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-illustration by Joe Mays
This article is the result of an on-line interview with Ashley Marcum in March, '07. The text reads:
You will see him in several places in the Charleston and Huntington area. He may be playing alone or with a different group of people each time. But, no matter who he is or isn't playing with you can bet that his music is going to soothe your soul.
Steve Himes is a local jazz musician. For the last 25 years he has played a guitar, but has also tried the trumpet, bass, mandolin, and violin. Currently he is involved with three bands, but still manages to do a solo act. The Blue Notes just released an album, and he has put out at least three others as well. The songs are originals, but he does create his own arrangement of cover songs for shows. His wife has been a major inspiration to him close to 30 years. Himes says that music is always in his head, and sometimes he wakes in the middle of the night with a musical idea.
Each band has something different. According to Himes you tend to connect with people in different ways, which is also true for connecting with them with music. With The Blue Notes he is able to play groove, funk, shuffle, R&B, and jazz. With The New Connection the music ranges from jazz to Jimi Hendrix, and with Himes and Allen, they go from one genre to the next.
The Blue Notes started about four years ago. Himes had met fellow group member Mac Cary after moving to Charleston. He then started playing in his band. They played together for a year (and) a half. Himes then got together with Chris Hudson, and after hearing them at a show Mac called Himes wanting to put a band together. Rachel Franks later joined the guys.
Chris Allen and Steve Himes worked together in the 90's with the band Steve Himes Connection. Himes says that he and Allen have a great chemistry together and they sometimes do perform as Himes & Allen. But these two are also part of The New Connection with Cliff Riley. Riley had asked Himes to fill the guitarist spot in his band for a few weeks. This was also how he and Allen met up again to play.
How does he manage to do it all? "Music, for me, is like a conversation among friends. When you enjoy talking to a person or group, you want to keep in touch. It's the same with music." Himes goes on to say that there have been few scheduling conflicts, and if it did become a problem he would cut back.
When listening to Himes' music he wants the audience to "share the joy I feel when I'm playing." To him music is love.
Why does Himes love playing music? He quoted Woody Allen. "It's the most fun I've ever had without laughing." And what makes it better - sometimes I laugh out loud!
You can purchase CD's at Budget Tapes and Records, Taylor Books, and Fret 'n' Fiddle.
For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org