Meet the Band: Steev Inglish (vocals, guitar, wooden box with a tambourine inside of it)
On Discovering the Blues: A child actor who used to perform at London's West End Theatre, Inglish, who's formerly known as Mr. Downchild, gravitated to the blues after his parents started listening to the albums they'd get from American expats living in London in the '50s. "I liked those albums and I would start singing, so my mom put me in talent competitions," he recalls. "We realized I could sing and I kept on and off with it and found my voice again when I was 15 when I saw [blues harmonica player and singer] Sonny Boy Williams. That was a milestone. When I saw him with the Yardbirds, I knew I wanted to sound like that guy."
On Playing the Blues in Cleveland: Inglish moved to Cleveland in 1985 and immediately became a part of the local blues scene. "I used to be really connected through [the late blues guitarist] Robert Lockwood, who was my mentor for years," he says. "Then he died and then my wife died. My mentor and muse both died within a year of each other. I thought I was done with music and I stopped playing. One day I just got bored with doing nothing. Last year in March, I played my first solo performance in six and a half years. It was a magical thing. I realized that I had wasted those years that I didn't play. Sometimes it takes time to get over the pain."
A One Man Band: During his live sets, Inglish sits and alternates between two acoustic guitars while playing a mean harmonica and stomping on a small wooden box with a tambourine inside of it to provide percussion. An ethnomusicologist of sorts, he often introduces blues standards by talking a bit about their history.
Why You Should Hear Him: Inglish is an old school blues guy who knows his stuff. His set list consists of a good collection of original tunes that he plays alongside covers of tracks by masters such as Muddy Waters and Sonny Boy Williamson. Inglish will have two new releases — the CD Live An Kicken and the DVD Live! At the Winchester — for sale at the Winchester. Both feature a mix of original tunes and covers.
Where You Can Hear Him: steevinglish.com
Where You Can See Him: Steev Inglish performs at 9 p.m. on Saturday, April 13 at the Winchester. — Jeff Niesel