Steve Hartsoe

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Bio

Steve Hartsoe
info@stevehartsoe.com
www.stevehartsoe.com

Steve Hartsoe is a Raleigh, N.C.-based Americana singer-songwriter who honed his musical teeth fronting an alternative rock band in the San Francisco area while sharing the bill with such notable artists as Chris Isaak, Todd Rundgren, Mudhoney and Dan Vickrey (now of Counting Crows).

A solo artist since the... more

Steve Hartsoe
info@stevehartsoe.com
www.stevehartsoe.com

Steve Hartsoe is a Raleigh, N.C.-based Americana singer-songwriter who honed his musical teeth fronting an alternative rock band in the San Francisco area while sharing the bill with such notable artists as Chris Isaak, Todd Rundgren, Mudhoney and Dan Vickrey (now of Counting Crows).

A solo artist since the 1990s, the former journalist blends the rootsy strains of Americana with keen lyrical observations ranging from the daily of life to the eternal. On his latest effort, "Neo-Traditional," a four-song digital EP released independently in November 2014, Hartsoe is backed by Nashville ace Dave Ristrim (Luke Bryan, Big & Rich, Jewel), an old friend from their native San Jose, California; versatile musician Wahba (who played bass, produced, engineered and mastered the EP at his home studio in Cary, North Carolina); and Hartsoe's son, Eli, on drums.

Each of the four self-penned tunes reflects the struggle to keep going, whether in marriage, through tragedy or while wrestling with life's biggest questions. "Seven Miles to Wilmington," an urgent, acoustic-guitar driven lament about saying goodbye to a loved one, kicks off the EP and features Ristrim on banjo and Dobro guitar against a locked-in two-beat rhythm. The second track, "Alright Together," captures Hartsoe's electric, alt-country sound as he holds down vocal and guitar duties, including lead guitar work inspired by one of his favorite bands, Son Volt.

The third song, the all-acoustic "Love Wins (Columbine)," was written after Hartsoe read about a victim of the Columbine tragedy, student Kelly Fleming. Rounding out the EP is a solo demo version of "Asaph's Blues." Like the song's biblical namesake, Hartsoe sings of trying to make sense of an unfair world while growing weary of its offerings. The song was recorded by Eli Arrigotti (Red Dog Ash) several years ago in California.

The new year finds Hartsoe working on a full-length album with a targeted release in early 2016.

Background
Hartsoe’s musical career started as lead singer/guitarist/co-songwriter of an alternative rock band based in San Jose, California (named London Down then changed to the Raging Marys). The quartet released two critically acclaimed albums, charted in France and toured from Portland to Santa Barbara. After the band's demise, Hartsoe began playing as a solo artist at clubs, cafes and churches around central and northern California, releasing a few demos and a 10-song album, “Joseph Days.”

Along the way he performed at landmark clubs including the Starry Plough in Berkeley and Hotel Utah in San Francisco.

-- Steven McReynolds

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