Trust Your Stars
SONG INSIGHTS FROM STEVE 'Track 1 - Love Lights the Flame is about that feeling you get when you meet someone for the very first time, but it feels like you've known them all your life. Maybe a past life?' 'Track 2 - Haunted was written about how our fantasy of the perfect lover can be more alluring than the real thing.' 'Track 4 - My Rainbow is a song about the joy of finding true love after so many unhappy endings.' 'Track 5 - Dream This Far is my favorite track on this CD. It's about losing love and regaining hope.' 'Track 6 - Never to Be is a tender song about unrequited love adapted from a love poem written by my mother.' 'Track 9 - No Good-byes is about working through the pain when your lover leaves without warning.' 'Track 12 - Chain Reaction is about following the direction your heart wants to go, and letting go of the fear that holds you back from chasing your dreams.' MUSIC In a language articulated by innovative guitar tunings and warm tenor vocals, Steve Ducey has conveyed his passionate songwriting to enthusiastic audiences on both coasts of the United States, as well as in Russia and the Ukraine. Heavily influenced by James Taylor and David Wilcox, Steve's lyrics navigate the corridors of human experience from a uniquely metaphysical perspective. Starting in small Washington DC listening rooms, Steve has appeared at premier club venues across the country opening for well-known artists including Tony Bennett and Joan Osborne. Steve's performances have been featured on radio and television, and his 2001 release Trust Your Stars gained wide support from regional press. REVIEWS 'Trust Your Stars is an upbeat, whimsical and biographical look at perseverance and a renewed love of life.' - The Washington Post 'After listening to Trust Your Stars, you are transported. Ducey's warm, heartfelt songs are just plain good for whatever ails you.' - The Washington City Paper 'A rising talent in the local music scene, Steve Ducey has a ready-for-radio voice and an ear for old fashioned love songs.' - The Washington Times HISTORY From piano lessons to strumming James Taylor tunes, Steve was musically active by age ten. He studied classical guitar during high school while performing electric guitar in local cover bands. Majoring in music at Montgomery College, Steve went solo on the open mic circuit and soon began playing small coffeehouse venues in Maryland and Virginia. Following the release of his debut recording in 2001, Steve's music began receiving airplay in the Washington DC area, including rotation and a live radio interview on WYRE 810 AM (Annapolis MD), as well as public access television features on Songwriter Showcase at Arlington County Channel 33. Steve also began appearing at club venues including Ram's Head Tavern (Annapolis MD) and Jammin Java (Vienna VA). Despite his progress on the DC music scene, Steve relocated to San Diego in 2002 to capitalize on an opportunity to pursue music full-time. While honing his performance skills through private voice lessons and artist development services, Steve began performing locally at venues including Java Joe's, Wild Note Café, Tin Fish, Borders, Claire de Lune Coffee Lounge, as well as spiritual centers and private events in the North County area. In August 2002, Steve traveled to Russia where he performed his original compositions during fourteen days of conferences and seminars at Science of Mind centers in Izhevsk, Russia, as well as Cherkasy and Sevastopol in the Ukraine. Steve is currently recording his second independent CD, Forest for the Trees, anticipated for release in Fall 2003. INTERVIEW The Washington City Paper's POP QUIZ - a superficially revealing inquiry into the musical mind. What equipment do you use and what's your favorite smoke? STEVE: I play a modified Guild DCE5 electric acoustic. I removed the stock Fishman Prefix preamp system and installed a Sunrise soundhole pickup and an L.R. Baggs LB6 undersaddle pickup. I also use a Pendulum SPS-1 preamp with a special preamp module that allows me to individually process the two pickups for a big guitar sound. I just let go of a 1999 Olson SJ that I had to sell in order to finish production on my CD. My current favorite smoke is Portabello Mushroom Fahitas. What kind of drums do you play and what pets do you own? STEVE: No drums, but I live with four cats. Ziggy is the male elder at 11 years, Jesse and Jinx are twin sisters at 9 years, and Patchouli is a low-bottom stray I took in about four years ago. They're all pretty good company except when they're throwing up. What's your favorite D.C. hangout and your favorite automobile? STEVE: I used to hang out in most of the watering holes around town, but I stopped drinking four years ago. Now the only watering hole I hang out in is the shower. My favorite automobile would have to be the Toyota 2WD pickup. I bought my first one back in 1986, and it was still running 260,000 miles later when I gave it away. It looked like hell and you had to pull the emergency brake to stop it, but that truck never left me stranded. I called it 'the truck of luck.' What's the worst place you've crashed and the worst haircut? STEVE: I lived in England for a few years when I was a kid, and I once stayed at the Grand Hotel in Birmingham. It was a really old hotel and the plaster in the ceilings was crumbling. I remember eating dinner in the main dining room and watching in horror as a nearby empty table got crushed when the plaster ceiling collapsed on it. When we got to our room, I noticed that the ceiling over my bed was cracked and there were small chunks of plaster on the bedspread. We complained to the front desk, but