About Steve Gillette
Steve Gillette is someone who appreciates wit and wordplay and keeps track of a lot of it. He's collected the work of so many of the greats, and has endeavored to inform his own work with it. He was recently heard to say, "I wish I'd said that," and then "I probably will."
For the Kerrville Folk Festival every year he takes a printout of his jokes file to help him with his duties as a master of ceremonies. Always looking for great new jokes, he dreads having to fall back on some of the old ones. But, as he says, "You want the new ones or do you want the good ones?"
But then, writing songs is a lot like telling jokes. There must be scrupulous attention to which details are essential, and what structure is appropriate to bring the listener to the desired response. Not always laughter, and many times a more nuanced emotional experience, but like a good joke, a good song can be an exalted communication if it's done right.
Steve is someone who has been a part of the singer-songwriter world since the time before that term was in use. The folk revival was just getting rolling when he started to take the musical skills learned at his father's knee out to the open mics and eventually to the concert stage. Steve's dad played piano each evening when he came home from the office, and that rollicking stride-piano rhythm has infused Steve's own guitar style as well as his songwriting.
He's heard his own songs sung by so many of the celebrated voices of his generation and subsequent generations as well, starting with Ian & Sylvia who first recorded "Darcy Farrow" in the mid-sixties; then Linda Ronstadt, John Denver, The Kingston Trio, Anne Murray, Kenny Rogers, Nanci Griffith, Garth Brooks, Waylon Jennings, Tammy Wynette, Don Williams, Josh Ritter, Tony Rice and hundreds of others. In addition to "Darcy Farrow," other well known songs written or co-written by Steve include "Grapes on the Vine," "Back on the Street Again," "Glass Houses," "Bed of Roses," and "Unto You This Night," songs that lend themselves to the folk, country and bluegrass styles.
Steve has taught songwriting in a variety of venues. He's been on the songwriting staff at Kerrville since 1984, where he also leads a popular, daily "Texas & Tennessee" song circle, and has conducted songwriting workshops on both coasts and many places in between. He is the author of the book, "Songwriting and the Creative Process," published in 1995 and still in demand today.
He's written for films and for the Disney characters, Jiminy Cricket and Winnie the Pooh. He has continued to write songs in addition to video and film projects, and plays. Much of this material will soon be available to subscribers of this blog.