Steve Meckfessel

Steve Meckfessel

 Alameda, California, USA
BandAmericanaSinger/Songwriter

jazz inflected urban folk

Biography

About Steve
Ten years ago, after two decades of musical darkness, Steve pulled his dust covered guitar out of the attic and began to write again. Steve’s early days were spent playing and singing in “Size Five”, a popular teenage rock and roll band. His new songs explore themes brought on by age and maturity - songs of family secrets, of long forgotten poets, of separateness, connection, of second chances, acceptance and forgiveness.

Some of the venues where Steve has performed include the following highlights:

Freight & Salvage, Berkeley, CA
Sisters Folk Festival, Sisters, OR
Songwriter Sanctum, Santa Monica, CA
Yoshi's, San Francisco, CA
Coffee Gallery, Altadena CA (opening act)
Artichoke Music, Portland, OR
Ruby Hill Winery, Livermore, CA
Tidewater Friends of Folk, Virginia Beach, VA

House Concerts include:
Boatworks, Oakland, CA
Cassidy House Concerts, Palo Alto, CA
Acoustic Barn, Newcastle, CA
Granite Bay, Granite Bay, CA

Reviews:

“Geeezzzzz Great Music Steve Meckfessel! Under Beautiful Skies" the new album from Steve Meckfessel is simply magnificent songwriting and moving vocal
performances all presented in a newfolkish roots format that now belongs to its founder Steve Meckfessel. These three words “a splendid listen" come to mind after hearing all the songs on this CD release. The folk world has just been handed some of the best music they will hear in 2009 and beyond.”
- Robert Bartosh, RootsMusicReport.com

”Meckfessel's plain spoken wisdom, ironies we can believe in, and unerring tunefulness, make "Under Beautiful Skies," a lovely and, at times, moving listen.” - David Kleiner, Minor 7th

Radio and TV:
Steve first CD, "Twice" was used on the hit television show, "JAG".'

Steve has recently appeared live on KPIG in Watsonville, CA KALW in San Francisco, CA. and KALX in Berkeley, CA.

His latest CD, "Under Beautiful Skies" appeared on the Americana radio charts in 2009. The record received extensive radio play throughout the U.S., as well as in Canada and Australia.

Lyrics

Heartland

Written By: Steve Meckfessel; Robert Hahn

The sunset lasted far too long
Blazing colors that were still all wrong
The moon came up without a sound
Its smug pale face smiling down
Kept on saying, “So, she’s not around”
As if I hadn’t noticed

As if this town would ever feel right
Without me knowing where she is tonight
And who she’s smiling at, if it ain’t me
And how the hell did she get so free
And easy

Chorus
Oh yea I remember now, I was the one
Who couldn’t finish what I had begun
Who dropped her heart in a bucket of tears to dissolve
With all the other problems I just couldn’t solve
And left her there with her head bowed down
In the heartland 2X

What’ll I do with these heart shaped stones
All these shells that’ll never be worn
In a necklace by her they just lie forlorn
Daring me to do what I wish I’d done
A year ago when we were having fun
And she thought I didn’t notice

Now I walk around like some wounded dog
Trying to remember which way leads back home
Trying to pick up the scent of her anywhere
Retracing every step but she’s not there
It ain’t easy

Chorus
Oh yea I remember now, I was the one
Who couldn’t finish what I had begun
Who dropped her heart in a bucket of tears to dissolve
With all the other problems I just couldn’t solve
And left her there with her head bowed down
In the heartland 2X

I wish I’d found the courage to bend one knee
And ask her the question that’s been trailing me
Like Sgt. Friday on a small TV
Standing in my doorway clear as can be
And easy

Cause word around town is that I ran away
From the scene of the crime that I’m paying for today
As he puts me in the car I can hear him say
To no one around , “Just another day
Of tracking down these fugitives
running from the heartland.”

