Friday, February 10, 2006

The Steepwater Band - Tamar Alexia Fleishman

The Steepwater Band -- based in Chicago and northern Indiana -- consists of Jeff Massey on guitar and vocals, Tod Bowers on bass and Joe Winters on drums. The Steepwater Band has that Chicago thing going: Blues and Southern Rock, with skilled musicians. Wait, I hear you thinking, the last time I checked, Chicago is north of the Mason-Dixon line. What’s the deal? Well, if you know your history of Chicago, it was all settled by Confederate officers and other Southerners who came up for a fresh start in a burgeoning city. The boys in Steepwater have an authentic, not wanna-be sound. Now in their 30’s, all the guys have been in various rock and blues bands since their teens. Jeff and Joe want the public to know they’re single. They joined to form The Steepwater Band in 1998. Their latest studio album is "Dharmakaya" (released in 2004 on Funzalo Records). You can check out Steepwater’s concert dates, download MP3’s and see other cool links at

Very recently, the band had an opportunity that most bands would give their eyeteeth for: they are in the running to get a gig opening for Bon Jovi at Giants Stadium. But this opportunity has a twist -- the preliminary round was selected from the Internet. On, fans were able to vote in a round-robin tournament that included six bands a week, all of whom had opened for Bon Jovi in the past. John Bon Jovi will be selecting the band from the winners. As Tod Bowers noted, "I’m not sure how much store to put in it. People got to vote as many times as they wanted. It was a great advertisement for XM. But it all helps us."

In the Fall of 2004, Steepwater released a record in Europe. Subsequently, the Askena Rock Festival in Spain contacted them through their web site. The band played in Spain to great acclaim in September, 2005. Steepwater played along with Wilco, Govt Mule, as well as Deep Purple. The Steepwater Band played opening night on the main stage with Basque rockers Soul Breaker Company.

At one point, the whole band lived in a secluded house in rural Indiana. They were able to rehearse until late at night and their band earnings were enough to pay the rent. But, all good things must come to an end; though the band is a strong as ever and their friendships are as tight as ever, they got tired of seeing each other every morning. They do feel that by moving out of "Little Pink," (as they called their house, referring to fellow Indianan John Mellencamp’s song), they come to
rehearsals with new creativity.

Steepwater is making a splash in all forms of media: they have sold songs used in Nissan’s advertisements and can be heard on NBC’s hit, "My Name is Earl." When they played at the famous music venue The Doubledoor, their concerts were broadcast through