Steven Hefter of Rock, Roots & Blues - Live, who got the news about the Dixie Dregs Free Fall lineup getting back together first, has interviewed band members Steve Morse, Rod Morgenstein, Andy West and Steve Davidowski. Topics include what the guys have been up to in the past 40 years, the plans for the 2018 tour and how it all came about, the origins of the band, and making music and the Free Fall album. Read part 1 of Steven's conversations with the band here, more to come.
Recently a historic audio interview with Dixie Dregs members Steve Morse and Allen Sloan, from way back during the Free Fall days, popped up. The interview was conducted over 40 years ago, on July 9, 1977, the day that the Dixie Dregs opened up for John Mayall at a free concert at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, PA. This may well be the oldest audio interview with any Dregs band members still in existence. Take a step back into Morse music history, and listen to Steve and Allen talking and playing their instruments. Thanks to Mark Oppenlander for preserving and providing the recording, and to Marije Essink for posting it on YouTube for everyone to enjoy.
The Dixie Dregs are back! The original lineup of Steve Morse, Rod Morgenstein, Andy West, Allen Sloan and Steve Davidowski have reunited. In 1977 they recorded the band's first commercially released album, Free Fall, and now, 40 years after the release of the album, and after jamming together earlier in the year at Steve's place, they are making new tour plans. Steve commented about the reunion:
"We're going to get together for a couple of short tours.....after 40 years?! We got together and played the music from the Free Fall album already, and had a lot of fun. Andy West and Rod Morgenstein are figuring out the songs for the set with some interactive input on the Dregs page. So, go cast your votes for tunes you'd like to hear, and the band will adjust the set accordingly. We're doing this to celebrate over 4 decades since our first album release, and to bring back all the original members from our first album. This is going to be fun!"
Steve is featured on a newly released Brian Tarquin project album called Band Of Brothers. This project is inspired by soldiers who have fought for their country, and part of the proceeds go to a charity for military veterans. Steve said about his participation in this project: "I got involved with Brian because he was making music for good causes. During the process, I discovered that he is a great guy to work with and is very versatile at all parts of this music business. Here's to the power of music making positive things happen!"
Steve has worked with Brian before, guesting on his albums Fretworx (2008) and Guitar For Wounded Warriors (2014). For more info about the new Band Of Brothers project click here, for details about the album and for ordering click here.
In a new interview published by Premier Guitar, Joe Charupakorn talks to Steve about being in Deep Purple longer than Ritchie Blackmore and playing classic Deep Purple material, the importance of rhythm, working with Bob Ezrin again, techniques other than alternate picking, the osteoarthritis in his picking hand and different ways of practicing, two tips for guitarists, and more. Read the full interview here.
On a day off in Luxembourg during the current Deep Purple tour, Steve spoke to radio show host Robert Sas of the Rob Sas Rock Show. Topics that Rob and Steve talked about include the new Deep Purple album and tour, favorite new songs to play, the influence of the internet, Steve's guitar rig, things to do during days off, his arthritic right hand, adapting to that and switching techniques, refretting his main guitar, and having to fix lots of things at home, a farm, after he gets back from a tour. Listen to the first hour of the show here (with Steve from 28:52 to 41:46), for the second hour click here (with Steve from 23:55 to 40:46). This actually was the second time that Rob interviewed Steve, his earlier interview, from 2015, can be found here (with Steve from 26:52 to 37:20, 1:05:32 to 1:15:39 and 1:26:25 to 1:43:03).
A while ago, Steve talked to Skinny Devil Magazine. Topics include Flying Colors, writing for a special project together with his son, guitarist Kevin Morse, and drummer Mike Portnoy, the personal meaning of his album High Tension Wires, a gear run-down, early influences and favorite new players, tips for aspiring players, staying fit, balancing incredible technique, soulful approach and high intensity performances, his legacy, artistic responsibility, and future plans. Read the full inteview here.
Gary Graff of For Guitar Players Only talked to Steve about the infinite possibilities of playing in Deep Purple, his evolution in the band, favorite Deep Purple songs, the songwriting process for the band's new album inFinite, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Long Goodbye Tour and other, non-Deep Purple projects. Read the full interview here.
