Steve Coffey & The Lokels

Steve Coffey & The Lokels

BandFolkSinger/Songwriter

Canadian Prairie Roots Music

Biography

Steve Coffey & The Lokels - Prairie Roots Music.

"The framework of a concept is established through Coffey's terse, emotive rasp with plenty of space left for his band, The Lokels, to create an ebbing, flowing Neil Young-styled western soundscape that is wordless yet still fraught with meaning." BRMag

"Steve Coffey is one of those artists who wears the world he sees upon his sleeve, an artistic output poignant and striking, filtered through his own personal interpretations and emotions." -BRmag

Born in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba,
Steve was raised on Traditional Country music, much of which was unwillingly pounded into his head through the walls between his bedroom and his father's rehearsal space (his dad was a honky-tonkin', beer swillin' steel guitar player). When he was eight his mother decided that this life just wasn't suited for raising kids and up and hauled him and his four siblings off West on a train to a small town in Alberta. For a few years Steve flourished (likely due to more sleep- filled nights) but eventually began to pine for his dad, or more precisely, what drove him musically. Living directly across from the railroad tracks (which became a catalyst for Steve's future) He kept imagining jumping an East bound boxcar but settled on a Greyhound and headed back to Manitoba. He went on the road with his dad's band at fourteen discovering a life both celebratory and lonely and decided then and there that he needed to write and play music but with a different set of rules, one that would leave room for family. At sixteen he headed back West...on a train. To this day the prairie train plays an important role in his muse; as a symbol, as a nomadic entity that passes through many towns with many stories, some tragic, some beautiful and uplifting. It passes through our heads and our souls in Canada and connects us, both physically & romantically today as much as it did in the past just like a song. Unless he can hear it's late night whistle sleep comes hard.
Bands & songwriters Steve listened to growing up: Cream, Creedence, Lightfoot, Buffalo Springfield & The Band, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Leonard Cohen & Bob Dylan. One noteable influence of all combined: Their immediacy and 'off the floor' expression.
Some Thirty years later Steve's catalogue consists of over Two Hundred original songs many of which have been recorded and released and heard on many an airwave. Steve was raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba and Innisfail, Alberta but now makes his home South of Calgary.

Russ Baker brings a range of influences, noteably a ska/jazz approach to his bass playing and his electric guitar playing rides the fence between the ethereal to an all out roots rock sensibility . Russ Baker is also a music producer and engineer. Russ has worked with bands such as Cone of Silence and Wafer Thin Mint and has worked with Steve on a number of projects outside of the Lokels. He makes his home in Edmonton, Alberta, but was raised in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

Dave Bauer is a songwriter in his own right. His band Deep Field South wanders into a concise, poetic acoustic world. An extremely versatile player Dave plays Mandolin and electric guitars with not only THE LOKELS but also the Foothillbilly, Canadiana sounds of Dave McCann & The Ten Toed Frogs. Dave lives in Calgary, Alberta.

Lance Loree (Uncle Thirsty) has worked with all sorts; Washboard Hank & Junior Gone Wild to the infamous punk rockabilly sound of the Alien Rebels. Lance is well known as one of the foremost tele players around and a great pedal steel/ dobro player. He's also a songsmith that can crack smiles in the darkest halls. Lance works his farm in Southern Alberta.

Toby Malloy is as pure a singer/songwriter as you can get! She joined up with The Lokels on their new "Twirlin' Girl Boogie" CD and brings a true refreshing sound. Toby has sat in with many a musician and outside of The Lokels, performs as a solo artist. Toby hales from Ontario but now makes her home in Southern Alberta.

Finally the youngest member of THE LOKELS: Pat Phillips; a huge range of musical tastes but most particularly; Jazz. Pat steps into the role as percussionist with wide open ears and an uncanny ability to interpret and respond to any given tune. Pat has worked with Matt Masters & Tim Hus to name a few. Pat hales from Ontario but now lives in Calgary, Alberta.

other LOKEL members that they work with on occassion:
Matt Herne is an amazing banjo player from Australia that has been with The Lokels on two albums and will be with them again. A kindred spirit Matt brings a Flatt & Scruggs design to The Lokels sessions but also weaves and swerves into unchartered banjo brilliance.

Stu Mitchell is from Edmonton. He's a very well known drummer; guitar & bass player & piano man.
Stu has worked with Steve on two prior albums ('94 & in '97) before stepping in on The Lokel's 32 Below Sessions in 2004.

