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 Sixteen Tons. 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 Oh, Susannah, 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.