East of East Coulee
In 2002 Steve Coffey and his mates decided it was high time for real music, as in 'LIVE OFF THE FLOOR' to be recorded and released. As what they called 'A musical fishin' trip' East of East Coulee was recorded in an old coalmining schoolroom over a winter weekend in, where else? East Coulee, Alberta. Employing old recording techniques and gut instinct, they believe they captured the true spirit of Steve's songs and of the Canadian prairie landscape. Here are a few select reviews of 2002s 'East of East Coulee' 'This is a pure a version of country music as you are likely to find, there is an unabashed and loyal predilection to country roots that pervades every note. Recorded 'live off the floor' it demonstrates a talented group of musicians playing solid honest country. This is a little treasure of an album and a great antidote to the Tim McGraw's and the Shania Twain's of the world who have taken a raw musical form and perverted it into something largely unrecognizable as country. This is the REAL DEAL folks...a great album, well written and performed...this is a great place to park your heart, pull out some moonshine and dance the night away!' Rating 4star Review: Doug Floyd: AltCountryTab (UK) '-Last year about this time, singer-songwriter Steve Coffey and some of his peers on the Calgary roots music scene took a road trip to East Coulee, a small coal mining town east of Drumheller. Their goal was a simple weekend jam session which they planned to tape for their own enjoyment. Later, when Coffey played the tapes, he realized this record had to come out. His instincts were dead on. East of East Coulee is one of the warmest, most sincere country-folk records of the year. Standouts include the catchy stomp 'n' pick tunes My Hitchin' Ass, Stanley's Hope, and Watchin' Daddy Dance. As for the ghostly steel guitar ballad, Face in The Steel, a crackly old recording made by Coffey's father, Bill Coffey, more than 40 years ago, it'll send a shiver up your spine and a tear down your cheek.' Heath McCoy and Nick Lewis; Calgary Herald Dec. 24 2002 (an indy top 10) 'Steve's got that old timey sound nailed. Better country music than you can get at home on your radio by a prairie mile.'South Country Fair 'This record blows in from the Canadian prairies with dust on it's boots dragging in ballads, honky-tonk, hillbilly sentiments and the evidence of a life clung to, in the grit beneath it's fingernails. Recorded live to tape, you can almost feel the splinters from the rough-hewn floorboards. It has an immediacy of a hoe-down, you wouldn't be surprised to hear feet stomping in the background. It celebrates life in small towns in the middle of nowhere, the people, the customs, the music. 'Beggar's ballad' is as exactly as it suggests, Steve Coffey has a gritty nasal voice to carry these songs, world weary but happy to be alive. This would be sung as the dance came to end and everyone is clinging to someone in the hope that we're not alone. This is one for those of you who like the folk-roots sound of The Gourds but find them a bit too radical.'-Americana UK; March 2003 'Can't get rootsier than this...a rousing disc of prairie -roots music stomp and honky-tonk balladry.'- The Calgary Herald; '...a collection of whittled- down roots music that's steeped heart-deep in the age-old dirt and dust and memories of rural Alberta.'-The Calgary Sun; Nov. 2002 'Country music has been taken hostage by the big money sparkle clones. Steve Coffey and The Lokels just might be able to save it!!!'- Big Bill; Nov. 2002 'A musical curtsy to whimsy...prairie light so joyously captured in his music and art'- F.F.W.D Magazine; Nov. 2002 ...It's prairie music...Coffey's canon is of gritty, vividly poetic images...offer them in a raw, intense form that owes as much to punk rock as to Woody Guthrie...dark, compelling work and bare bones majestic magic...highly recommended Joseph Blake: Times Colonist '...not quite country, not quite rock and roll, the quartet moonshine up an intoxicating blend of Harvest Moon melodies and steel wheel rythmns.' FFWD Magazine '...genuine in your writing and presentation. To me, it comes as a breath of fresh air to hear some young person singing and taking such a sincere interest in his own heritage...' Stompin' Tom Connors 'From this singer...I was getting a sense of spirit inherent in that vast plain. I was hearing that wind howl around the front porch and feeling how that wind blew through the soul of the human beings inside.' Bill Bourne '...With four chords and the truth, these tunes are as big as the western Canadian skies they commemorate. These guys are prairie dog raw and as close to the land as they can get...' SEE Magazine.