Steve "The Harp" Blues Band
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Steve "The Harp" Blues Band

Bloomington, Illinois, United States

Bloomington, Illinois, United States
Band Blues Blues


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Back In The Blues"

What we have here folks, is proof that the Blues is kickin’ hard in Central Illinois. Nobody, let me make that a little clearer, NOBODY plays the blues any better than the Steve “The Harp” Blues Band. Every aspect of the music is Blues and every part of it is right on target.

‘Back in the Blues’ is the opening tune, written by Steve Mehlberg and it is a great start to a fine cd. Although the opener is the only original tune, each of these songs is possibly the BEST recording of it I’ve heard. Musically, each one stands on its own merit and as a whole, the cd has great dynamics, changes of pace and is a pleasure to listen to again.

I have to tell you that I have been given seven cd’s in the past year that featured harmonica players. Without fail, by the time the cd was over I was tired of listening to harp being blown at the maximum velocity. This cd has been in my car player for the past 800 miles in two weeks. It demonstrates that harmonica is a musical instrument to be melded into great blues, not slam all over it.

Steve’s vocals throughout are very cool; demonstrating range, control and very expressive tone. If you are from Central Illinois, you already know that Steve is the finest, most versatile harmonica player around. Now, I think we can say anywhere. When Steve started playing keyboard a couple years ago, a lot of people said “WHY? He’s a fantastic harp player, why mess with it?” Well, this cd shows you how his keys have ‘made’ the total package.

Now I’ve already harped on Steve’s performance, so let me express my admiration for the way the rest of the band plays on this cd. Steve “Trak” Trakinat is one of the most tasteful guitar players around. His rhythm licks are absolutely cool and his leads are hot without overpowering the tune. He plays such great little fills to put it all together; I can’t say enough about how much touch he has. John “Polar Bear” Sauter is back on bass and it is the glue that makes it all work, solid, smooth and slick. Joe “What’s My Nickname?” Zaklan is shuffling the beat just the right way on those drums, with great cymbal touch, accenting the changes and keeping everybody in the groove. Kudos to Eric Nelson at Eclipse Studios for Recording, Engineering and producing this top quality product.

If you don’t have this cd already…GET ONE NOW!!!!

- Blues Blowtorch Society

"Back In The Blues"

Steve “The Harp” Mehlberg has been playing the Blues on harmonica since his first paying gig right here in Bloomington, IL back in 1972. Since then, he has been part of and/or led some of the finest Blues bands in the Central Illinois area. He has become one of the most respected and accomplished blues harmonica player in the Mid-west and his new Steve “The Harp” Blues Band’s debut release ‘Back In The Blues’ is solid testimony to ‘Real’ Blues. Frank Black of GLT 89.1 FM says “Steve has it right. This CD BLOWS ME AWAY!” The CD has garnered the #15 spot on the Roots Blues page of the Roots Music Report on its first week of submission.

Steve not only fronts the band with his harmonica, but does it with his vocals. He demonstrates range, control and very expressive tone. When his hands aren’t full, he also adds some tasty keyboard licks. The rest of the band is made up of seasoned veterans. Steve “Trak” Trakinat, one of the most tasteful guitar players around; John “Polar Bear” Sauter, a truly innovative bass player; and Joe Zaklan is shuffling the beat just the right way on the drums. Together with Erik Nelson at Eclipse Records, they have produced one of the finest new Blues CDs hitting the market.

This new CD has received rave reviews from Randy Hoffman, who reviews for the Blues Blowtorch Society and Blind Pig Records; and James Walker that reviews for a number of newspapers, trade papers and Blues websites.
- WGLT 89.1 FM


Back In The Blues

On Air with Steve "The Harp"



Steve "The Harp" Mehlberg
Vocals, harmonica, keyboards, songwriter
Acoustic Duo - David Berchtold & Steve "The Harp"
A native son of Bloomington, Illinois, Steve has been blowing harp around the Illinois area since 1972. Steve has played with Stanley Jordan, Tommy Castro, Magic Dick, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Charlie Musselwhite, Melvin Taylor and Studebaker John.

Steve "The Harp": Plays Dan Electro Amps, Hohner Harmonica's, Yamaha Keyboards, Astatic microphones.

Influences: Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, Little Walter & Paul Butterfield, James Cotton. Rice Miller and Gary Smith.

Steve is a Master Harmonica Instructor with over 30 years experience.

Band Members