great singer, but rather a superb vocalist and songwriter in his own right. As these individual tracks start to flesh out Augeri’s new album, you can see he’s definitely found a combination of laid-back and instantly arresting that you typically only find in the world’s greatest songwriters. Steve Augeri definitely is finding his place among them. You can check out his work at: http://steveaugeri.com