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Steve Suffet
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Sunnyside, NY  USA https://stevesuffet.com/ Joined November 2003
OLd fashioned folksinger
I'm Steve Suffet and I call myself an old fashioned folksinger. I was born in 1947, and I've been singing as far back as I can remember. My Mom was a jazz singer and she played the ukulele. She couldn't stand what she called "hillbilly music," so rebel that I was, when I was about five years old I used to insist on listening to Tennessee Ernie Ford sing Around the same time I got a harmonica as a gift and I went around tooting it just to annoy people. Eventually, I learned to play a few simple tunes, like and that drove everyone even crazier.My Mom showed me a few chords on the ukulele, but I really never got into it. However, when I was in high school I spent $17 and bought a Harmony Stella guitar, and from then on I was completely hooked. I started hanging out in New York City's Washington Square Park and I tried to absorb everything I heard. In a year or two I got my courage up to start performing in public. I never stopped.The stuff I do I call folk music, but if you would rather call it roots music, or traditional music, or old time music, or even hillbilly music, that's OK with me. Essentially I take any song I like, from whatever source, and sing it in a manner that suits me. Sometimes I change the tune a little, and sometimes I change the words. More and more I find that I'm making up my own songs, but they always sound traditional. Old fashioned folksinger suits me just fine.
A Real Folksinger Mar 26, 2007
Monday, March 26, 2007. Note: I first posted this blog here on SoundClick on February 15 of this year, and then I posted it again on March 13. I originally wrote it in 2001 to console a friend whose application to perform at the Old Songs Festival in upstate New York had been rejected. When that same festival later rejected my own application, I read it again and found that it was still just as true. It has since been reprinted several times, most recently by singer Bob Lusk of Ulster County, NY, on his own blog. The accompanying photo is of Pete Seeger, whom I consider the most real folksinger of all. Pete was performing at the People's Music Network Winter Gathering at the Renaissance Charter School in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York, in January 2005. and Rose Connolly! A real folksinger borrows from others, and in turn expects that others will borrow from him/her. A real folksinger understands that all "anon" and "trad" songs had real live authors, and perhaps the greatest honor that can ever befall a real folksinger is to become the author of an anonymous/traditional song. If a real folksinger wants to make money, he/she gets a job. A real folksinger doesn't sing to an audience. A real folksinger gets the audience to sing. And if the audience whips out kazoos, tambourines, Jew's harps, and harmonicas and starts to play along, so much the better. Feel free to add your own comments. --- Steve