Everyone Says

Written By: Steve Meckfessel

Everyone says you’re home
They saw you last night, alone
Leaving your sister’s place
New car, the same pretty face

I heard that you live in L.A.
I knew that you never could stay
To live out your parents’ life
And end up a workingman’s wife

Walking the halls of our high school
Hearts easily read
“This will last”
At least that’s what everyone said

I worked in the family store
But you grew up wanting much more
The life on the movie screen
Is the one you’ve been living it seems

The last days of summer have gone
They left with our favorite song
I still see you sitting there
Top down, the sun in your hair

We’ll be together at Christmas
And the years ahead
As you pulled down the drive
That’s what you said

INSTRUMENTAL BREAK

I never had that much to say
I never could ask you to stay
Or tell you that loving you
Was all that I wanted to do

“Cool grass at night, soft as linen
On our wedding bed”
As we lay out at night
That’s what we said
REPEAT LAST CHORUS

High Desert Town

Written By: Steve Meckfessel

I am out walking the streets of a high desert town
The chill of the night turns September around
And I think of the words that I couldn’t say
Oh beautiful skies, won’t you take me away

Seems like there’s 10,000 reasons to pack up and leave
But there’s still just a few things that won’t let me be
Like the love for a woman in this high desert town
Or the beautiful skies and the peace that I’ve found

Well, it’s a quarter past midnight and the music still flows
Down from old Bronco Billy’s the reverie crows
And I know she’s asleep, her hair long and gold
Under beautiful skies, I bury my soul

She told me that winter will soon steal the night
The highway through town will be dusted and white
And we’ll be 500 miles farther apart
When these beautiful skies turn bitter and dark

I’ve run out of streets to wind my way down
It reminds me we all live outside of town
And it’s hard for a good man to hold to the truth
Or to love one more time in the absence of youth
Repeat last 2 lines

As Long As He's Gone

Written By: Steve Meckfessel

Strapping boy holds on to the back of a mule and plow
A trace of the child in his face but he’s taller than his old man now
The sun slides down
I’m asking you please don’t take these children
Don’t take this gentle son of mine
Who will be left to plant the fields in the summer time
As long as he’s gone the sun won’t shine

See that sparkle in his eye that he got from his mama’s side
When that stubborn streak rears up, gives witness to his grandpa’s pride
I don’t know why
Why you must take all of these children
Why you must take this only son of mine
We didn’t raise this boy to be left in a field to lie
As long as he’s gone, the sun won’t shine

Sounds of the guns ‘cross the river not so far away
Ten miles more down the road he’d be getting up in rebel gray
Still I pray
That you will spare all of these children
That you will save this peaceful son of mine
Who will be left to hold his mama when my time is done
As long as he’s gone the sun won’t shine

I’m writing you this letter now
In the hopes that these words somehow
Can drown out the canon’s blast
And beat down the swords at last

Pardon me I know you’re wiser than I’ll ever be
Just seems a waste to cut a boy down like an apple tree
Help me see
Why you must take these precious children
The apples of our lives
I lie up at night and pray to heaven there’s a God who’s wise
As long as he’s gone the sun won’t rise
As long as he’s gone the sun won’t rise

Finally Got It Right

Written By: Steve Meckfessel; Robert Hahn

The footlights faded hours ago
The crowd has long gone home
I see you in the shadows
Standing all alone

You played your understudy role
Just as well as me
I heard the songs of longing
I dreamed you sang to me

CHORUS
Step out from the wings my love
Cause we’re way past opening night
No more rehearsing
Cause we finally got it right

Meet me in the garden dear
We’ll leave these roles behind
No outside prompts or audience
You know your part, I know mine.

So many ways of following
But that is just the art
This strange new place we stand outside
Opens only for our hearts

CHORUS

We could live our lives in shadows
Always waiting for a call
Let’s you and I break free from that
And take a risk to have it all

CHORUS (TWO TIMES)

Ten More Years

Written By: Steve Meckfessel

My name is Ronnie Greer
I’ve served my time for 20 years
Most in the cell, some in the hole
Yesterday I went up for parole
10 more years they told me
10 more years they’ll hold me here

I try to keep my record clean
I work the prison magazine
But I’ll never get back what they’ve taken away
All that’s left is the mess that I made
10 more years
10 more years to wonder why

At night in the howl of the moonlight I still see the hate in their eyes
10 more years
10 more years to fade away

It started out like any day
Except I should have walked away
Her words hit their mark and she started to laugh
Next thing I knew she lay cold in the bath
40 years they gave me
40 years to lie and wait

