Steve Kouba

Steve Kouba

BandRockAdult Contemporary

Written reviews of Steve Kouba have compared his music to Cat Stevens, Beck, Thomas Dolby, John Mellencamp, Madness, Butthole Suffers, Jim Croce, a neo Peter Gabriel, Eagle Eye Cherry, Happy Rhodes, and Elton John. Elton John?

Biography

Steve Kouba says he's living the musician's dream. He's established his reputation as a recording artist and live performer. He makes a living as a piano player and rock entertainer, and his recent callings have been for music soundtracks and on-stage musical theater. Steve performs regionally and even overseas, playing solo piano or with guitar, live bands, and backing symphonic tracks and electronic beats. He's been called a "bold producer with an ear for the colorful," and his original music has been compared to a wide array of contemporary artists from Joe Jackson, Thomas Dolby, and Cat Stevens to "John Mellencamp, Elton John, (and) Madness."*. Steve released his self-produced debut CD "Consanguinuity" in 2000, an album that initiated his reputation as one of Chicago's most original and promising recording artists.

It should also be noted that Steve has alter egos, counted cards in Las Vegas, and claims to be "more Faustian than Jeffersonian." He admits to a great love for god, strippers and good literature. He's a happy malcontent touched by, in his words, "...existentialism, unique vice-virtues, visions, cheap thrills, intellectual chills. The kind insanity of Christianity. I work hard, live easy, exploit my modest talent and pray for health and a hit rock single." It's the stuff great music is made of, and Kouba embraces it all with humor, egotism and a slight dose of schizophrenia. "I play the anti-hero in a movie about me" he sings, and his pursuit of both artistic and commercial success would affirm a twistedly heroic self-vision.

Born and raised in the Midwest rust-belt city of Lima, Ohio, Steve listened to AM radio and took piano lessions until he was 16, then became an Eagle Scout at age 18 and a man at age 20. After graduating from Northwestern University, he traveled cross-country to record in New York and play rock music in the San Francisco Bay area. He now calls Chicago home and makes his living as a performing musician. He is known to many in the city's music industry and has performed with some of Chicago’s best players,among them members of Poi Dog Pondering, The Bad Examples, Liquid Soul, The Good, Underwater People, Fareed Haque Trio, Trippin Billies, and Quantum Leep. He has recorded music in numerous professional studios, and is currently working on a follow-up album amidst a full and varied performance schedule.

Steve's performances this past year alone have included venues such as House of Blues, numerous street festivals, esteemed Chicago theaters like The Athenaeum (where he performed live to excellent reviews his original soundtrack to "Trust", Steven Dietz's play on rock stardom), and The Mercury (with Tony Rogers' "Pop Psychology"), the city's best piano bars (The Redhead, The Underground Wonder Bar) and dueling piano clubs (Howl at the Moon, Rum Runners). His musical tour of Holland and Germany in March of 2003 further demonstrates his will to achieve at constantly new musical endeavors. "I know there's power in music, it's the magic that I choose to work with in my life. It drives me to make my living and entertain, enlighten, and uplift others in the ways I can. Music serves me the most, though, as the vehicle for my own dreams."

Lyrics

Ricochet

Written By: Steve Kouba

I.
I've had my share of fun,
I'm like a gun
shooting at my destiny
I kill it, so it doesn't become.
I got the girl, there was nothing to it,
I found the bird to my bullet.
Your designs to fly away,
my wish that I might...

Ricochet
would come true
on the day that I lost you.
All that I had left to dream,
songs unheard and lands unseen.
Only way left to go,
down the road I did not know.
Your fire at my stake,
and a heart that will not break

Today...
I will not break today.
Should the call come I'll be on my way.
In love and war, all is fair,
everybody's shooting away.
The intention's in the aim...
The consequense is in the ricochet.

II.
It's true I've been through hell
and states of grace.
I built my rocket, blasted off,
set my course for inner space.
I went to school,
they learned me real good,
taught me to take all that I could.
Schemes to set me straight,
dreams that I would...

Ricochet
would come true
on the day that I lost you.
All that I had left to dream,
songs unheard and lands unseen.
Only way left to go,
down the road I did not know.
Your fire at my stake,
and a heart that will not break

Today...
I will not break today.
Should the call come I'll be on my way.
Life will kill ya, and life ain't fair,
I don't care what they say.
The intention's in the aim...
The consequence is in the ricochet.

III.
I got the girl,
there was nothing to it...
a bird,
a bullet.
Your designs to fly away,
My wish to...

Ricochet
would come true
on the day that I lost you.
All that I had left to dream,
songs unheard and lands unseen.
Only place left to go,
down the road I did not know.
Your fire at my stake,
And a heart that will not break

Today...
I will not break today.
Should your call come I'll be on my way.
In love and war, all is fair,
everybody's shooting away.
The intentions's in the aim....
The consequence is in the ricochet.

Jah Love World (slight redux)

Written By: Steve Kouba

Now I don't mean to offend anyone here,
but colored skin, it's never been clear to me,
and I don't believe that god has got any idea
what's going on in the world so come on now girl
and I'll believe when your flags unfurl and your secrets all fall away.

There's a thorn in the eye of America right now.
(Malcolm X: This is part of what's wrong with you.)
Oh, say can't you see?
(Malcolm X: You do too much singing.)
Just give me the gun it will be all right,
'cause it ain't no toy, so come on now boy.
There's no such thing as a lasting joy where the pieces don't fly away.
That's all I wanted to say.

