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Special Guest from New York – Steve Suffet
25th September 2015 @ 8:15 pm£6
Old Fashioned Folksinger
41-05 47th Street
Sunnyside, NY 11104, USA
I’m Steve Suffet and I call myself an old fashioned folksinger. I was born in 1947 and I’ve been singing as far back as I can remember. My Mom was a jazz singer, a pretty good one, and she played the ukulele. She couldn’t stand what she called “hillbilly music,” so rebel that I was, when I was a young kid I used to insist on listening to Tennessee Ernie Ford sing Sixteen Tons. Around the same time I got a harmonica as a gift and I used to go around tooting it just to annoy people. I eventually learned to play a few simple tunes, like Oh, Susannah and When the Saints Go Marching In, and that drove everyone even crazier.
My Mom showed me a few chords on the ukulele, but I really never got into it. However, when I was in high school I spent $17 and bought a Harmony Stella guitar. For another $2 I bought a copy of Jerry Silverman’s Beginning the Folk Guitar, and from then on I was completely hooked. I started hanging out around the fountain in New York City’s Washington Square Park on warm Sunday afternoons, and I tried to absorb everything I heard, including blues, bluegrass, ragtime, ballads, cowboy songs, hobo songs, union songs, topical-political songs, whatever. I took old Folkways records out of the library and then started buying my own. In a year or two I got my courage up to start performing at open stage nights — hootenannies they were called then — at various clubs and coffee houses. My God, was I awful! But I certainly learned a lot, and I even met some fellow musicians whom I still know today.