A mild-mannered advertising and marketing communications professional by day, Steve Temkin is by night a fearless and forceful blues singer., fronting the Chicago Blues Mafia. Born in 1955 in Chicago, Illinois, he took up playing guitar and singing in his early teens. Having survived the Great Folk Music Scare of the era, he then forswore doing so in public again, and, with the exception of only a few lapses, remained true to his promise for decades.
Whether it was a case of early-onset middle-age crisis or an example of undermedication or a combination of both, Steve began associating with a group of friends and neighbors who had joined together in secret suburban basement rituals reviving their dormant musical skills.
In 2002, the semblance of a band formed, and while Steve kept his performing past a secret, he did aid and abet the endeavor, becoming the unofficial sidekick and promoter of The SlackDaddies, whose name he is responsible for.
(Historical note: Originally, members of the band thought it prudent, once they had committed to performing publicly, to have a different band name for each performance to discourage reprisals. Steve presented a list of nearly 50 names, among them "The Underwhelmers," "Nine Inch Males," "The Above Average Weight Band," "Armed and Hammered," and "The Pesticles." After unanimously choosing the SlackDaddies name for the first gig, the band stuck with it.)
As the band gained experience, bookings and fans in the Chicago suburbs, band members eventually insisted that Steve move onto the stage facing the business end of a mike, and, since 2005, he has been a featured vocalist with the SlackDaddies.
In 2009, he jumped at the opportunity to front a new group of top area players, including veteran virtuoso guitar bluesman John Juul, drummer WIll Weigler, bassman Ira Sussman and jam master guitarist Phil Palumbo.
A regular at Chicago-area blues jams, from Gabe's in the north to Reggie's and Buddy Guy's on the southside to Rosa's on the west side of town, Steve occasionally sits in with other artists such as Sammy Fender, Two for the Blues, The BackStage Loungers and Blue Truth.and more. He has also fronted The Unusual Suspects and, as ShortStack Steve, his own Chicago Blues Mafia. Most recently, Steve wrote and recorded songs for the "Prescription for the Blues" CD, including "Bad, Bad Daddy," and "You Think You Got the Blues."
While strongly influenced by the blues masters of the Chicago scene – Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf , and legends like B.B. King – Steve occasionally dips a toe into the waters of Motown and 60s era R&B. Steve attributes his progress to personal attention and encouragement from jam master Gary Gand and wife, keyboard diva Joan Gand, to the late L.C. Walker and his partner in Two for the Blues, Tom Crivelone, to showmen extraordinaire Jimi Rogers and Sammy Fender, and the late Blues legend Koko Taylor.
Free tracks can be downloaded at the SlackDaddies offical website, www.slackdaddies.com.
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