Steve Relf; also from Edmonton, is a singer/song

Lyrics

My Hometown

Written By: Steve Coffey

One river flows past rows and rows of empty houses
One river flows by boarded up stores and garages
One river flows by a bleached sign stating population
This one river flows through my hometown
One river flows past a time of rich achievement
One river flows by stolen goals of little leaders
One river flows by roads of forced desertion
This one river flows through my hometown
My hometown a floating past
One train rolls through a place within my dreaming
One train rolls past fields for those that are resting
One train blasts its whistle for the sake of waking
But one train can’t wake my hometown
My hometown a drifting past
In this past
One devil rides in with pockets deep as darkness
One devil stakes his sights on chemical targets
But one devil fails to hide his contamination
Then one devil pulls out of my hometown
My hometown a murdered past
My hometown a murdered past

skates

Written By: Steve Coffey

There’s the winter sun and a winter road
There’s a good warm pub with a real healthy glow
We’ll hold up here and say our hearts goodnight
Hold up here and say our hearts sleep tight
Our hearts sleep tight
Then in the morning shine we’ll lace our skates
Then with plenty of time we’ll take the lake
And over yonder side there’s a place to rest
Over yonder side our lives will crest
Our lives will crest

Fade Out

Written By: Steve Coffey

Fade out again and again when I’m home
Fade out again and I’m dead but I’m home
Sunlight hug me hold me sunlight clear my head
And I’m dead but I’m home but I’m home
Fade to the grays and blues oh heavenly hues take it slow
Fade to the roads I know to the roads I go take it slow
Sunlight hug me hold me sunlight clear my head
And I’m dead but I’m home but I’m home
Repeat chorus

Fondly Remembered

Written By: Steve Coffey

This winter highway is as slippery as the future. Salt and sand spread sparingly at unmarked crossroads. Holding this wheel is truly a white knuckle venture. Thank God at the curves these four bald tires still hold.
chorus: Damn hard changes, hard times, just as frigid and harsh like this month of December. But from this dashlit cab a warm sun begins to shine. Now these times will be nothin' but fondly remembered.
A blizzard has forced us to the shoulder pure white, pure blackness. We huddle down deep into these loving folds of our cloths. With half a tank of gas and Grace laying right here with us. The future is upon in the heat of our bodies and our souls.
chorus x 2

Coming of Age

Written By: Steve Coffey

She stood so gently on her floorboards, floorboards stained with family age. Her eyes scanned the distant dark clouds. Theres rain, rian, theres rain on it's way. A morning shower will sweeten this earth now. Maybe the rain will break down the dust. So her boys can see more clearly. Then they will roll on in right about dusk.
chorus: 'cause tonight will be time for family, celebrate this child coming of age, and say goodbye one more time now to past faces past lives in a dream that were once real days.
Theres a house on the hill with a white fence, and roots holding firm from her blood. Every Sunday morning about this time she walks the mile with tearful smile carrying the weight of her love. She saw him break down like his tractor. But this time he wouldn't get up. Guess he figured his time was upon him, her husband, her lover, the farmer, the father had had enough.
chorus

Two Brothers

Written By: Steve Coffey

Two brothers

Brandon’s just over that Manitoba hill
Its eight in the morning, we’ve got the will
We push harder to make the time, discipline is in our minds
This Winnipeg border was soaked with rain
This trucks been loaded with one mans gain
He sleeps between us now in an urn of wood
But without the ground rest just ain’t no good
We know the road and it’s not to far to go
The skies last rain falls behind our goal
We sense our place and we’re feeling safe
The rearview mirror defines the last shades of gray
His sister’s grave sight marks the end
Of two brother’s mission to see their dad within
The arms of his angel that left him behind
On this Brandon morning the sun does shine
Well we have flowers and his letters too
We search for words of love as good sons should do
But we hear laughing he whispers your grown men
Just take your place and tears don’t shed
Repeat chorus
Well we’re heading home now and this prairies vast
Regina, Swift Current and onto Medicine Hat
These two brothers listen to their spirits speak
For these two brothers bond complete
And the old man rides the middle seat
Repeat chorus

Old Loved Man

Written By: Steve Coffey

Look out at that storm old man old man
New life about to be born
Old man old man
The old one we will mourn
Old man old man
Repeat verse
Carry him away
You see the light did change
Old wise man old wise man
And that light has no age
Old wise man old wise man
Repeat verse
Shine on you
She smiled over at you
Old loved man old loved man
See what she’s about to do
Old loved man old loved man
She will hold your unsteady hand
Follow your heart follow your heart
Fly you back to your land
A brand-new start a brand new start
You are loved

Someday

Written By: Steve Coffey

Someday
I'm gonna fake it
when I say all is good
all is clear in my head of wood & clay
Someday
I'm gonna wake up
add some zeal to my sirloin steak
move my legs for goodness sake
that would be great
Someday
I'm gonna make it
warm the stew and rhubarb pie
after which I'll get ver high
in many ways
Someday
I'm gonna die
so bury me with my hammer and saw
so I can build up on heaven's tree tops and sway
Someday
I'll be dust swirling about in this prairie breeze
turn your head or I'll make you sneeze then sigh

