The mesmerizing sound of the Chicago-native blues rock band, The Steepwater Band have been around for 15 years, but I unfortunately only discovered them this past year. As I first heard the song “Dance Me a Number,” I knew I had to take a look at this band. I then bought their 2006 album Revelation Sunday. The album absolutely blew me away; it was pure genius—blues and rock ‘n’ roll. I heard the powerful guitar riffs, bluesy vocals, astounding percussion, rolling bass, and I knew I was definitely a fan.
The tremendous trio consists of Jeff Massey on vocals/lead guitar, Tod Bowers on bass and Joe Winters on drums have recently been joined by guitarist and backing vocalist, Eric Saylors. Saylors brings that extra amplification and spark to the live sound of the band. With learning more about the band, I heard they were performing in my hometown, so I knew I had to go. They performed Thursday, July 18, at the Treasure Lake Ski Lodge in DuBois, PA. It was actually their second time there, which I was totally unaware of. I made sure to get a table in front of the stage so I could watch the magical band bring the place alive.
Three guitars, a drum set and amps filled the stage and the band walked on. Their first song was “Come On In My kitchen”—a Robert Johnson original. The dual guitars with the bass and drums brought the old blues song thrive. I couldn’t help but to be captivated by the playing of each instrument while Massey’s vocals brought such persistence and compelling sound to the instrumental relationship. Everything sounded so right. The song “Come On Down” from their 2011 Clava album had so much joy in every beat. It stuck to the blues vibe with a constant drumming; I loved it. The rest of the first set was absolutely golden. The guitar riffs and drumming and vocals were spot on.
As the band took a break from their first set, I went over to the merch table and bought their most recent album, Clava on CD. I then made my way over to the bar to talk to Winters (as he told me to introduce myself via Twitter after I told him “amazing first set”). I become very nervous when it comes to talking to musicians, but Joe was great to talk to. During the second set, the band still played with energy and precision. I once again got lost in the perfection of the music being played before my eyes. Not many people were left at the small gig, but that couldn’t stop The Steepwater Band from electrifying the room. At one point they went into John Lee Hooker’s “Boom Boom” with a portion of Led Zeppelin’s “How Many More Times”—it was magical. It was loud, groovy, rock ‘n’ roll and full of life, and I dug it.
At the end of the show, the audience stood and clapped their hands for this fantastic Chicago band. It was a very enjoyable night. Winters came over to my table of me, my sister and a friend. He explained the beginning of the band, how they emerged and their influences. I loved everything he had to say. We discussed concerts and how we both saw the Rolling Stones this summer for their 50th anniversary tour. He also told stories of how he met Tom Petty and Steven Tyler. We conversed for a half hour or more and then I got to meet the other band members, and of course, I had to get a picture with them! They were all such great guys and I was so grateful to be able to see them play live. I knew I was a true fan; I would definitely follow their music very closely and listen to the early compositions to their most current pieces. I wished them luck and told them I would certainly be seeing them again. I encourage anyone who is a fan of the blues, rock ‘n’ roll, or similar taste to check them out! http://www.steepwater.com