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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!


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Sunday, July 17, 2011

St. James Infirmary - Steve Howell


Born in Marshall, Texas, Steve lived in Kilgore, Texas, until the age of seventeen, when his family moved to Shreveport, Louisiana. Upon Steve's graduation from Captain Shreve High School in Shreveport, he lived in Dallas, Arlington, Austin, and spent some time in Pennsylvania during 1972-1973. Late 1973 brought the beginning of a hitch in the U.S. Navy which took him to Key West, Florida, and then to Havorfordwest, South Wales, for 3 1/2 years. During this time, he played folk clubs in South Wales, as well as in the South of England with his partner, fingerstyle and slide guitarist and mandolinist, Arnie Cottrell. They also played several folk music gatherings including the Pembroke Castle Folk Festival in the spring of 1976.

Upon his return to the United States in 1977 and his return to Shreveport, Louisiana, he attended Louisiana State University in Shreveport and graduated in 1980 with a degree in Communications. During this time he played on the Shreveport club scene through the late seventies and the eighties, with numerous gigs around East Texas, initially as a duo with guitarist David Dodson in 1977 and then with his partner, Shreveport restauranteur Jim Caskey, beginning in 1978. Steve and Jim have been regular performers at Shreveport's Red River Revel Arts Festival, having played the festival every year, except three, since its inception. Their duo, Howell & Caskey, has opened for Country Joe and the Fish, Anson Funderburgh and the Rockets, Bugs Henderson, Ponty Bone and the Squeezetones, and shared the stage with blues legend Brownie McGee. They have also played together in rock 'n' roll and blues bands over the years, most notably The Deadbeats and The Movers, with musicians from the Shreveport and the Ark-La-Tex area such as Dave Hoffpauir, Mark Roberts, Chris Michaels, Steve Ramey, and Randy Guynes. They also played traditional jazz and blues as a trio with Kathryn Hobgood singing and playing mandolin for about two years.
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