Cottonwood Road

Written By: Steve Coffey

Theres a place just down from the cottonwood road.
they've got everything there from silver to gold, fairness and smiles is all they've ever known, they've got shining natural light or so I've been told, they've got rugs and mugs of love to lighten the soul, trees that sing in the early evening glow, roads for feet if only to stroll,
they've got water thats warm unless you want cold, they've got places for eyes and places for hands, plates of food there buried in the sand, dashing dreams well catch them if you can,
they've got homes of seeds built up from the land, they've got porches and orchids and heavenly drink, lighthouses, darkhorses riding the brink, century old tapestries that surely make you think, they've got everything there plus that kitchen sink
they've got orchestras of harmonicas oh what a sight, daytimes of playtimes preparing for the night, showers of flowers, it only seems right, the cottonwood roadhouse bathed in morning light
they've got hats and shaps from a theatre stage, a ballarina's toes now turns the lovely page of music peddlers, storytellers that won't act their age, the cottonwood roadhouse is where I'm gonna stay..repeat first verse

My Life Unwinds

Written By: Steve Coffey

Looking out as the sun sets colliding with a mountain crest
I close my eyes from the heated glare I close my senses to it’s burning stare
I’m holding hope I’ll soon be there
My life unwinds my life unwinds my life unwinds
Rocking boats and serpent myths tangled oars and lake bottom shifts
I reach my hands through the cold night air I reach my tools for my last repair
Still believing that most people care
My life unwinds my life unwinds my life unwinds
Now I’m floating above a tangled fence Fallen gates someone’s yet to mend
A broken house someone’s yet to tend a magic trick twisted by the wind
My heart weighs heavy ‘cause it’s got to end
My life unwinds my life unwinds my life unwinds

Follow Her

Written By: Steve Coffey

The days were slow when I looked upon
A green eyed girl and I heard her song
Resound
My knees got weak, my brow did shine
My heart missed a beat, I lost track of time
My ears ringing
Then I followed her on down, my voice singing.

She took my hand in a far off land
Took me to the moon in a cider swoon
Our love dancing
We built our home on flowers and wine
With no sense of time but children crying
Was our future
‘cause I followed her on down, painting pictures

the years have passed by, and life has changed just fine
‘cause we’re here now, in our home now.

I have to stop now & again to think about
What our love was then, it’s only natural.
This road may wind, twists & turns
But I always find that I’m bound to return
To her garden.
‘cause I followed her on down, for a reason
‘cause I followed her on down, ‘cause she was teasin’
I followed her on down.

Rolling Beds

Written By: Steve Coffey

We’re hauling’ all night long
Waking up to gray
Many miles and crossroads
Many more this day

Taking shifts with crewman George
Who’s now sleeping by the stove
Looking out at a prairie gorge
And a train that shifts and sways

Chorus
But we’d rather roll over fields of snow than to fly overhead
The shake, the rumble as the diesel stumbles helps us sleep in our beds
We sleep in a rolling bed; we sleep in a rolling bed.

This country Canada is wide
This country Canada is deep
Some farms were on a bumper stride
Some were killed last week

Now there’s whispers of our demise
From our lookout seats
Until that day these rails we ride
Is our home to work, eat and sleep.

Chorus

Mr. Ransom

Written By: Steve Coffey

Hello Mr. Ransom
What do you have today?
How about an answer to start my morning, sorry But I can't pay
Which way are you heading on?
How about that promised lift?
Down to our nameless town, thru these streets we can drift
We can drift on fortnight on these paths that don't mean anything.

Hello Mr.Ransom
What a life you do lead
Your imagination runs so wild, thru a thousand eyes you see.
What colors fill your palette?
From what vantage do you sit?
And tell me Mr. Ransom, whatever happened to your list?
To your list of twenties and forties and sixties and eighties..all the ages on your pages.
chorus:
twenties and forties and sixties and eighties.
twenties and forties and sixties and eighties.
twenties and forties and sixties and eighties.
twenties and forties and sixties and eighties.

Hello Mr. Ransom
Your day is now growing long.
Hold out your flowers
and sing your lonesome song.
Tkae your heart out of your pocket.
Place it on your shelf
Place your grey wig on your tree and lay down to treat yourself
To those places you've never beeen, never seen that'll bring you to sing..
repeat x 2
chorus.

