Someday / Somehow

Steve Porcaro

An overlooked component of Toto, keyboardist Steve Porcaro marks 2016 as the year for his long-awaited debut solo album, Someday / Somehow. It's a veritable showcase of the man's talents as a musician, songwriter and singer. Some of the tracks were written and even recorded long ago, but the album, as a whole, exhibits a cohesive feel with delicate production and more than a few astounding performances by Porcaro and the players he rounded up for support.

Opener "Ready Or Not," dedicated to the keyboardist's sons, bounces into action with a few heavenly strokes of the piano, Porcaro's late brother Mike on bass, Shannon Forrest's drums, playing a style reminiscent of Porcaro's other brother Jeff who passed in 1992, and the percussion of Lenny Castro. You can definitely say that one of the most touching things about Someday / Somehow is the cast of players on the album. All three Porcaro brothers appear on "Back To You," originally written for Toto, but updated with lyrics and vocals from Steve Porcaro.

Speaking of Toto, the band's Steve Lukather lays down a few tasty guitar turns on the easy-going "Swing Street," which features soulful crooner Michael McDonald on vocals (He's also sings "Night Of Our Own"). Lukather returns on "She's The One" and rips through the song's crescendo with his usual adept precision. Meanwhile, Marc Bonilla steps up for a swift, economic lead on "Face Of A Girl," and guitarist Jimmy Haun adds a light, subtle touch throughout the album.

Though he doesn't really consider himself a singer per se, Porcaro sings on seven of the album's songs, with a mix of confidence and warmth on songs like "Loved By A Fool," "She's The One" and the album's title track. Perhaps his most moving, ominous vocal is on "To No One," which seems to allude at one point to Mike Porcaro, who died of Lou Gehrig's disease in 2015. Whatever it's about, it certainly comes across as one of the record's most poignant numbers.

When you add drummers Toss Panos and Robin DiMaggio, plus singers Jamie Kimmet, Mabyuto Carpenter and Michael Sherwood (who co-wrote many of the album's tunes) to the fold, you realize Porcaro likes to surround himself with top-notch musicians. Which makes total sense when you consider that most of the members of Toto are A-list session guys with presence on recordings by everyone from Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson, to Steely Dan and Boz Scaggs. In the end, Someday / Somehow defines who and what Steve Porcaro is all about in emotive and passionate terms. Honest, unpretentious, inspired and reflective, it's something you have to sit down and listen to all the way through to appreciate. And that's exactly what albums are supposed to do.

~ Shawn Perry

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