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Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Steepwater Band returns to rock Joliet’s Hopstring Fest Aug. 23

By Ted Slowik


Veteran rockers The Steepwater Band return to the Hopstring Fest mainstage lineup this year to perform a set from 7:30 to 8:15 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23, in Joliet’s Silver Cross Field.

Tickets for the 12-hour celebration of live music, food and craft beer are $20 presale and are available through hopstringfest.com and at Chicago Street Pub, 75 N. Chicago St., Joliet.

Jeff Massey
The Steepwater Band is a Chicago-based quartet founded in 1998 by guitarist/vocalist Jeff Massey, bassist Tod Bowers and drummer Joseph Winters. In early 2012 the longtime trio was joined by guitarist/vocalist Eric Saylors of Indianapolis.

The band’s signature sound is a nod to early British blues combined with a modern, raw and gutsy musical approach. Though they got their start as devotees of delta blues, they have since been expanding on their influences, absorbing everything from psychedelia to Americana, from jazz to ‘50s rock n’ roll music.
Joe Winters

The summer of 2014 has seen Steepwater return to Europe, where they first played in 2005. During July the group toured Switzerland, Italy and Austria. In early August the band is back in the United States playing West Coast shows in California and Washington. After returning to the Chicago area to play Hopstring Fest, the group heads back to Europe for late August/early September shows in the Netherlands, Belgium and Ireland.

The Steepwater Band has released five albums, including the three studio recordings “Revelation Sunday” (2006), “Grace and Melody” (2008) and “Clava” (2011) and a live album, “Live at the Doubl,e Door” (2010).  Their most recent release, “Live & Humble,” was recorded in Chicago on April 20, 2013 at the now defunct Ace Bar on West Fullerton Avenue.  The band recruited Chicago music legend Timothy Powell of Metro Mobile Recording to record the show.
Tod Bowers

Powell has recorded all the 93XRT Concert Broadcasts, including such greats as Gov’t Mule, Los Lobos, Ben Harper, Wilco, The Civil Wars, Robert Plant and The Black Crowes. The Steepwater Band then handed Powell’s recordings to producer/engineer Colin Sipos, who has worked with the band since 2010.

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.
Eric Saylors
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.
Visit steepwater.com to learn more.

If You Go
What: Hopstring Fest
When: Saturday, Aug. 23, 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Where: Silver Cross Field, 1 Mayor Art Schultz Drive, Joliet
Who: Local talent and headline bands like Cracker
How much: Tickets are $20 presale/$30 at the door