INSTRUMENTAL BREAK

Maximum security, will surely be the end of me
Justice for all, mercy for none
They judge a man on the worst that he’s done
10 more years
10 more years to wonder why

At night in the howl of the moonlight I still see the ice in her eyes
10 more years
10 more years to fade away

Brother Antoninus

Written By: Steve Meckfessel

Bare feet on a crooked path
Tie-dyed shirts on fresh cut grass
We flocked to the first day of class
Not much work, an easy pass
God knows, days run fast
The poet’s voice still haunts my past
All I know, is something broke
When Brother Antoninus spoke
When Brother Antoninus spoke

A huge man in a buckskin shirt
His skin, the shade of ancient earth
Wove his tears into open verse
That flowed like blood from the poet’s birth
God knows, days run fast
The poet’s voice still haunts my past
All I know, is something broke
When Brother Antoninus spoke 3X

We were innocent, we fled at the first sign of Spring
He was lenient, he freely gave his offering
He didn’t ask for anything, he didn’t want a thing

Our friends left while our fortunes grew
Time erased the things we knew
I must confess that I sold his truth
For a beer and a laugh or two
God knows, days run fast
The poet’s voice still haunts my past
All I know, is something broke
When Brother Antoninus spoke
When Brother Antoninus spoke

Some days while I work my wage
I hold his words and turn the page
And drink the wine from the wise old sage
Who, come to think, was just my age
God knows, days run fast
A poet’s voice is all that lasts
All I know, is something broke
When Brother Antoninus spoke 3X

Mama's Boy

Written By: Steve Meckfessel

It seems just like yesterday
When the neighbor kids fought and played
I followed in a different way
I watched from the side
Some of the older ones chased me back home
I’d hear them all laughing in high, mighty tones
From off in the distance, their words stung like stones
“Hey Mama’s Boy”

I learned right and wrong from you
And I learned to be strong from you
In ways, Ill belong to you
For the rest of my life
When thunder and lightning would buckle my knees
When I’d shake at the sound of the wind in the trees
You revealed the magic in moments like these
To your Mama’s boy

Soon enough, I learned to toughen up
Worked all the time, owned a lot of stuff
Somehow so much never was enough
Guess I had to look back to find what I really want

I watch on the TV news
The violence and hate that spews
From the hearts of the self-righteous few
And I think what they’ve lost
Cause I can’t imagine you starting a war
Or feeding the rich from the mouths of the poor
I guess this old world could use a few more
Mama’s Boys
I guess this old world could use a few more
Mama’s Boy
And I’m not ashamed to say anymore
I’m my Mama’s boy
I’m my Mama’s son
I’m my Mother’s son

This Is Home

Written By: Steve Meckfessel; Robert Hahn; Jeff Lionz

Real good things
Don’t come quickly
It takes some time for them to grow
I’ve seen trees
That bloom in springtime
And then there’s some that bloom in snow
I remember
When I first met you
That was many years ago
Now you’re standing
Here before me
And I can see how we have grown

Don’t go running
Like a child across the meadow
Afraid that you will always be alone
I’ll be waiting

Like the tall trees around us
Whenever you are here, this is home

There are trees that
Bloom in any season
And yet will fade as the season rolls
But these tall trees
They keep their color
Winter, spring, summer and fall

Like this bloom
We’ve found within us
It’s ours to keep, to tend and grow
With every season
We may discover
Just how tall that tree will grow

CHORUS

BRIDGE
There’ll be times for sure when you get lost
And there’ll be times when I won’t see that clear
But we found this bridge that we can walk across
To lead us back to here
CHORUS

Discography

"Twice" 2004
"Under Beautiful Skies" 2009

Set List

This is a typical set list. It may vary depending on the show.

First Set

Heartland
Everyone Says
High Desert Town
Wild Horses (cover)
As Long As He’s Gone
Mama, Pop and Me
The Shape I’m In
It’s All Her Fault

Second Set

Most of Time
Hole in the Road
Ten More Years
Every Little Thing
Finally Got it Right
Brother Antoninus
This is Home
Mama’s Boy
Stand by Me (cover)