Steve’s Guitars celebrates 1,000th Friday concert
Legendary Carbondale venue has booked a special lineup of performers for milestone show.
Steve’s Guitars will present its 1,000th consecutive live music Friday starting tonight at 7:30 p.m. on Grassroots TV. Owner Steve Standiford has put together a special lineup of performers for the show, including luthier Wally Bacon, who owned the “shop” as Wally’s Music before Standiford bought it from him in 1993. Other performers will include Wes and Jay Engstrom, The Currys, and Valle Musico.
Standiford said he held on to the Friday streak through a pair of going-out-of-business sales, and more recently through COVID restrictions that prompted him to start live-stream broadcasts on Grassroots TV called Streamin’ Steve’s.
“We’ve kept the streak going thanks to the crew we’ve got with Ralph Pitt, Jeremy Isenhart and Grassroots TV,” Standiford said.
Although the current streak stretches back to 2001, Steve’s Guitars hosted hundreds of live shows before the Friday streak began.
“It started with T.Ray Becker playing his cool original songs opening for Angel, a neo-hippie songwriter from Hawaii, Standiford said. “Since then, we have continued to host our talented local musicians along with some truly amazing touring acts like The Band of Heathens, John Oates, Lake Street Dive, Mandolin Orange and so many more.”
The show Friday will start with a taped segment with Standiford, his wife Mary Margaret and daughter Shannon talking about the history of the old shop and the Friday night streak.
Then Bacon will provide some unique background on the music business and talk about his musical life in Carbondale dating back to the 1970s.
“Wally was the origin of my getting into the music business when I bought Wally’s Music back in 1993,” Standiford said. “So he’s a pivotal figure in what’s happened over the past 1,000 weeks and more.”
Wes and Jay Engstrom represent the new generation of talented kids who grew up in the valley and are now young adults, Standiford said.
“They play some really cool original music, and that’s kind of why we started the whole thing was to get a space for original music made by our friends and neighbors.”
The show will end with The Currys and Valle Musico — two of Standiford’s favorite local acts.
“The Currys have been playing the shop since the start and are true musical ambassadors for the valley’s vibrant music scene,” Standiford said. “They have a great love of music and community spirit. They even brought their parents to the shows in the early days.”
Valle Musico is another band that has been around since the beginning, and in fact, guitarist Pat Winger was one of Standiford’s original roommates who helped him pay the rent in the early days of the shop.
“He’s also a supreme talent, so that was an easy pick to make with Valle Musico, because they have some of the most beautiful instrumental songs,” Standiford said.
The livestream for the show can be found at grassroots TV.org.
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