The Steepwater Band, Joe Firstman

The Steepwater Band

"One of the best rock albums of the year!" - Dennis Cook, JamBase





The Steepwater Band’s latest studio release, “CLAVA” (pronounced CLAY-va) finds the band hitting their
most creative and focused point of their careers. The new album was recorded on the South Side of Chicago at
the studio of the same name in Spring of 2011. CLAVA was produced and recorded by the trio of
Bowers, Massey & Winters along with Colin Sipos, a young, up-and-coming producer/engineer who has
worked with the critically acclaimed Iron & Wine and Califone. Sipos also recorded TSB's "The Stars Look
Tonight/My Back Pocket (2010)" single and mixed "Live at the Double Door (2010)." The ten new songs
feature some of their most blues-infused, heavy and psychedelic tunes to date. Each song takes you on a
musical journey, steeped in tradition, while not being overly nostalgic. On “CLAVA” the band honors their
heroes and pays them the highest compliment – continuing the Rock n’ Roll lineage while creating paths
not yet explored.

Although The Steepwater Band got their start as devotees of delta blues, they have since been expanding on
their influences taking on everything from psychedelia to Americana, and of course, rock and roll music.
Formed in Chicago in 1998, the band’s signature sound is at once a nod to earlier rock n’ blues
combined with a raw and gutsy musical approach. Founding band members Jeff Massey (vocals & guitar), Tod
Bowers (bass) and Joe Winters (drums) have a synergy that comes from years of playing together. In early
2012 the long-time trio have been joined by Eric Saylors (guitar & bk vocal), from Indianapolis, IN. Mr. Saylors
brings an added depth to the TSB LIVE sound, where the foundation laid by Bowers & Winters leaves the space
for the guitars to soar and vocals to shine. Massey always performs with a passion that can belie his virtuosity,
while being true to the song at hand.
The band’s infectious energy is equally evident in their live performances, as critics and fans hail their
shows as forceful and intoxicating. It is their humble devotion to music, and a commitment to achieving
their musical goals without compromising the integrity of their musical vision that make The Steepwater
Band such a refreshing find. In 2010, the band released the highly lauded live record entitled “Live at the
Double Door” which contained tracks from their previous two LPs, “Revelation Sunday (2006)” and “Grace and
Melody (2008).”

The Steepwater Band has maintained a grueling schedule throughout the last 10 years, averaging about
125 shows per year. They have toured and shared the stage with acts such as Gov't Mule, Buddy Guy,
Wilco, Taj Mahal, Marc Ford, ZZ Top, T-Model Ford, North Mississippi All Stars, Leon Russell, Drive-By
Truckers, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, Cheap Trick, Bad Company and Heart. In 2005, the band
made its European debut, performing at the Azkena Rock Festival in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain. In the following
years, the band has returned to the United Kingdom and Europe for multiple club and festival tours, increasing
their loyal overseas fan-base.

“In a time when old-fashioned rock and roll is coming back in style, The Steepwater Band is a cut above
the rest of the field.” – Pop Culture Press

The band's infectious energy is equally evident in their live performances, as critics and fans hail their shows as forceful and intoxicating. It is their humble devotion to music, and a commitment to achieving their musical goals without compromising the integrity of their musical vision that make The Steepwater Band such a refreshing find. In 2010, the band released the highly lauded live record entitled "Live at the Double Door" which contained tracks from their previous two LPs, "Revelation Sunday (2006)" and "Grace and Melody (2008)."

The Steepwater Band has maintained a grueling schedule throughout the last 10 years, averaging about 125 shows per year. They have toured and shared the stage with acts such as Gov't Mule, Buddy Guy, Wilco, Taj Mahal, Marc Ford, ZZ Top, T-Model Ford, North Mississippi All Stars, Leon Russell, Drive-By Truckers, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, Cheap Trick, Bad Company and Heart. In 2005, the band made its European debut, performing at the Azkena Rock Festival in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain. In the following years, the band has returned to the United Kingdom and Europe for multiple club and festival tours, increasing their loyal overseas fan-base.



Joe Firstman




Joe Firstman bought an $18 cross-country Greyhound ticket from his home in North Carolina to Los Angeles, arriving with a beat-up guitar and head full of songs. He quickly found the big stage. It all happened quickly: first came the big Hollywood gigs, then the industry buzz, then the big deal with Atlantic Records and national tours with big rock stars like Sheryl Crow, Jewel, and Willie Nelson. There was ego and excess and beautiful ladies and music, music, music. Firstman wrote it all down and sang his songs like his life depended on it.




"In the songs of Joe Firstman, sensitive young men prowl the hills of Los Angeles, searching for fame and beauty, only to find self-destructive behavior and egos gone wild…” wrote Jim Farber in the New York Daily News. “While Hollywood's peaks and pitfalls have been prominently charted by songwriters from Don Henley, Stevie Nicks and Jackson Browne to Warren Zevon, Firstman aims to reinvent the milieu for his own generation."

When the world stopped spinning, he’d landed a regular gig as the bandleader on the “Last Call with Carson Daly” show. For four years, this was his university – playing and writing songs in whatever style the show’s musical guests played and learning how to engage a studio audience, day in and day out.

Firstman released his 7th studio album, “Swear It Was A Dream,” on September 6, 2011. The album features 10 new songs written and recorded over the last year in studios in Charleston, SC, Mexico, Los Angeles, and Nashville. Of the album, Firstman shared, “You can really feel the year in the record, you can feel the whole journey in there and it’s my best piece. It’s my best thing thus far.”

The album’s first single, “Who’s Turning Your Light Out?” is Firstman’s exploration of straightforward, unadulterated songwriting. “It was just a very personal lyric, but I tried to make it into a pop song that everybody would get. Its got lyrics about South Carolina and falling asleep with your head in your hands—I thought the imagery was relatable, “ says Firstman.

“Swear It Was A Dream” is the follow-up to Firstman’s two 2010 releases, “El Porto,” and “Live At The Treehouse,” both released on Rock Ridge Music. In 2009, Firstman’s full-time, four-year job as bandleader on “Last Call with Carson Daly” ended when Firstman shifted his focus to his independent musical pursuits. Prior, Firstman put out a full-length (“The War of Women”) and an EP (“Wives Tales”) on Atlantic, plus another full-length (“DrAma”) and live EP (“Live at The Sandbox”), which were released independently.

As Firstman was wrapping up “Swear It Was A Dream” in Nashville, he formed a new band with longtime friends and collaborators Jaron Lowenstein, Toby Weaver, and John Lloyd, dubbed “Cordovas.” Their debut, self-titled, album features all new songs written and produced by Firstman in his first efforts at writing for a full-band and three part harmonies. Additionally, Firstman is currently producing Lowenstein’s forthcoming solo album.

On September 3, 2011, The Cordovas launched their first US Tour, featuring a solo Firstman as the supporting act. The Cordovas tour wraps November 15 in Yakima, WA and Firstman will immediately jump into his tour with Zach Myers (Shinedown, The Farewell.) Firstman usually spends over 200 days touring per year and has shared the stage with such acts as Sheryl Crow, Jewel, and Willie Nelson.

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The Steepwater Band, Joe Firstman

Friday, July 19 · 9:30 PM at Hill Country DC

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