Introducing STEVE VELLA A truly serious chocolate lover has described Steve Vella's voice as being â€-like Dark Lindt'. It's not bad short-hand '' and if you want to imagine what his songs are like, add in an image of sitting on the verandah on a lazy Sunday afternoon with a bunch of friends, â€-shooting the breeze'. You'd probably need to add in a cold something '' and it probably wouldn't have a slice of lemon in the neck. Get the picture? Steve is one of those characters who also always seems laid-back '' and has the gift of relaxing those who come into his company. He seems truly comfortable in his own skin. His songs, guitar playing and singing have the same effect. It's anything but hard work to listen to '' even when his lyrics wend through some of the â€-pretty hard stuff life can throw at us' (that's his way of saying it). You get the sense he only writes about what he knows '' and then with an earthy honesty that doesn't dramatise for the sake of it. You'll find yourself feeling better about stuff you didn't even know you were knotted up about. That's the kinda guy he is. See him live, and you get pretty much the same '' a soulful, hypnotic, and somehow deeply hopeful communication that doesn't even quite fit with the idea of â€-performance'. You get the feeling he's just as warm and honest as if he was in his lounge room playing for friends. Steve's worked hard to become a fine guitarist '' and it shows. He's got a delicate, elegant touch that belies his contrasting, terracotta textured voice. Lots of other folk with good taste have discovered that Steve is a pleasure to work and play with '' including Sydney's Jodi Martin and Jigzag. Steve was recently invited to perform one of his songs in a feature concert in Sydney on the theme of "Love in the Lost and Found" '' and his â€-Skimming Stones' was lushly received by the capacity crowd. He also is a favourite at the Soak Bar in Fitzroy. Friends and fans have been asking about a recording for some time. July 2005, and it's finally cooked. With great sound engineering and a pinch of percussion from Mark Eden; some tasty vocals and electric bass from Janine Marshall (and a dash of keys); rock-solid and ever-funky drumming from Paul Boyle; and slinky double bass & some extra delish harmonies from Liz Frencham: it's a treat for the ears. Dark Lindt indeed. Maree Robertson tastymusicaustralia.