Steve Kattenbraker

Many years have passed since the needle finally had its way w/ the worn grooves of the Beatles, Dylan, and Kinks albums that Steven ‘borrowed’ from his parents.  Now they inhabit the tattered trunk of experience, memory, and perspective that has accompanied his journey--one filled w/ a rich mine for his timeless gems depicting love and loss, joy and grief, envy and disdain, birth and death. 


Raised in the deep south, Steven witnessed the intriguing paradox of ‘southern hospitality’ with the enmity brought about by religious, class, racial, and gender misunderstanding.  It was perhaps at this point that his desire to observe and intent to portray the subtle ironies of human existence was germinated. 


Steven spent most of the 90’s in the Midwest touring regionally with outfits playing music ranging from math rock to jazz.  A time of immense musical discovery, Steven benefited by collaborating and sharing stages (from coffee houses in Iowa City to legendary clubs in Chicago) with a host of talented musicians.  With a voracious musical appetite Steven digested and studied styles ranging from Mahler, to Wes Montgomery, to Bill Monroe; all of which have melded to influence his unique compositional approach to harmony, melody, and counterpoint.  With a literary interest no less varied, spanning from Sholokhov to Salinger to Sandburg, his verse is ripe with cryptic wit and enchanting imagery.  


Continuing his ‘journey’ to the left coast Steven spent several years in the border region of New Mexico training and working as a paramedic.  He witnessed and shared in the full spectrum of human emotion: from the sheer terror of a violent injury, to the shock and dread of suddenly losing a soul mate, to the exhilaration of hearing a newborn’s first cry.  For better or worse, countless scenes are firmly emblazoned in his memory; some that haunt, some that inspire, but all adding to the human experience of which Steven endeavors to illustrate.


Now safely in the beautiful Northwest, the time and travel worn portmanteau is now being mined of its rich and boundless material.   Steven’s self-titled CD has received airplay on such stations as the world-renown KEXP while his recorded and live performances have been met with handsome press.  His melody and wordplay humbly garner comparisons to Elliott Smith, Sam Beam, and Leonard Cohen.  Complicating today’s genre boxing, his complex and dynamic instrumentation and recording techniques have drawn comparisons to a diverse list of bands such as Red House Painters, Gravity and Henry, and early Azure Ray.


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Spotify- s/t album
Spotify- Between the Bars single