Vocals, harmonica, keyboards, songwriter.
- Band Leader of Steve "The Harp" Blues Band
A native son of Bloomington, Illinois, Steve has been blowing harp around the Chicago area since 1972. Steve has played with Jim Schwall, Stanley Jordan, Joann Connor, Robin Crow & the late Eddie "Wildman" Snow. Steve has opened for Charlie Musselwhite, Studebaker John, Howard & the White Boys, The Bellamy Brothers, Carrie Bell, John Primer and Tab Benoit.
Steve "The Harp" Plays Dan Electro Amps, Hohner Harmonica's, Yamaha Keyboards, Astatic microphones.
Influences: Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, Little Walter & Paul Butterfield, James Cotton, Rice Miller and Gary Smith, Studebaker John, Mark Hummel & Rick Estrin.
Back In The Blues Album Review
Steve â€œThe Harpâ€ Blues Band
By Randy Hoffman
For the Blues Blowtorch Society
What we have here folks, is proof that the Blues is kickinâ€™ hard in Central Illinois. Nobody, let me make that a little clearer, NOBODY plays the blues any better than the Steve â€œThe Harpâ€ Blues Band. Every aspect of the music is Blues and every part of it is right on target.
â€˜Back in the Bluesâ€™ is the opening tune, written by Steve Mehlberg and it is a great start to a fine cd. Although the opener is the only original tune, each of these songs is possibly the BEST recording of it Iâ€™ve heard. Musically, each one stands on its own merit and as a whole, the cd has great dynamics, changes of pace and is a pleasure to listen to again.
I have to tell you that I have been given seven cdâ€™s in the past year that featured harmonica players. Without fail, by the time the cd was over I was tired of listening to harp being blown at the maximum velocity. This cd has been in my car player for the past 800 miles in two weeks. It demonstrates that harmonica is a musical instrument to be melded into great blues, not slam all over it.
Steveâ€™s vocals throughout are very cool; demonstrating range, control and very expressive tone. If you are from Central Illinois, you already know that Steve is the finest, most versatile harmonica player around. Now, I think we can say anywhere. When Steve started playing keyboard a couple years ago, a lot of people said â€œWHY? Heâ€™s a fantastic harp player, why mess with it?â€ Well, this cd shows you how his keys have â€˜madeâ€™ the total package.
Now Iâ€™ve already harped on Steveâ€™s performance, so let me express my admiration for the way the rest of the band plays on this cd. Steve â€œTrakâ€ Trakinat is one of the most tasteful guitar players around. His rhythm licks are absolutely cool and his leads are hot without overpowering the tune. He plays such great little fills to put it all together; I canâ€™t say enough about how much touch he has. John â€œPolar Bearâ€ Sauter is back on bass and it is the glue that makes it all work, solid, smooth and slick. Joe â€œWhatâ€™s My Nickname?â€ Zaklan is shuffling the beat just the right way on those drums, with great cymbal touch, accenting the changes and keeping everybody in the groove. Kudos to Eric Nelson at Eclipse Studios for Recording, Engineering and producing this top quality product.
If you donâ€™t have this cd alreadyâ€¦GET ONE NOW!!!!
Check out the artist's website:
1. Back in the Blues
2. Call My Job
3. Help Me
4. I'm Ready
5. I'm Tired (of Livin From Hand to Mouth)
6. Keep What You Got
7. Let's Work Together
8. Like Wolf
9. Scratch My Back
10. Too Many Drivers