Music » Livewire

Mr. Downchild

Saturday, January 10, at the Winchester.


Mr. Downchild
  • Mr. Downchild
While most '50s parents frowned upon rock and roll, Steve Brazier's folks collected it -- and the blues as well. Small wonder, then, that once he discovered harmonica master Sonny Boy Williamson II, a teenaged Steve shifted interest from his established acting career and formed his first blues band. The London-born Brazier then took the title of Sonny Boy's "Mr. Downchild" for his stage name.

When he picked up slide guitar down the line, Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters became new influences. Brazier's blues obsession grew over the next two decades, luring him closer to the source. In 1985, he arrived in the U.S. with the goal of getting an audience with Cleveland legend Robert Lockwood Jr. Brazier ended up settling down with the woman who arranged the meeting and has established himself as the North Coast's resident British bluesman.

Ever since picking up guitar, Brazier has both fronted bands and worked solo. These days, he's found pretty much on his own, playing his blues harp on a rack alongside guitar and foot percussion, as did his late fellow countryman Duster Bennett. Unlike countless folkies who have tried it, Downchild makes the harmonica-guitar combo an intricate affair. Well-versed in the styles of numerous blues masters, he can put a tune together himself, as evidenced on his blazing latest disc, Behind the Sun.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.