Dean Steiding began his journey into songwriting during the musically volatile 1960s. Growing up amid that outburst of creativity, experimentation and variety, he first set out to emulate the finger style guitar sounds of artists such as Dave Van Ronk, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, and others from the “folk” side of the popular music landscape at that time.
Through the experience of playing with numerous ensembles over many years, he has expanded his versatile playing technique to include other styles and instruments, and is as comfortable with an electric power trio line up as he is with the quiet nuances of a solo acoustic guitar.
Thanks to fortunate associations with some outstanding players early in his carreer, Dean managed to acquire some skill with the 5 string banjo, keyboards, mandolin, bass and even drums, and you can hear it all in the many recordings he has produced in his home studio.
Mr. Steiding’s songs are populated by characters and themes that are clearly drawn from his experience of the world. Although raised in a typical suburban community of northern New Jersey, his affinity for a more rural lifestyle is often evident within his songs. If you close your eyes, the music just might take you to a time and a place where the most urgent priority is meeting up with your sweetheart at the county fair.
Dean has always been a key figure in all of the many band incarnations to which he as belonged. Back in the late 60's and early 70's, he was a founding member of "The Sunny Day Dung Trudgers", "St. Elmo's Fire", and "The Desperate Men," three bands that managed to achieve a fair degree of popularity in the New York / New Jersey area. The Dung Trudgers were headquartered for a short time in a barn, rendering their name somehow fitting. St. Elmo's Fire's house in the Poconos burned down in February of 1972, so again, a fitting (or at least prescient) name. And The Desperate Men - well, you get the idea.
These groups were all really just steps along a continuously evolving musical adventure that started out as an acoustic folk/jug band, and gradually morphed into an electric sound that included all types of roots music. Among the players in these bands were Chris Hartshorne (aka C.T. Tucker) who later went on to form and front "The Blue Sparks From Hell", Buddy Miller, who you might know from his work with Emmylou Harris as well as his own albums (both solo and with his wife Julie), and Bruce Kunkel, who has made some of the most beautiful and unique guitars you will ever see. Michael Clemens, David Mello and Dick Porter brought their electric power trio experience to the Dung Trudgers downhome sound, resulting in what was one of the most fertile and creative periods for the band.
More band incarnations along the way included "Cabin Fever," an acoustic group with John Ohara and Mike Tiner, and "The Inlaws," which once again included David Mello and lots of cowboy hats.
Today, this long, strange trip of discovery takes shape as Nobody's Fool, a band including John Given, Gloria Steiding, Frank Turano and Phil Azzara, and presenting a sound born of all that came before it.
But Mr. Steiding has never lost his love for the solo finger style playing that first inspired him, and is once again presenting a solo format act in this style. With his magnificent guitar picking and voice he will mesmerize you with a blend of classic songs, gorgeous instrumentals and original songs.
So sit back, enjoy the music and travel through time with M. Dean Steiding.