Artist of the Week: Pittsburg’s Rob Eldridge, aka, Steelesque
Steelesque is the moniker that Pittsburgh singer/songwriter, producer, engineer and musician, Rob Eldridge, coined for himself when he set out to bring a “rough and ready indie blues sound” to Steel City last year. Eldridge recorded Steelesque’s lo-fi debut EP, Johnny On The Spot with the help of drummer Josh Egan. Eldridge played the guitar, bass and keyboards for the recording of the EP. For live performances, he is accompanied by Bob Bell on drums, Mark Shearman on bass, Eric Jameson on guitar and Scott Hazuda on keyboards.
The EP caught the attention of the U.K. indie label Tuppence A Bag Records, which signed Steelesque in a matter of weeks. Not long after, the label officially dropped a remastered version of Johnny On The Spot , after which, Eldridge scrambled to form his live band, even adding a horn section to the line-up in an effort to create a sound “reminiscent of mid-70′s Rolling Stones.” His sound is a fusion of southern blues-rock, pop, post punk, folk and Brit rock, which have all been intertwined neatly to produce an original, hook-heavy, rhythmic record that has a little bit of something for everyone.
As Seth Pfannenschmidt of the Pittsburgh City Paper so keenly observed: “The diverse influences are hardly distracting…establishing the EP as an original and cohesive collection of blues-rock.” Pittsburgh Music Magazine added: “the predominant vibe of what emerges is an unapologetic rock-homage to rock itself,” followed by Liverpool Sound and Vision‘s assertion that Steelesque’s sound is “rough, dirty and sensational, and with a quality that introduces itself from the first electrifying note (of the EP’s opening track, “Hooker A”).
“Hooker A” – Steelesque from Johnny On The Spot
In a relatively short period of time, Eldridge has created a jam-filled blues rock sound that has put Steelesque on the map as a Steel City band to watch, and Eldridge as an influential artist within the city’s rock culture. In fact, Steelesque, have racked up some impressive gigs and tours as the opening act for renowned artists like the Counting Crowes, The Jayhawks, Edgar Winters, Aimee Mann, Warren Hayes, Govt Mule, Blue Rodeo, and Tea Leaf Green. Eldridge listed his top musical influences as Wilco, The Black Crowes, Radiohead, Spoon, The Rolling Stones, and Bob Dylan.
If you’re in Pittsburg, you can see Steelesque live this Saturday afternoon at NewburyPalooza, and on June 19th at Howlers Coyote Cafe.
“Life Fast Wheel” – Steelesque from Johnny On The Spot
“Raven Don’t Mind” - Steelesque from Johnny On The Spot
Listen to more of the tracks from the EP at Steelesque’s Bandcamp page.