With a handcrafted CD sleeve and about a hundred copies Pete Stein has taken his self produced CD Sleeping Giant on the road with him. No there’s not a digital download available yet, heck there’s not an illegal download I can find. So for the moment the only way to get your grubby little hands on this one is to see Pete at a show and hand him some cash. And let me tell you that at ten bucks a copy this one is a steal. If he isn’t hitting your town on his tour with Matt Woods you’ll have to settle for streaming it here but only for the next couple of weeks. You see Pete has given us permission to stream the whole of Sleeping Giant for a couple of weeks!
If you’re a regular reader then you know Pete Stein from Truckstop Coffee and that he’s a pretty amazing songwriter. I caught up with him about a week ago here in Houston and had a chance to pick up a copy of his latest release. I was feeling bad because I didn’t know he had a new solo album out but much to my surprise I didn’t know because he didn’t tell anyone. He recorded it himself with the help of Helen Gassenheimer (fiddle and harmonies). The cover is a hand printed wood block print of Sleeping Giant mountain that Helen created. The whole process was DIY from start to finish but you can’t tell it by the quality of this record.
Aside from being able to see Sleeping Giant while recording Pete says there’s a couple more reasons that he chose the name. His hope is that these songs will get a fuller treatment in the future. I can appreciate the sentiment there but I think the songs are just right the way they are. It could be that I don’t have an artist’s vision or that I’m predisposed to like a more low key arrangement but I really like this album the way it is. Of course I’ll probably love anything he does to give these tracks a full treatment because as far as I can see Pete can do no wrong.
The second reason, he says, is that he feels like he’s been dormant for while and is waking back up, out on tour, hanging with Matt Woods and stuff. That’s a sentiment that I can understand and have felt myself. I for one am glad he decided to record this himself and take it on tour. It’s easily going to make my top albums of the year and it’s for damn sure Essential Listening. The sound is good and the songwriting is far and away better than anything mass produced. I love albums that are, for all intents and purposes, a collection of stories set to music so I may be biased towards this style of album but that doesn’t take anything away from it being a great record. While you can’t get Sleeping Giant without seeing Pete in person the rest of his catalog, including his work with Truckstop Coffee, is available on his website priced at whatever you want to spend. So while you stream this one, go drop a few bucks on the rest of his music!
UPDATE: When I wrote this Sleeping Giant wasn’t available on the link I provided. Pete has since remedied this and now you can get everything he’s done for a name your own price deal.