Click to hear episode #98
Steve Key is real a “jack of all trades”. However, in sharp contrast to that old cliche, you can definitely say he’s mastered quite a few of said “trades”. He’s spent time in Nashville as a writer, toured the entire country, and has had several of his songs recorded by other folk. One big credit is that Kathy Mattea recorded his song “33, 45, 78 (Record Time)” on her debut album. You’ll hear Steve singing that song himself in this episode.
Steve also spends a great deal of time showcasing other artists at venues up and down the central California coast (as far north as Paso Robles and at times as far south as Solvang.) He’s a model DIY’er (“do it yourself-er”), creating music venues where none previously existed by bringing in a PA, an audience, and a roster of performers at bars, restaurants, and galleries. Sometimes these venues work. Sometimes he moves onto to another site. In the process over the past several years, Steve has created a music scene along the central coast, where traveling songwriters can always find a place to play during the week. For more info on that, see his Songwriters At Play web site.
We chatted around my kitchen table last summer as Steve was on his way to a show at The Ugly Mug in Soquel, CA. We chatted about songwriting techniques, how he’s always showcased other songwriters, and how our paths nearly crossed in a previous life when we both worked for local newspapers. (Steve wrote the “Night Moves” column in Santa Cruz Good Times. I wrote about TV, video, and music for the Santa Cruz Sentinel.)