Three new jewelry pieces have been added to Steve's official store: the Cutout Heart Pick necklace, designed by Steve himself, the Signature Silver Pick necklace, and the Stringbender Dreamcatcher necklace. Like all other jewelry items in the store, these are all handmade by artist Katya Hast-Ekström, from silver and guitar strings played by Steve in concert. So if you want some special Steve stuff, head over to the Steve Morse Official Store to view all available items and place your order. All jewelry items come with a certificate of authenticity.
The Steve Morse Fan Page on Facebook has reached 5000 members. When asked for a comment about this milestone, Steve said: "Congratulations on reaching this milestone of participating members. I think content is much more important than any number but in this case I think they are attracted to the number of details that get added here... Thanks to all members for contributing!" Check out and join this great, growing community of people from all around the world connected through Steve and his music here.
"I would like to remember those who died/fought, 73 years ago on June 6, 1944 in Normandy. We thank you and all who served for their sacrifices...."
On May 27, 2017, musician Gregg Allman of the Allman Brothers Band, a band that has been one of Steve's big influences, passed away at the age of 69. About a week later, in the evening of June 3, there was another terrorist attack in the UK, this time in London, sofar killing seven people and injuring many more.
Steve said about these events: "It's been quite a week with Gregg Allman's death. I grew up on the Allman Brothers music and couldn't stop slipping in some of their memorable riffs in our shows. Just after this show in Paris, France, we learned of yet another terrorist attack. Prayers for those no longer with us and their families and a fast recovery for those injured."
Peter Hodgson of Mixdown magazine in Australia talked to Steve about the new Deep Purple album inFinite, balancing the band's enduring legacy with the prospect of creating something new, having Bob Ezrin involved as producer, recording live in the studio, Steve's growing Ernie Ball Music Man guitar line, and his pickup configuration. Read the full interview here.
Deep Purple's new album inFinite was released on April 7th, in different formats. Steve about the album: "The new Purple album, Infinite, is out, and we're seeing people with them on this tour. I had no idea so many people bought vinyl LP's. We're doing 3 or 4 songs a night from the new album, and it feels great. Bob Ezrin did a great job of pulling the best out of the band, as producer again. Very good representation of where the band is at, which is a very good place!"
The band's The Long Goodbye Tour started on May 13th, and is well underway now. Steve about the tour: "Our tour has started apparently. I just realized I've been out for 12 days already! At first it was rehearsing the new songs in Romania, then a show, then another, then a travel, then another...... and, well, here I am. Thanks for everybody that has taken the time and trouble to come out to the shows. It's been such a warm, but exciting reception for the whole band. We have a wonderfully relaxed, yet confident feeling between us, and it's definitely time to see a show if you've ever thought about it." See all tourdates here.
On May 22, 2017, the Manchester Arena in the UK was hit by a terrorist attack, right after the ending of a concert, killing 22 people and injuring dozens more. Steve and his Deep Purple bandmates, on tour in Europe right now, are of course shocked by this horrible tragedy. Steve said: "We give our prayers and condolences to the victims' families of Manchester. Everybody in Purple is stunned by this. The UK has a history of standing tall in the face of terrorism, and their past has demonstrated that any such attack will ultimately fail."
Deep Purple's The Long Goodbye Tour has kicked off, and made its debut in Romania, on May 13, 2017, with four songs from the new album inFinite in the set. The European part of the tour will continue through Bulgaria, Croatia, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Poland, Luxembourg, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Monaco and Spain, before ending in Portugal on July 4. From August 12 until September 10, the band will be in the USA, together with the Edgar Winter Band and Alice Cooper, from November 6 until November 23, Scandinavia and the UK will get their turn, and last but not least, the band will be in South America from December 6 until December 15, together with Lynyrd Skynyrd and Tesla. For all dates and venues, check the tour dates list. For photos and videos from the current tour, keep an eye on the Steve Morse Fan Page on Facebook.
