The first guy I ever really collaborated with on my music - was the current bass player in the Jazzmanian Devils - and one of my longest standing friends - Mr. Shilo Couvrette.
Shilo and I have been playing music together for probably over 25 years now.
We played for a long time - just for fun - at the house - both of us on acoustic guitars - and then one day - I asked if he would try playing my acoustic bass guitar on something - and I think we agreed even at an early point - that a guitar and a bass guitar sounded even cooler than two guitars - so it became our habit for him to play the bass.
Eventually - I sought out some gigs - so we could take our sound out - and get some response. The response was not unkind - so we continued our efforts. I was booking us as simply Steve Robert at that point - but after a year or two - that didn't really feel right - so I started booking us as: Steve Robert with Shilo Couvrette. We played that way for a year or two - and a lot of what I have learned about how to do this - I learned during those years.
Shilo's skills on the bass have come a HUGE long way - of course - and since he and I have learned along the way by mostly playing MY songs (well - MY style) - he is so tight with my music that it is unbelievable. If you listen along the way - you will find that most of the "most interesting" backing vocal lines are his as well. He knows how grateful I am for his support through the years - but I try to remember to say "Thank You" - every time we get together anyways.
Shilo is a wonderful, warm hearted, kind hearted person. He is a "good guy to know" - and a great person to have in your corner when times get tough - which they sometimes do...
Here are a couple of my favorite pictures of Shilo and I through the years.
I Love You Brother!
It was not that long ago that Eleanor Trawick was a fledgling member of the Jazzmanian Devils - but she has really stepped up and become one of the Core Members. She is so easy to work with.
I have always been of the opinion that the sound of a harmonica blends so very nicely with the sound of a fiddle (which we also enjoyed during Dan Slaven's time in the band - <RIP Dan Slaven>) - and I had been after Eleanor for a few years really - to come play with us a little bit -- but Dr. Trawick's busy schedule as a musicologist (yea that is a real word) at Ball State had not permitted it. I'm not sure how I finally wore her down - but a few moths ago she finally relented - and gave us a bit of time -- which - I was SO PLEASED when it turned out she kind of liked it - and she has let me lean on her to support my harmonica breaks ever since. It is a different style of playing - for her - for sure - so it took a little figuring out by her --- but it was not too long before I had to caution her that no matter how good she got at it --- the band was still going to be called Steve Robert and the Jazzmanian Devils - not the Eleanor Trawick Show.
I have nothing but gratitude for all the different musicians and singers who have been kind enough to work with me through the years. ALL have aided my development - as a player -- and as a person. Of course -- I still have a LOOONG way to go.
The newest member to our little effort is Doug Hazelrigg - who is joining us on keyboards.
I have known Doug and his lovely wife Angie for years - but not well. He is a super nice guy - and once he figures out what he wants to do on the keyboard - on any given song - he is UTTERLY SOLID. I'm looking forward to getting to know Doug better, and enjoying playing music with him as this little project moves forward. Thanks for coming on board Doug.
RIP Dan Slaven