WAMA Workshops and Concerts
A life of music began early for Steve Spurgin, starting with lessons in classical piano at age five, moving on to French horn and choral training in school. The performing bug bit in the early 60’s when Steve picked up a folk guitar and started entertaining his school mates with the songs of his heroes like Bob Dylan and Gordon Lightfoot. In the summer of 1965, fresh out of high school, the first paying job in music came along and Spurgin launched a professional career that has touched on five decades and entered a new century.
After playing folk music in and around Dallas, Texas for a few years, Steve moved to the Los Angeles area in the late 60’s, bought a set of drums and spent the next fifteen years providing the backbeat for various rock bands, an electric bluegrass band (way ahead of its time!), Freddy Fender, Mason Williams, The Limeliters and Byron Berline’s cutting-edge country/bluegrass band SUNDANCE, which also included Vince Gill. During his time in California, Steve also did studio session work on the drums as well s voice-over work on local and national TV and radio commercials.
In 1983, he moved back to Texas and got into the straight honky tonk scene for a while before grabbing an electric bass and once again joining Bryon Berline, along with Dan Crary and John Hickman, in a band that became CALIFORNIA, after adding John Moore on mandolin. CALIFORNIA went on to earn three consecutive IBMA Instrumental Group of the Year awards and travel over much of the world performing its brand of power bluegrass before disbanding after a multi-year run.
During all this, Steve has pursued his true passion — songwriting. He spent three years as a Nashville staff writer for The Welk Music Group, assigned to Gene Watson and Reba McEntire. That association saw many of Spurgin’s songs recorded as well as producing two major country market hits for Gene Watson. With a B.M.I award in hand, Steve then started his own publishing company and began writing songs from the heart, with emphasis on quality and personal style. Those of you familiar with his material will recognize some of the results. Songs like “She Always Smelled Like Lilacs”, “Muley Was A Railroad Man”, “Band of Angels”, and “A Walk in the Irish Rain” have been circulated far and wide. “A Walk in the Irish Rain”, in particular, has been recorded by dozens of different artists so far both in the U.S. and Europe.
In 1994, after winning the prestigious “New Folk” award at the Kerrville Folk Festival, Steve began concentrating on a solo approach to his career and has become one of the most distinctive and enjoyable singer/songwriters that Texas can boast. A live performance from this gifted artist showcases original songs that are full of insight, humor, love, tears and nostalgia. It is a performance that only such a varied background and years of experience can produce. Steve Spurgin is the genuine article.