Ultimate-Guitar.com have just published a new interview with Steve, in which he talks about the new Deep Purple album inFinite, his guitars and amp set up, answers questions from readers and tells a story about an adventure in Russia. Read it all here.
In France, a new interview with Steve is featured in the May/June 2017 edition of Guitare Xtreme magazine. Steve talks about Deep Purple's 20th album inFinite, the role of Bob Ezrin during the recording process, the osteoarthritis in his right wrist, his technique, Deep Purple's Long Goodbye Tour, Flying Colors and the Dixie Dregs. He says about his osteoarthritis that he doesn't see it as a fatality, but as a chance that life is giving him to become a better musician. The May 2017 edition of Guitar Club magazine in Italy, the June 2017 edition of Young Mates Music Player magazine in Japan, the #030 2017 edition of Total Guitar Brasil magazine in Brazil and the #6/2017 edition of Magazyn Gitarzysta in Poland, contain new interviews with Steve as well.
On episode #665 of Talking Metal, Steve talks to host Mark Strigl. Topics include the brand new Deep Purple album inFinite, Bob Ezrin, Deep Purple's final tour, Steve Morse solo music and much more. Some tracks from inFinite are played as well. The interview with Steve starts at 21:30 and ends at 49:20, listen to it here.
In a new interview, published in the June 2017 edition of Guitar World magazine, Steve talks about the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, Deep Purple's new album inFinite and the Long Goodbye tour, the writing process, his gear and the upcoming 30th anniversary model of his signature #1 Ernie Ball Music Man guitar, Flying Colors, a project with his son and fellow guitarist Kevin, the Dixie Dregs, and amazing things that have happened while on the road. The magazine is available in stores now.
Steve has done an exclusive new interview for the Steve Morse Fan Page on Facebook. The initiative for this Q & A came from the fan page's main admin and researcher, who has created a huge and unique, very comprehensive digital Morse archive. The interview had a somewhat different approach than a lot of regular interviews, with more out-of-the-box questions, covering a lot of ground that has rarely been covered in other interviews before. Steve very kindly provided very thoughtful and insightful answers, offering a great in-depth look into his mind. Read the story behind the interview here, read and download the interview itself here (Facebook account needed). Enjoy!
On April 15, 2017, guitar virtuoso Allan Holdsworth passed away suddenly and unexpectedly, at the age of 70. Steve reflects on Allan's untimely death:
"I've spent the week listening to many of Allan's clips and videos from decades of playing. I can't believe he's gone. He was an amazing player that saw so many harmonic possibilities every time he picked up his guitar. My very best wishes for his family and close friends. He really did become a legend in his own time, and has left an amazing legacy of guitar mastery. We did tour together some, in the good old days, and my friend, Jeff Watson, sent me this picture from online. I'm looking amazed at what he's doing, as usual!"
On April 15, 2017, Steve made a surprise appearance at the 4th annual Brick City Beer & Wine Festival in the town of Ocala in his home state of Florida. Proceeds of this annual festival with beer and wine sampling and live music go to a different local charity each year, this year's recipient is the Kimberly's Center for Child Protection. Steve visited the festival before, in 2015, when Blue Öyster Cult were closing the event, but he didn't play. This year however he got up on stage and joined local band R-Style to play several songs. The band's guitarist John Viola, pictured with Steve here and here, commented that playing with Steve was a dream come true. Watch and listen to R-Style with John and Steve here, here, here and here.
Deep Purple have just released an official music video for their new single All I Got Is You, from their upcoming new album inFinite. The video features footage from the upcoming documentary From here to inFinite, and shows the band at work in the studio in Nashville last year. There also is a new official video with exclusive behind the scenes footage from the band's promo photo shoot for the new album. The shoot took place in Hamburg, Germany, in December last year, and involved vintage artic explorer style outfits and huskies. The new album will be released on April 7th. The band will start touring again in May, see all dates here.
In a new interview with Guitar World, Steve speaks about Rock 'N' Roll Fantasy Camp, Deep Purple and Flying Colors. When asked what he enjoys most about doing these camps, Steve said "One thing I do have is a lot of experience, so I guess it would have to be to legitimately be able to answer any questions and to pass along tips." To read the full interview and see what else Steve has to say, click here. Steve will be at Rock 'N' Roll Fantasy Camp on March 4.
