Mick Sterling, Between Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
Author, songwriter, and singer Mick Sterling has done it all. Possessed with a gospel Americana sound and a blues country twang he captures artistically something pure. He and fellow songwriter/guitar player Kevin Bowe are what you expect from slide blues players, but their lyrics are aged to perfection.
Mick’s latest release, Between Saturday Night and Sunday Morning is a testament of polished songwriting. He reminds you of something from the past, but there is a characteristic all his own. Closing your eyes and listening to the music you might picture a dance in the country outside at summer time. It’s infectious sound makes you move, and you can imagine some road weary folks shaking a tail feather. Mick is that kind of raw musician that sounds like he has paid his dues in the barroom circuit.
One standout tune was “You Don’t Know What Dirty Is”. It had a Hammond organ played to perfection by Jeff Victor. It set up the slower, “The Biblical Sense”, about life and love. Mick begins with singing, “Young Ricky and Janice they never had a prayer – They both felt their destiny hang in the air – The moon on the lake and the wind in the leaves – it kept them awake there was no way to sleep.” As they grow older he later sings, “Ricky and Janice, now Richard and Jan – They’re piling the kids in the back of the van – both trying to hide the smiles on the face – as they drove down the path to Our Lady of Grace.” The song has a gentle quality to it and is peaceful to listen to.
Before you get comfortable Mick slaps you with, “It’s Been A Long Time (Since I Loved My Woman Like That)”. He sings about loves lament, “Like a sinner in a glass house reaching to cast a stone, I’m just one spark away from burning everything I own.” He later belts, “It’s been a long time – It’s been long time – It’s been a long time since I loved my woman like that.”
Many of Mick Sterling’s songs have a biblical theme to them. Not Christian rock, but a rough street blues baptized in liquor before coming to mass Sunday morning hung over. This brings us to the title track on the album, “Between Saturday Night and Sunday Morning”. Mick sings, “You’re too late for Saturday night too early for Sunday morning – You better heed the good lord’s warning and find a way home – You ain’t drunk but you ain’t sober - the day ain’t come but the night is over – You better get right with God and save your soul.”
Another ditty, “Maggie’s Rosary”, is a tune about a sad woman. It is soft and a slide guitar caresses the twang in Mick’s voice. That sound is made possible by Andy Dee (Slide guitar) and John Ely on Pedal Steel. The album ends with a cover of Richie Havens’ “Follow” played delicately and sincere.
Mick Sterling recently wrote a book titled, The Long Way Home about his life as an artist. He talked about where he got the idea, “A couple of years ago, I started writing for a monthly publication called NITETIMES Magazine. I really enjoyed writing these columns and the response I received from musicians and music goers was positive. Crotalus Publishing read the columns and asked me to write a book about the Twin Cities music scene. The book is part autobiographical and commentary about my experiences being a singer and a working player in the Twin Cities. It's been a great job and I love what I do.”
His album and book are available at www.micksterling.com. He also will be playing the Tap Room ….