they said no other rooms were available. It was too late to find another hotel, so I ended up spending a long, uncomfortable night underneath that bed, expecting the roof to cave in. It never did, of course, but what a great metaphor for how I used to live. Since I used to cut my own hair, I can honestly say that my worst haircuts were self-inflicted. Worst roommate and best audience? STEVE: I've had lots of difficult roommates, and to single one out seems unfair. I will say that in every group-living arrangement where I signed a lease, we always forfeited our security deposit. My most memorable performing experience happened at a local community church. A friend who was the music director at this church asked me to perform one of my songs, 'Chain Reaction,' since it was consistent with that Sunday's topic. I had been a huge fan of David Wilcox for years, and his music is really what fueled my motivation to become a singer-songwriter. Anyway, I was standing in the back of the church waiting for the service to begin, when David Wilcox himself walks inside and sits down. I found myself freaking out, thinking I was auditioning for the Grand Ole Opry or something, but once I remembered why I was there-to help deliver a spiritual message-I settled down and gave a pretty good performance. It was very cool. Explain your band name and define your sound. STEVE: Steve Ducey is my real name. I describe my sound as a blend of new age contemporary folk and traditional pop rock. Some people say I'm reminiscent of James Taylor. Others hear David Wilcox. I write everything in alternate tunings, and I try to write songs that can stand on their own with just voice and guitar. That doesn't mean I don't like other instruments. Most of the songs on my upcoming CD are quite produced. I'm just hoping I don't get the nickname 'Steve Overproducey.' Lyrically, I try to impart a positive message, usually from a metaphysical perspective. What clothes do you like to wear on stage and what do you eat on the road? STEVE: I usually wear all black on stage. I feel the most comfortable in black. On the road I eat peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches and Clif bars. What are your influences and worst equipment experience? STEVE: Influences...Beatles, Rolling Stones, Donovan, James Brown, Guess Who, Carol King, Grand Funk Railroad, James Taylor, Jethro Tull, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Yes, Genesis, King Crimson, Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, Soft Machine, Gentle Giant, Eagles, Little Feat, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Steely Dan, George Benson, and David Wilcox. At the end of my first semester in music, I had to give a classical guitar recital before the entire school of music. I was so nervous on stage that I couldn't get my guitar in tune. After 10 minutes or so of fiddling with the tuner keys, I asked if I could try tuning it offstage, outside the auditorium. Once I got past those doors, I just kept going. I always wondered how long it took before someone realized I wasn't coming back. What's your favorite tour memory and worst band squabble? STEVE: I've never been on tour, but I once played at a friend's wedding in the U.S. Virgin Islands. I decided to make a vacation out of it and stay down there for the week. The plan was to meet up with a group of friends at St. Thomas airport, and then take the ferry across to St. John to a house we had rented. Well, I ended up missing my flight and by the time I arrived at St. Thomas airport, several hours had passed from the time we were supposed to meet so no one was there. The worst part was I didn't have a clue as to where I was staying or where anyone else was staying. So I rented a Suzuki Samurai and started driving around the island looking for the ferry. I ended up going through a lot of slums, but I had no luck finding the ferry. When it started getting dark, I got a room at Frenchman's Reef-one of the nicer hotels on the island back then. After vainly calling other hotels for clues about where the wedding party was staying, I figured I might as well check out the island nightlife. As fate would have it, I ran into two girls from the wedding party in the second place I walked into. I ended up getting on stage with a local steel drum band and playing 'Wraparound Blues' with them. I had so much fun down there, I seriously considered staying. I used to be in a rock-disco cover band called Mid-Atlantic Connection. We had 10 band members, and as with many large bands, there were some people who just didn't like each other. It finally came to blows one night when the trombone player insulted the keyboard player's girlfriend, who then got punched in face by the keyboard player, who then got strangled by the lead singer and bass player. Fortunately, no one was killed, but that was the end of Mid-Atlantic Connection. What's your transpo and what's the worst place you've ever dropped trou? Right now, I'm driving a 1998 Toyota Tacoma pickup. STEVE: The worst place I ever dropped trou was in first grade. It was the first time I ever stepped foot into a men's lavatory. I remember going in there by myself and seeing this row of urinals. Never having seen a urinal before, I just figured it was multipurpose like a regular toilet. So there I am, squatting on this urinal when the entire fifth grade class comes walking in for their afternoon lavatory recess. Needless to say, I was the object of considerable ridicule, but my heart still goes out to that poor janitor. What's the stupidest move your singer ever pulled? STEVE: I once moved to Tampa, Fla., and lived off my credit cards for five months.