I perform a wide variety of 60's-70's hits, vintage country, bluegrass, blues, and swing on acoustic flatpick, fingerstyle and bottleneck blues guitar, five-string banjo and voice. Dylan, Lightfoot, CCR, Jerry Garcia, Hank Williams, Lightnin Hopkins, Robert Johnson, Doc Watson and many well-known Americana tunes. My solo show is distinctive because it combines professional vocals with ambitious instrumental arrangments. I've been well-received everywhere I perform for private parties, neighborhood and college bars because I can stand and deliver a high-quality, acoustic/traditional soloist show and some decent pickin' with that.
Review, Inside Bluegrass, March 2010.
"Steve Howard has been performing American roots music for over three decades. For those of you who know him, you would probably agree with me that he is a walking encyclopedia of blues, jazz, folk and bluegrass music. If you ever have a chance to jam with him (something I would recommend) you'll probably be playing tunes from Bill Monroe, Robert Johnson, and Duke Ellington, all in one session. Steve's latest Album, Easy to Get Lost in the Worldsums up a lifetime of musical exploration.
Listening to the project is a bit like taking a class in American folk music. The journey starts with a visit to the Appalachian Mountains, winds to Nashville for some classic country, and ends up in New York City with a jazz standard.
The opening track “Salty Dog Blues” does a good job of letting the listener know where Steve and his ensemble are coming from. Rather than create another Bluegrass Album Band version of the tune, Steve has created more of an old-timey sound adding extra measures to give it a “crooked” feel. The end result is a fresh sound that embraces Steve's passion for Appalachian traditions.
“A Fool Such as I” has a classic mournful sound that highlights Steve's considerable vocal talent. His phrasing is reminiscent of country greats Webb Pierce and Lefty Frizzell. A challenging song to be sure, but Steve pulls it off effortlessly.
“Sweet Chariot Swing Low” is a beautifully presented a cappella that captures the classic four-part gospel harmony. The group manages to hold pitch and tempo throughout the tune maintaining energy from beginning to end.
Musicians that have been playing as long as Steve Howard often have signature tunes. I've have to say that for Steve, that tune is Merle Travis' “Lost John.” After playing this one live for the past few decades, he has successfully made this iconic tune his own. In fact, I can't really imagine any other version of it at this point, and for me, that's saying a lot. The tune works perfectly with Steve's percussive guitar style and the phrasing fits Steve's voice like an old glove. . ."
Children's Birthday Parties
Sweet 16 Parties
Wedding Cocktail Hours
What a Wonderful WorldLouis Armstrong
Homeward Bound, April Come She WillSimon & Garfunkel
Endless LoveLionel Ritchie
Midnight on the Water (slow Air) Whisky in the JarIrish
Baby Don't Don It, Night They Drove Old Dixie DownThe Band
Your SmileJosh Turner
Into the Mystic, Brown-eyed Girl, Moondance, Crazy LoveVan Morrison
Cherokee - jazz ballad, wedding danceRay Noble
Calling Baton RougeGarth Brooks, Newgrass Revival
Fire on the MountainMarshall Tucker Band
Rainbow Connection - wedding songMuppet Movie
First Day of My Life - weddingBright Eyes
All My LovingBeatles
Something in the Way She MovesGeorge Harrison
Illegal SmileJohn Prine
King of the RoadRoger Miller
Ripple, Sugar Magnolia, man othersGrateful Dead
Lovesick Blues, Setting the Woods on Fire, Hey, Good Lookin, Why Don't You Love Me Like You used to Do, JambalayaHank Williams
Thank God I'm a country BoyJohn Denver
Don't Let it Bring You Down, I Believe in You, Only Love Can Break Your HeartNeil Young
I'm Walkin'Fats Domino
Crossroads Blues, Traveling Riverside Blues, Walkin BluesRobert Johnson
Deep Elem BluesJerry Garcia
Girl From the North Country, Like a Rolling Stone, Fare Thee Well, Love Minus Zero No Limit, Times They are A-ChanginBob Dylan
Rainy Day PeopleGordon Lightfoot
Looking Out My Backdoor, Bad Moon Rising, LodiCreedence Clearwater Revival
A Fool Such as IHank Snow
All of MeWillie Nelson
Big RiverJohnny Cash
Catfish JohnJerry Garcia
Back Home in IndianaHomer and Jethro
Sweet Georgia Brownjazz standard
Trashy WomenConfederate Army Railroad
Jack Daniels if You PleaseDavid Allen Coe
Lost JohnMerle Travis
Peach Pickin Time in GeorgiaJimmie Rodgers
Go My WayGordon Lightfoot
Walk on BoyMel Tillis
Train Whistle BluesJimmie Rodgers
Tennessee StudDoc Watson
Foggy Mt. Breakdown, Ballad of jed ClampettFlatt and Scruggs
Ricky Skaggs, Lightin Hopkins, Robert Johnson, Jimmie Rodgers, John Denver, Jim Croce, Alison Krause, James Taylor, Merle Travis, Lefty Frizzel.
Private Party in Shakopee, MN on 07/30/2013
"Steve Earl Howard provided us a great, warm, personal music experience. He performed songs we loved and knew, and "picked" some amazing ol' style Blues. Just a wonderful experience and look forward to having Steve Earl over in the future. "
- Mario A.
Wedding Reception in Saint Paul, MN on 03/09/2013
"Steven Earl Howard - Hillbilly Music for the Soul was great. They played awesome music and really knew how to keep the energy up in the crowd. We enjoyed them thoroughly. I would recommend them to anyone looking for a bluegrass band. "
In addition to Minneapolis, Steven Earl Howard - Hillbilly Music For The Soul will also travel to Saint Paul, Arden Hills, Hopkins, Mendota, Plymouth, Bloomington, Mendota Heights, Minnetonka, Eden Prairie, Maple Grove, Minnetonka Beach, Orono, Osseo, South Saint Paul, Wayzata, Circle Pines, Inver Grove Heights, Champlin, Burnsville, Chanhassen, Crystal Bay, Long Lake, Newport, Savage, Willernie, Excelsior, Hamel, Saint Paul Park, Dayton, Hugo
and many other locations in and around the Minneapolis area.
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