Now I'm singing "Irie!
It's a Jah Love World!
Praise the Lord! For sweet young girls!
Amen my Friend! God's in you!
A Salaam Alekhum, Halleluh I say,
The best for you I'll always pray
In these troubled times,
these dangerous days."

And you with the heart, you're tuning in right now.
Subscribe to the beam of this satellite.
Cried Paul Revere, "Well we got revolution here!"
You know as a people that we don't accept no king, so of Thee I sing.
You can call Iran, notify Beijing that
the eagle she might just fly tonight.
Gotta mend these broken wings.

Well "Irie!
It's a Jah Love World!
Praise the Lord! for sweet young girls!
Amen my Friend! God's in you!
A Salaam Alekhum, Halleluh I say,
The best for you I'll always pray
In these troubled times,
these dangerous days
I feel you cry."

(Malcolm X: Today it's time to stop singing and start swinging."

instrumental solo

"Irie! It's a Jah Love World!
Praise the Lord! A sweet young girl!
Amen my Friend! God's in you!
A Salaam Alekhum! Halleluh I say,
The best for you I'll always pray
In these troubled times,
these dangerous days."

"Irie!
Praise the Lord!
Amen my Friend!
A Salaam Alekhum! Halleluh I say,
The best for you I'll always pray
In these troubled times,
these dangerous days
I feel you rise."

(Malcolm X: Cassius Clay can sing, bit singing didn't help him to become the heavyweight champion of the world, SWINGING helped him become heavyweight champion of the world!"

North California

Written By: Steve Kouba

I was feeling kinda low, and indulging depression
I had my potato roots in the couch, eyes peeled to the tube
When I remembered this place, it don't know no oppression
It's got a bay, and a bridge, and I kinda like their attitude.

I'll be all right, 'cause I've been to North California
If you've been out there too, you know it's true.
Like them boys of a hundred fifty years before ya'
If you've got a dream then it's waiting there for you.

But bring a lot of money 'cause dreams aint cheap, I'm a warn ya'
If you're going out to make it well I guarantee you to fail
And if that girl out there with the flowere in her hair don't getcha'
Then an earthquake, a fire, a mudslide, Hell's Angels will... yes they will

But you'll be all right
'cause you'll have been to North California
If you've been out there too, you know it's true.
Like them boys of a hundred fifty years before ya'
If you've got a dream then it's waiting there for you.

Humboldt is so gold, and it got redwood
If you're a loner and a stoner get to San Francisco today
And in wine country, oh that sex and love is so good.
Life is sweeter when you're looking across that bay, yes it is

And we'll be all right
'cause we'' have been to North California
If you've been out there too, you know it's true.
Like them boys of a hundred fifty years before ya'
If you've got a dream then it's waiting there for you.

North California

Written By: Steve Kouba

I was feeling kinda low, and indulging depression
I had my potato roots in the couch, eyes peeled to the tube
When I remembered this place, it don't know no oppression
It's got a bay, and a bridge, and I kinda like their attitude.

I'll be all right, 'cause I've been to North California
If you've been out there too, you know it's true.
Like them boys of a hundred fifty years before ya'
If you've got a dream then it's waiting there for you.

But bring a lot of money 'cause dreams aint cheap, I'm a warn ya'
If you're going out to make it well I guarantee you to fail
And if that girl out there with the flowere in her hair don't getcha'
Then an earthquake, a fire, a mudslide, Hell's Angels will... yes they will

But you'll be all right
'cause you'll have been to North California
If you've been out there too, you know it's true.
Like them boys of a hundred fifty years before ya'
If you've got a dream then it's waiting there for you.

Humboldt is so gold, and it got redwood
If you're a loner and a stoner get to San Francisco today
And in wine country, oh that sex and love is so good.
Life is sweeter when you're looking across that bay, yes it is

And we'll be all right
'cause we've been to North California
If you've been out there too, you know it's true.
Like them boys of a hundred fifty years before ya'
If you've got a dream then it's waiting there for you.

Discography

The Good, "Interstellar", single release, 2010, synth
Tony Rogers "Climbing The Sycamore" , to be released 2010, piano
Tony Rogers "Mustache Ride", Movember 2010, piano
Adam Johnson "Waiting For My Drug (To Kick In)", EP 2008, piano
Mike O'Cull, "Look This Nice", EP, Mike O'Cull Music 2007, piano and organ
Steve Kouba "I Can't Help Myself", original song, CMEAS Compilation CD 2005
Steve Kouba "Steve Kouba" , promotional CD EP, 2004
Chicago Mike Beck "Chicago Mike", original LP/CD, 2002. piano
Steve Kouba "Trust" original score, Frump Tucker producion, 2002
Steve Kouba "Consanguinuity", re-release 2001, Bleeding, Ink Records.
Steve Kouba "Consanguinuity", original CD, 2000. Big Ugly Music & Media
Steve Kouba "Demo You Need, Demo You Get", original EP/CD, 1999
Convulsions "Bar Hoppin' an' Boppin'", full lenth LP/CD, 1997 Big Ben Productions. piano and organ
Steve Kouba "Martin Eden: Heir of Desperation" - cassette LP, 1996

Set List

Steve performs over 500 songs from the most popular artists of the last 50 years of rock music.

Steve is also an "A" Player on the Dueling Piano circuit, and knows a large number of entertaining routines.

When with a live band, Steve peforms songs by Cat Stevens, Steve Earle, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Johnny Cash, Otis Redding, Willie Nelson and many others.