Montréal, May 6, 2003 – What do you get when you cross a classic bluesman with a punk/jazz songwriter? A blues album with attitude. Howlin’ Blue Productions is proud to announce the release of No Refund, No Return, on May 27th, by Steve Rowe and Alec McElcheran. The launch party is an intimate ‘5 à 7’ with live music, at Bistro à Jojo on Saint-Denis St. in Montreal.
Since Driving the Blues Away, Steve Rowe fans have been looking forward to the new CD. They will not be disappointed. Once again, a blues album with a touch of Mississippi, Steve does not forget his roots in Rock & Roll. His fans will find everything they love about Steve: his passion, originality, but mostly his virtuosity. If B.B. King has his Lucille, Steve Rowe feels the same about his semi-acoustic Ibanez guitar coupled with his ’65 Fender Bandmaster amplifier. It’s this rich, full tone that has given Steve Rowe his individuality.

Alec McElcheran is a musician of many backgrounds… from punk to Big Band, this bass player has done it all. What drew him to blues: “It has room for honest emotion.” The same honesty he sensed in Steve Rowe, and with that in mind, the words for this album were written, and rendered with Steve’s unique vocal style.

For the eleven original songs on No Refund, No Return, Rowe and McElcheran wanted to seek out new ways to refresh the blues. For instance, the lead tune “No Refund, No Return” was based on a standard blues progression from the 1930’s, rarely heard today. Or the inspiration of “Same Old Song” was the spooky rumba’s of Howlin’ Wolf.

With his usual band of suspects: Dave Neil on drums, Pedro Ullmann on Hammond B-3, and David Findlay who shows up to tickle the ivories of a real grand piano. Another accomplice of Steve’s was his Producer/Sound Engineer Kevin Komoda, who understood and delivered a true analogue sound.

Listen to No Refund, No Return: this will be the blues event of Spring 2003!

What’s the word on Steve Rowe

Local singer, songwriter, guitar hero, morphs into a modern day interpreter of the blues. Steve’s own unique imprint takes nothing away from the blues and still leaves the listener immersed in the Delta. The sounds that blast out of his Ibanez LR-10 and his ’63 Strat are sometimes fat, sometimes nasty… always wicked. Three cheers for Steve Rowe and No Refund No Return. In this case the sophomore blues couldn’t be better.
– Super Dave Reynolds CHOM 97.7 Chom en Blues 2003

Steve Rowe’s impressive new CD made our Top 20 list right away, for its strong musicianship and intelligent songwriting. This is a band that really deserves to be much better known to blues fans right across Canada.
– Ian Angus, Let the good Times Roll, CIUT 89.5-FM, Toronto 2002

A great player in his prime. – Scene Roots and Blues 2001

Clever lyrics, restrained, tasteful and lyrical guitar and tight band performances are what ‘No Refund, No Return’ has to offer. Good attention to guitar tone; Steve Rowe gets a strong, fat sound. He doesn’t overplay, or play fast for its own sake, and he mixes up guitar styles well. Overall, this album has good dynamics and a nice energy.
– Bruce Iglauer, President, Alligator Records, Chicago 2003

With Steve Rowe’s long-awaited second CD “No Refund, No Return” this guitar slinger has turned out a strong set of stripped-down blues originals showcasing his songwriting skills as well as his considerable chops.
– John Detcheverry, Cha Cha Cha In Blue, CKUT FM 2003

A jazzy blues sound from Montreal’s blues master. For some reason, I always seem to miss his shows when he comes to Ottawa. After listening to this CD, I won’t make that mistake again. This is a mix of flavours ? blues with a driving beat, ‘Four in the Morning’ and ‘Gone Too Long’; boogie-tinged ‘Caviar Blues’; and ‘Stop This Dance’ dares you to do just that. If you prefer a slow, cool groove, try ‘Same Old Song’, or maybe the jazzy ‘Wasting No More Time’ or ‘Blues Get Loose’, not to mention the comical ‘If My Cat Could Talk’. It is reassuring to know that pre-maturing gray-haired guys can be cool too!
– Brent Diab, Ottawa Blues Society, OBScene, 2003

If you didn’t catch the pride of Canada’s first CD, here’s your chance to fix that problem with his second release “No Refund No Return”. If you buy this gem you will have the best that there is on offer anywhere. A great voice that can be soulful one minute, and strip the paint off the walls in the next. His guitar playing is controlled, but takes on a voice of its own with Steve coaxing sounds from it, in a manner that only he can do.
– Big Al Watts PBS 106.7 FM Melbourne Australia 2002

Steve Rowe is one of our top modern-day musicians. Amazing guitar, stellar voice, and great showmanship. If you don’t have his latest CD “No Refund, No Return”, it is your obligation to go get it now!
– The Upper Room with Joe Kelley – WVOF 88.5 FM in Fairfield, CT, USA

Just like the store window guitar, you will not need a refund or a return when you purchase this disc.
– Tim Holek Freelance Journalist/Photographer

A wailing blues lead guitar is Rowe’s forte.
– Dean Cottrill, The Montreal Hour 2000

Straight-ahead amiable guitar-drivin’ boogie & blues courtesy of the nimble-fingered Mr. Rowe.
– Blues Access, US