Five Kids

Written By: Steve Coffey

Five Kids
words & music: Steve Coffey

There I was at fourteen years old
With a pedal steel and my dad
Traveling upon a west Canadian road
Eating dust from their honky tonk van
Well here I was not knowing this man
For the road he claimed as his home
The battle ensued between the life that he’d had
And the risk of his dying alone

CHORUS
And oh how I hear my mother’s words of fear
Of having five kids to hold love and feed
And oh how I sense the busted promises
And her broken hearts basic needs

A lesson in life is a lesson in strife
And the strife was my dad’s very own
The balance he’d need for his life to succeed
Left the stage every night throwing stones
As for me I look back with sweet gratitude
For they both taught me this is yours to find
The spoon you need to stir your family’s stew
And sing their music that’s traveling thru time

ChorusX2

My Hitchin' Ass

Written By: Steve Coffey

words & music by Steve Coffey

Oh what a big monster grin
Shining bright above your chin
Do you have big monster feet?
for a fancy dance below your knees.
Do you have a big blue car?
a v-8 gun toward the stars
do you have room for me?
my hitchin' ass needs a seat.
oh what big monster ears
hearing trails of laughs and tears
do you hope for monster peace?
for monster love and release
do you own a big guitar?
a g,c,d that travels far
do you have a song for me?
my hitchin' heart needs a beat.
repeat chorus 1

Wrong Things Right

Written By: Steve Coffey

WRONG THINGS RIGHT words & music Steve Coffey stevercoffeymusic2008

I’ve done all the wrong thing right
Seems from the moment we met
Now a daytime speed thru the night
Could be my only chance to get
All of those wrong things right
Then maybe we can go
Back to the beginning
But this time nice and slow

I’ve been going out of my head
I’ve been calling for nights on end
My two left feet were out of sinc
And made of lead
I’ve done all the wrong things right
My eyes were looking in
When looking out past my shallow sight
Could help red roses bloom again.

I’ve done all the wrong things right
In a world where I don’t bet
But the odds are in my favor
Your hearts still with me yet
And after that last miles flight
And these boots find your home
I’ll walk in with the right things
And the wrong things packed and gone
I’ll walk in with the right things
And the wrong things packed and gone.

Missing

Written By: Steve Coffey

Time is closing in
Pressing down on my chest
time thats closing in
a few cherished moments from the past
My eyes are stinging red
Each hour buries me
Your picture is flooding through my head
Your loves still teaching me to see

CHORUS
So I hope you can find your way back
From whichever road you left
I hope you can find your way back
For a lifetime to laugh

Theres a number next to our phone
That I've dialed a thousand times
All I hear is the same old tone
No sightings, no sign.
CHORUS x 2

Discography


STEVE COFFEY & THE LOKELS: Twirlin' Girl Boogie -2008/9 Producer; An InOURHouse Production
STEVE COFFEY & THE LOKELS: Same Boy CD/DVD 2 disc- 2007
producer: CD-Steve Loree DVD-A.Thomas & Steve Coffey
STEVE COFFEY & THE LOKELS: 32 Below Sessions- 2004
producer: Russ Baker & The Lokels
STEVE COFFEY & THE LOKELS: East of East Coulee- 2002
producer: Russ Baker & Steve Coffey
TALKLIKEJOE: TalkLIKEJoe - 1997
producer: Jay Bigam, Steve Coffey & Dave Mockford
THE KITCHEN BOYS: Passion Town- 1994
producer: Bill Bourne
THE KITCHEN BOYS: The Kitchen Boys- 1993
producer: The Kitchen Boys

COMPILATIONS:
100 YEARS FROM THEM/ FRANK SLIDE-2003-Hijinx records- contibuted song-'My Life Unwinds'
COALDUST GRINS- Cambria Publishing-1999- contributed song- 'Shovel Operator'
producer: Tim Williams

STEVE COFFEY PRODUCED:
HELEN HIGHWATER, MAINSTREAM- 2002
STEVE RELF, SPIRITS MALFUNCTION- 2001

Set List

All original material for 6 very strong 40min sets.
These songs have been performed in many settings from Folk Festivals to small clubs, as a Solo act, duo, trio to the full 5 piece band. For each song we will try to give you an indication of tempo & genre (within the overall 'roots' sensibility of The Lokels) when performed. Also which song has been released as a recording to date.

LOKELS MASTER LIST (to date)

-FOLLOW HER (up-tempo alt.country,roots)(released)
-ROADSTICKS (up-tempo alt.country, roots) (released)
-MY HOMETOWN (up-tempo, alt.country, roots) (released)
-OLD LOVED MAN (mid-tempo roots Celtic) (released)
-CONTRADICT (mid-tempo,alt.country,protest)(released)
-PAST (mid-tempo alt.country,roots) (released)
-SAME BOY (ballad, folk, atmospheric) (released)
-MY LIFE UNWINDS (up tempo folk punk) (released)
-SOMETIME WINS (ballad, folk, atmospheric) (released)
-FOR HEALING (mid tempo, blue-grass folk) (released)
-I GOT STRIPES (J.CASH/C.WILLIAMS off latest releas