Steve Free’s weekend is all booked up
In a weekend celebrating the hard work and spirit of our country, it only seems right that the well-traveled Southern Ohio-based singer/songwriter Steve Free brings his band of folk-rocking, country music gypsies up and down the river for a few more gigs.
The Scioto County, Ohio, resident -- who drove 16,000 miles to get to more than 200 live gigs last year -- shares his latest batch of originals from the just-released and aptly titled CD "All Points Between" to Huntington’s Multicultural Fest on Saturday, to Camden Park on Saturday and Sunday and to Portsmouth’s River Days festival Monday.
|Hear some Free music
It’s not going to be hard to catch singer/songwriter Steve Free this weekend. Free plays at 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 4, at the 16th annual Tri-State Multicultural Festival at Ritter Park, then Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 4-5, at Camden Park. He plays Portsmouth’s River Days festival at 1 p.m. Monday, Sept. 6. Go online at www.stevefree.com.
For Free, who records on the veteran Cincinnati-based indie label Fraternity Records, it’s just another weekend of doing what he loves to do: share his hand-crafted story songs that tangle up the area’s history, his travels (everywhere from Arizona to Jamaica) and his Appalachian and Native American (Shawnee and Cherokee) roots.
Perhaps best known for his song "Siege at Lucasville," which hit the Billboard and Cashbox charts and which was filmed by CBS-TV’s "48 Hours," Free tackles topics close to his heart and spirit and to the Earth.
Off his new CD, Free’s award-winning pen flows with songs about the environment such as "When the Trees Are All Gone," the plight of Mexican workers in the United States in "Old Mexico," Native American songs such as "Forest Chant/Spirit Song" and Ohio history-soaked songs such as "Ballad of Battery L" and "Belle of the Ohio."
Even when tackling serious subjects close to his heart, Free, whose music is heard on radio stations around the world, brings the good medicine with a fun, breezy live show featuring his band of Susan Sammons, flute; John Starkey, bass; Wyatt Bates, drums; and John Craig, accordion.
"My songs are hard to categorize, but basically I am a storyteller, and when we play, we’re having fun," said Free, who has toured Ohio schools the past 12 years through the Ohio Arts Council.
Although Free performs in a seven-state radius, there’s usually always a river running through the town whether it’s his new gig at the historic Lowe Hotel in Point Pleasant or his home base, Ye Ole Lantern in the Boneyfiddle section of downtown Portsmouth, Ohio.
"Rivers are everywhere, and for some reason that’s where we go," Free said. "We go from Pittsburgh all the way to the Mississippi. I can play in Pittsburgh or Huntington or Ironton and Louisville, and you close your eyes and the crowd is the same. The people on the river are always great and always laid back."