R. STEVIE MOORE has been an eccentric, reclusive home recording artist for over 30 years. Considered the grand-daddy of DIY home recording, Stevie has self-produced over 250 original tape/CDR "albums" and commercially released 16 compilations (on eleven labels in four countries). He has a catalog of over 1000 songs -- at least 435 of which are worth hearing.
Innova Recordings has become RSM's 12th label with a CD that culls 23 of R. Stevie's finest home recordings, from 1975 to 2003.
NEVERTHELESS OPTIMISTIC was produced by IRWIN CHUSID (of Raymond Scott, Esquivel, Songs in the Key of Z and Langley Schools Music Project notoriety). The album is a virtuoso showcase for Moore's popcentric vision and skill at screwing around with tape decks that don't always behave. Happy accidents make for unpredictable music in the hands of a man who never met a mistake he couldn't tweak to his advantage.
The album features collaborations with XTC guitarist Dave Gregory and Shimmy Disc maverick Kramer. It also includes a dubbed duet with outsider music scat legend Shooby Taylor, the Human Horn. The rest of Nevertheless contains lots of guitar weirdness, quirky lyrics, bastard bluegrass, and melodic ballads. Stevie plays most everything, and engineered it too. His daddy played bass with Elvis for ten years, but that's irrelevant. His back hurts. That's relevant.
The American record industry’s failure to recognize and promote the unique gifts of this giant talent is a case of criminal neglect.
- Ira Robbins
The eccentric, quirky music of R. Stevie More recalls Jad Fair and Daniel Johnston. Somewhat damaged pop and exuding a childish charm, this music also grabs the listener with its catchy, memorable lyrics and spirit of instant joy. R. Stevie Moore was a leader in the DIY home recording movement and this album selects from his huge archive of home recordings for a selection covering 1975 - 2003. Largely short on length, these pieces are long on comedic and cracked pop genius. (4)
- Tom Schulte
In a field where adjectives like "original" and "independent" are thrown around all too casually, R. Stevie Moore is the genuine article, and NEVERTHELESS OPTIMISTIC offers a beguiling overview of his unique talents.
- Scott Schinder
Those who venture into the world of R. Stevie Moore will find a documentary record of music that is, er, Moore than they expected.
- Don Thomason