On February 7, Flying Colors made an unannounced surprise appearance at Cruise To The Edge 2017, as part of Mike Portnoy's 50th Birthday Bash. The band performed Infinite Fire, A Place In Your World, Kayla and Mask Machine on the ship's pool stage, the first show of the cruise, not long after departure from Tampa. Watch the whole Flying Colors performance here, see a nice band photo here, and a photo of the guys with Mike and Neal's other band Transatlantic here. Later during the cruise, on February 10, Steve was a guest on Eddie Trunk's live SiriusFM radio show broadcast. See a picture of Steve and Eddie during the show here.
Deep Purple have announced a tour in the US, in between the tours for mainland Europe and the UK that were already announced earlier. The US shows will take place in August and September, and Deep Purple will be touring together with co-headliner Alice Cooper and special guest The Edgar Winter Band. For more information about the tour, click here. To buy tickets and VIP packages, click here. The announcement of the tour was followed by the release of the band's Time For Bedlam EP, containing non-album songs and unreleased recordings. The new album inFinite will be released in April, and will be accompanied by a video documentary of the recording process. Watch a short clip here.
Three different new guitar string jewelry gift sets have been added to Steve's official store. Designed for Valentine's Day by artist Katya Hast-Ekström of Katya Arts, all handmade from silver and guitar strings played by Steve in concert. So if you are looking for a special gift for a special someone, head over to the Steve Morse Official Store to check out what's on offer. Free gift wrapping is available.
As usual in January, Steve has been present at the annual Winter NAMM convention in Anaheim CA, a trade only event for manufacturers of music equipment, musicians, and other people involved in the music industry. Steve has been appearing at the booths of Ernie Ball Music Man and Engl Amps, doing signature sessions, demos and interviews. This year, 2017, marks the 30th anniversary of the Ernie Ball Music Man Steve Morse signature guitar, and the company presented Steve with the #2 guitar of that series, the second one ever made, 30 years old but unused and in perfect shape, unlike Steve's trusty and battered #1 that has been with him everywhere.
In a video interview that Steve did with American Musical Supply, he shows and compares both guitars. He also reveals that Ernie Ball is making a 30th anniversary commemorative guitar, which will come on the market later this year. Watch and hear Steve play #2 for the very first time here and here, and see a photo of Steve with the first prototype of the commemorative guitar here. In another interview with Gear Gods he talks about work on the new Flying Colors album, jamming with the Dixie Dregs Freefall lineup and the Rock 'N' Roll Fantasy Camp. And in an interviewwith Guitar Interactive Magazine he talks about guitars, soloing and working with Bob Ezrin. More videos: Steve talking about and showing his Ernie Ball Music Man signature models (for Guitar World) here, Steve and fellow Ernie Ball Music Man artist John Petrucci of Dream Theater having a fun conversation at the Reverb booth here, Sterling Ball and Ernie Ball Music Man artists Paul Gilbert, John Petrucci, Steve Lukather and Steve Morse doing an amusing interview for Andertons Music Co here (Steve comes in at 11:10). Some nice photos of Steve at the Engl and Ernie Ball booths here, here and here.
2017 marks the 40th anniversary of the release of the Dixie Dregs album Free Fall, their first official album on Capricorn Records. Early in January the Free Fall lineup, consisting of Steve Morse, Andy West, Rod Morgenstein, Allen Sloan and Steve Davidowski, got together at Steve's studio in Florida to jam on the old tunes for a few days. They really enjoyed it, and agreed that they could put something together that would be presentable to play these songs live again for an audience. There is nothing solid yet, but hopefully it will work out. Andy West wrote a blog post about the reunion, read it here.
"I never thought I would see a calendar say '2017' in my lifetime, but here we are. Time is passing faster and faster, and now that I'm finally wise enough to make some better decisions, many of those opportunities have passed. The one thing that I have no regrets about is spending time with family, having an occupation that has allowed me much freedom of expression, and helping others when possible. More than ever, I see that the most important part of my career should have been trying to be the best example for younger players. The measures of success all fade, compared to somebody being a positive influence on our chaotic culture. Support your local musicians, and Happy New Year!"
