Meet with extraordinary Steve Kolbus and the Clarksdale Blues Revue

Five years ago, after the release of their last studio CD the award winning “Skippin and Hoppin” an article in Blues Greece referred to Steve Kolbus and the Clarksdale Blues Revue as a “hard rockin blues band that likes to make people happy”. Five years later, after the recent release of their “Live at Ground Zero Blues Cub” CD, little has changed in that regard. The band still plays hard and loves to make people happy. “It means a lot to us to see people in the crowd smiling, dancing, and enjoying themselves”, says front man and harmonica player Steve Kolbus. 

“We have people who come to Clarksdale from all over the world to see us play and when they leave, we want them to feel like they’ve had the time of their lives. They went through a lot of time and trouble to see us so we want our performance level to be as good or better than anything else they will see during their trip to the birthplace of the blues.” 
The band’s current lineup consists of Kolbus, Clarksdale native and original band member Barefoot Walt Busby who can play guitar, bass, keyboard and a variety of woodwinds, another Clarksdale native by the name of Lee Williams who is considered by many musicians around the world to be the best drummer playing the blues right now and can also play a mean bass, Mad Mark Miller from Tulsa Oaklahoma who also plays guitar and bass, and Clarksdale transplant from Atlanta Georgia Seth Hill, a dedicated bass player. If you’re keeping count that’s five band members. 

If you are lucky you might catch all five of them on the stage at the same time but usually you will find them playing as a four piece. “We’re a five- piece band that has to play as a four piece for economic reasons” quips Kolbus. In addition to the regular band members you might also find past band members and other special guests coming and going from the line up as regular band members are off working on projects with other musicians and bands. Great musicians like former child guitar prodigy Jaxx Nassar who was actually the band’s original drummer and has a singing voice that has garnered her a few awards. 

Her brother Phillip Carter who served stints in the band as the Clarksdale Blues Revue’s bass player and guitar player. Heather Cross the world-renowned bass player and band leader of “Heavy Suga and the sweet tones.” Ernie Moore and Steve Luckett who played drums and bass respectively for a couple years with the band. Or Clarksdale Staple David Dunnavent who has played with many of the legendary bluesmen that have called Clarksdale home and let’s not forget the best piano player currently in Clarksdale Lala Craig who is sometimes added as an extra piece or sometimes plays in lieu of a guitar in the piano driven version of the band. 

“If you want to have four or five of the best musicians you can find on the stage with you at all times you have to have a lot of options because everyone in your band who it that good is also either fronting their own band or playing with someone else” explains Kolbus. 

“That’s why I named the band the Clarksdale Blues Revue, because I knew from the start it would take quite a few of the best musicians around here to keep the band going at times.” The fact that you never know when there will be a special guest or former band member on the stage with the band’s primary line up is perhaps a big reason going out to see these guys play never gets old. Something else that never seems to get old is band leader Steve Kolbus’s antics. “You never know when he’s going to take a flying leap off the stage into the crowd or just start skippin and hoppin all around the room” said one follower of the band. Sometimes he will ask a lady from the crowd what her name is and make all the words in a song rhyme with her name and actually dance with her during the song. Kolbus’s interaction with the crowd is part of what makes an evening with the Clarksdale Blues Revue special.

The band has three fine CD releases, all self-produced. “Boom Boom Boom” (2011), “Skippin and Hoppin” (2014) and the recently released “Live at Ground Zero Blues Club” (2019) which is a great live recording that captures the true nature of the band on disc!!

Although Steve has struggled financially, he claims to be “the luckiest man in the world. No matter how little I have had at times I was always very thankful for what I had instead of crying about what I had lost or didn’t have.” The Clarksdale Blues Revue is also a band who enjoys giving back to the community 25% of their “Skippin and Hoppin” CD goes to St Jude Children’s Research Hospital which is the worlds leading cancer research hospital for children and 25% of their new “Live at Ground Zero Blues Club” CD goes to the Pinetop Perkins Foundation youth Scholarship Fund. “There’s nothing more important than helping a young child fight cancer” says Kolbus. 

While the band plays some occasional cover songs the band only records original music and plays mostly music written by the band’s leader Steve Kolbus. Steve’s main influences include Pinetop Perkins, his long time friend and mentor Little Arthur Duncan, Ike Turner, Big Jack Johnson, Terry Big T Williams, Jimmy Reed, The Beatles, Aerosmith, Charlie Musselwhite, Ronnie Baker Brooks, and Bobby Rush among others and all the elements of this diverse range of influences seep into his music like a fine marinade permeates the surface of a good cut of meat. “Little Arthur was the one who taught me not to be afraid to play and write music like only Steve Kolbus can” says the band leader. “one of my most prolific song writing influences is my own band member Mark Miller.”

Kolbus and Guitar player Walt Busby are going to re master Their 1 st cd, “Boom Boom Boom” and get the same world wide distribution they have on the other two. “When I first recorded that first one, I was still homeless and penniless so I didn’t have the money for produce it quite the way I wanted to. In spite of everything we still managed to produce a CD that has gotten air play on 8 of 10 tracks all over the world” Steve proudly points out.
Kolbus is also planning a European tour although at this point it is unclear whether the whole band will go or Just Steve and Mark Miller as an acoustic duo. “We Plan on playing for about a month in several different countries and If it’s just Mark and me going we could still play a few shows as a full band with a few musician friends we have in England who are familiar with most of my original music” Kolbus elaborated. If you are blues fan and are planning a pilgrimage to Clarksdale Mississippi make sure you catch Steve Kolbus and the Clarksdale Blues Revue!!
Though they was featured in recently released Lifoti's October/November 2019 issue 10, you can check it from below link's for your country:

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