"Velvet" sung by Steve Katz - who does this remind you of?

Finally, I was able to track down the song Velvet by Blood, Sweat and Tears posted online. It wasn’t easy; for a long time, it was not on YouTube (I checked often) and it’s not available on iTunes. My dad used to play this album when I was a really little kid so, out of the usual childhood nostalgia, I was overjoyed to find it. All I remembered was the chorus - “Indian summer/turnin’ colors on me”. I had no idea the song was, apparently, about a dying horse.

Velvet by Blood, Sweat & Tears

Now, as soon as I listened to this I was knocked over by the fact that the vocals sound NOTHING like the other songs by BS&T. Not surprising, when I looked on Wikipedia and found that it was sung not by their regular singer but by a guy named Steve Katz who also played guitar in the band.

Now, it’s time for yet another one of my “this reminds me of something but I’m not sure who” threads, which I’m sure you are sick of by now. But I need to do it anyway. This singer REALLY reminds me of someone else. His voice is not what I’d call a typical singing voice. There’s something about the total lack of accent and the extremely clear enunciation of the words (especially the R sound) that seems more similar to modern indie rock than anything that was being sung in the 1970s. It’s almost like the singer from Grandaddy which did “The Nature Anthem” “The Crystal Lake”. Was this a common vocal style in the 70s or 80s or any other time before 2000? I want to say it sounds a bit like James Taylor but I think even his voice was way less enunciated than Steve Katz.

Any thoughts on this?

Weirdly, I get what you mean about the uninflected voice, the R’s, and the indirect comparison to Jason Lytle. Colin Meloy (The Decemberists) is one possibility, but otherwise I’m wondering if you hit it on the first try with Grandaddy.

Meloy (who I like…in small doses - though he puts on a hell of a live show) is way, way too nasal, and overall too much of an affectation in his voice, to sound anything like this guy. He puts on a really weird, nasal, fake-English (or what he thinks is “English”) accent. Actually, a lot of people I know can’t stand the Decemberists because of his voice, even if they like the music and the lyrics.

Jason Lytle is a good match but his voice is a little too high. Katz maybe sounds like a combination of James Taylor and Jason Lytle, or Lytle with a much better vocal range.

At the bridge (1:54) he does REALLY sound like Jason Lytle though. Uncannily so. The other parts where he sings in a much deeper voice, not so much.

Another possibility, now that I think of it, is Wayne Coyne. I’m listening to “It’s Summertime” and he’s got the R’s, and the flattish voice. I do have to say that Steve Katz may have the least inflected voice I’ve heard in a “rock” song.

YES. That’s it. Wayne Coyne. Jesus, that bridge sounds like it could be Wayne Coyne singing, as well as the part where he says “Malamutes howling”. (I think this might be the only song ever written that contains the word “malamutes.”)

Also, a little like a lower-voiced Ben Folds.

His vocal range is still wider than either, though, I think.