EarMusic has announced that the wait for new Deep Purple music is over. Now you can listen to the first new song, Time For Bedlam, from the highly anticipated follow-up to their 2013 album Now What?! The upcoming, brandnew album InFinite, that Steve recorded earlier this year with his band mates Ian Gillan, Ian Paice, Roger Glover and Don Airey, will be released on April 7th, 2017. For more info about the album, single, an upcoming EP and a documentary movie of the recording process, click here.
Apart from the new music and album release date, new tourdates for 2017 have been announced as well, under the moniker 'The Long Goodbye Tour'. Sofar there are dates in mainland Europe in May and June, and dates in the UK in November, with more dates still being added. Deep Purple have not yet answered the many questions received from fans all over the world who are speculating about the meaning of the title "Infinite"and "Long Goodbye". In any case, as Steve always says, "Live music is the real thing", so catch him and the guys live on stage if you can, check out the tour dates here and here.
In the past week Flying Colors were together at Steve's studio in Florida, writing new music for their third album, with Steve doing double duty both as guitarist and engineer. The guys had a great time and the work went really well, as is evident from some photos posted by Mike Portnoy here, here, here and here, and two nice videos from Neal Morse here and here. One more photo of the band in the studio, joined by executive producer Bill Evans, here. The band will try to reconvene again in a few months to finish up another round of songs, and then begin recording. So stay tuned for #FC3!
On December 5th, Steve and the other guys of Flying Colors - Dave LaRue, Neal Morse, Mike Portnoy and Casey McPherson - will get together again to start writing for their third album, the follow-up to 2014's Second Nature. When asked how he feels about getting back to work with Flying Colors, Steve said: "I am looking forward to writing with Flying Colors again, because of the way that everybody influences the musical ideas that we bring in. It's sort of like playing a game of chess where everybody is on the same side: We need to think several steps ahead of each move, and constantly revise the plan. I really enjoy the ability to hear an idea get fleshed out quickly, too. Things move fast, but with great results!" To keep track of all things Flying Colors, check out their website, Facebook official page and fan page, and Twitter feed.
Several signed CDs and DVDs have been added to the items available at Steve's official store. Steve signed them all during the latest Deep Purple recording sessions. Even though he didn't have much free time to do it, Steve did insist on drawing the little guitars with his signatures, as he always does, saying that it wasn't a real autograph without them. Check out all carefully signed items at the Steve Morse Official Store!
Swedish artist (and long time fan) Katya Hast-Ekström has teamed up with Steve and his executive producer Bill Evans to create a line of official Steve Morse guitar string jewelry. All Steve Morse jewelry items are hand crafted from strings used by Steve in concert, combined with Sterling 925 silver. Apart from the pieces made with strings, there is also a silver replica of Steve's #1 guitar. All items come with a certificate of authenticity.
Steve said about this jewelry: "This is the first time I have had anything to do with any merchandise being sold online. I want to let you know that any jewelry that uses guitar strings, uses the strings from one of our tours. It always feels strange to throw away old strings, and this feels so much better. Our jewelry maker has figured out a cool way to make art out of the used string. Thanks for your support!" View all available items and place your order at the new Steve Morse Official Store! For more information about Katya and her work, check out her website and Facebook page.
If you are looking for cool Steve Morse merchandise, look no further! There now is a new Steve Morse official store, with very exclusive hand-made items, as well as signed items. To see what is on offer now, click here. More items will be added in future, so you will want to keep checking back. And of course it will be Christmas pretty soon, so if you want to get a really special gift, this is the place to be. All items in the store can be gift wrapped, and can include a card in your hand writing. Check it all out at the Steve Morse Official Store!
