Steve Pile gets it. With a guitar on his back, the Bay Area native has traveled the world, from Alaska to Austin to Africa, distilling his own hybrid of blues, rock and melodic African guitar music all topped off with a little cowboy swagger. But he's about more than just the music."
When he recently returned to Gambia to study and record kora music with Jali Bakary Konteh, he powered it all with solar panels. The panels were financed through donations from fans and friends and were a gift to the Kontehs from music lovers here in the States.
His music career started, as so many do, in High School and with a 4-track and a few microphones. It was in Portland, OR, however where he "quit his day job" and recorded his first album and started hitting the stage and the road for real. The rain and some wanderlust sent him across the country to Austin, TX, in 2005, where he recorded again and played the circuit, only this time with one early influence(Brad Houser, bassist for the New Bohemians and Critters Buggin') and a slew of other stellar players backing him and his acoustic and National steel guitars. Various tours have seen him sharing the stage with the likes of Richard Thompson, Peter Case and even a Double Bill with Ramblin' Jack Elliott.
Now back in the California Bay Area, and working on his 3rd album with a new band, his sound has shifted from the americana/folk styles he nurtured in Austin to a more electric cross-cultural stew of styles. But he's still a singer-songwriter at heart. As one writer put it, he "points the traditional singer-songwriter compass in a variety of new directions, affording him a freshness that's also somehow comfortingly familiar." The new album, due out in Summer 2009, will continue to explore those new directions.