Philadelphia is home to one of the finest blues harp players in the world, much to the surprise of people not “inside” the blues scene. Over the past forty-plus years, 2009 Handy Award nominee Steve Guyger has been dishing out some of the finest blues to be heard anywhere. Whether in a duo, trio, or with his band, The Excellos, Steve always rocks the house.
Steve has toured with the late Jimmy Rogers, among others, and has played with many of the great Chicago bluesmen and contemporary players, yet he remains one of the best kept secrets in blues. The late William Clarke called Steve “the best harp player I’ve ever seen.” Mark Hummel called him “a monster player.” If you have heard Steve play, you know what they’re talking about. If you’ve never heard him, you’re missing a major page in your blues portfolio.
Steve began playing harp back in the late 60’s on a harmonica given to him by his future sister-in-law. Sometime later, his brother turned him on to Paul Butterfield. Steve’s passion for the blues harp took him to Chicago to learn at the feet of the masters of the art. Each trip taught him skills that he brought back to the local bands in which he paid his dues.
Steve has shared the stage with the greats in Chicago and the contemporary harp players touring the world today, names like Little Sammy Davis, Carey Bell, Rick Estrin, Rod Piazza, Kim Wilson, Mark Hummel, Charlie Musselwhite and many others. His playing, vocals, songwriting and stage presence have earned him a place among the best of the players on stage today.