The thought of playing right alongside your musical hero can be as exciting as it is daunting, but let's face it - for most people such an experience is just a dream. That dream can become reality though, as next March guitar virtuoso Steve Morse will join current and former Deep Purple members Ian Paice and Glenn Hughes in a Rock 'N' Roll Fantasy Camp event dedicated to the legendary group. What should prospective campers expect? How should they prepare for that moment when they're jamming alongside one of their idols? In a chat with Music Aficionado, Steve breaks it all down, and he stresses: Don't worry. You'll be in good hands. To read the full interview and profit from the insight and good advice that Steve provides, click here.
In 2001 Steve appeared on the album Warmth In The Wilderness - A Tribute To Jason Becker. In 2013 he performed at the second Not Dead Yet benefit concert for Jason Becker in San Francisco. In case you don't know, Jason Becker is a guitarist and composer who has been suffering from ALS for 26 years. Due to the effects of his incapacitating condition, Jason can only move his eyes and lips. Obviously he can't play guitar anymore, but he does still compose music. He is currently planning on recording a new album, with all new original compositions, performed by a host of guest guitarists, such as Trevor Rabin, Joe Satriani, Steve Morse, Aleks Sever, Guthrie Govan, Gus G., Jeff Loomis, Chris Broderick and more.
Steve said about his involvement in Jason's project: "Jason has the true spirit of music burning bright inside of him. He inspires anybody who knows him, and it's an honor to be part of this!" To pay for all the costs involved in the making of the new album, Jason has started an IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign. For more information, and for making donations, read an article that Guitar Player magazine published about Jason's project, and visit Jason's IndieGoGo page. Both pages feature this video about the project, sharing would be very much appreciated.
In January 2015, Steve acted as a guest instructor at Rock 'N' Roll Fantasy Camp for the first time, in Ledyard CT (see some photos here). In March 2017 he will be doing it again, this time in Hollywood CA, along with fellow Deep Purple legends Ian Paice and Glenn Hughes. Steve said: "I'm excited that I've been asked back for a visit at Rock 'N' Roll Fantasy Camp, this time in Los Angeles. Can't wait to get back to Camp again and jam with some of these great players." Read more about this Camp edition here, for all available packages and prices click here.
In a newly published article on MusicRadar, Steve reflects on 50 years of guitar playing. He talks about mentally grading himself for his performances, and shares 12 lessons that he learned during his five decades as a guitarist. To read the article and learn from Steve's tips and advice, click here.
"I was recently part of a collaboration to launch The Epic Guitar Solo Challenge for the EJ Whitten Foundation who are dedicated to fighting the issues of prostate cancer and depression. This is a fun way to get guitarists together, and for a worthy cause! I really like all the positive energy of this whole project!"
Find out more about the Epic Guitar Solo contest here and check out the music video that features Steve and many other guitarists, called Don't You Tell Me Not To Play Guitar, here. Read more on the EJ Whitten Foundation here.
On a day off from Deep Purple's current world tour, Steve Morse joined a podcast show from his hotel room in Antalya, Turkey for a conversation about his early influences, the Dixie Dregs getting signed, Flying Colors, Bob Daisley and Living Loud, performing at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, in addition to much more. Listen to the interview here.
During the recent Deep Purple tour in Japan, last May, Steve was interviewed by music writer Glenn Williams. The interview starts like this: "Aside from constantly being voted in numerous polls as one of the world's top guitarists, Steve Morse is also one of the nicest men you could ever meet. Humble to the core, he approaches interviews and fans with the same gratitude he always has, that of he not really knowing why people want to meet him or shake his hand. The man genuinely doesn't believe he's anything anybody else isn't and his upbringing shows when he politely offers my photographer a seat before sitting down himself (my photographer was a lady). Steve smiles all the way through the interview, constantly wants to explain more about things with insights and you get the feeling that he'd be a wonderful companion to drive a thousand miles across a desert with. Indeed, if I hadn't called time on the interview, we'd probably still be there now." To read the full interview, click here.
Steve's new website, launched on June 23rd 2016, brings a whole new level of information and engagement with the many facets of Steve's ongoing career. Developed by a devoted team at Golden Flamingo, the website will continue to grow and expand as Steve's career continues to, as well. Sharing his thoughts, Steve said, "Thanks to Golden Flamingo, Bill, Tom and Marije for the website remake!"