Born Stephen Lawrence Suffet in 1947, Steve Suffet is best described as an old fashioned folksinger. His repertoire is a mixture of railroad songs, trucker songs, cowboy songs, union songs, old time ballads, blues, ragtime, Gospel, bluegrass, topical-political songs, and whatever else tickles his fancy. He takes songs from whatever sources he wishes and then he sings them his own way, maybe rewriting the lyrics on the spot, flatting a 7th, or changing a major key to a mountain modal.Steve also writes his own songs, sometimes set to the tunes of traditional folk songs, but more often set to tunes he has composed in traditional styles.
Photo credit: Jody Kolodzey
As a little kid I carried a harmonica in my back pocket, and I took it out mostly to annoy people. I started playing guitar in high school, and about a year or two later I started to perform at coffee houses.
Yes, anywhere I can.
Major influences: traditional folk music, topical-political folk music, old time country music, Joe Hill, Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly, Cisco Houston, plus, most important of all, musical friends throughout my life, including Pete Seeger, Sis Cunningham, and Jean Ritchie, but also including lots of less known people, such as Anne Price and the late Eric Levine.
Martin guitar, Vega banjo, Hohner harmonicas, and an Appalachian style dulcimer manufactured in Romania, of all places. Go figure!
I am proud to be a member of Local 1000, American Federation of Musicians, AFL-CIO. Solidarity forever!