Steve Welner’s voice sounds as vulnerable as the dispossessed characters that populate his narrative songs, reinforcing the emotional pull and purpose of his writing. It’s particularly evident in his latest video, ‘Unprotected’, which begins with an opening line that immediately grabs the listener’s attention and displays Welner’s storytelling detail and drive: “Fifteen people crammed into // A basement apartment designed // To sleep two or three.” Lyrically heart-breaking: “Sleep hungry, unprotected, // To call for help is to turn yourself in,” the song continues to explore his characters’ challenges with great sensitivity.
In the accompanying video, we get to see some great collaborators at work; Eric ‘Roscoe’ Ambel (Steve Earle) provides atmospheric guitar, Keith Christopher (Georgia Satellites, Lynrd Skynrd) adds bass, Shawn Murray is on drums and Rob Arthur’s keys enhance the mood. ‘Unprotected’ is taken from the New York-based singer-songwriter’s sixth album ‘Back to You’, which is out now. If you like your roots music to be delicate, warm and with a political edge, then this is for you. Check it out.