the Music

Vintage Music???

People are always asking us what kind of music we play, and I am usually at a loss to sum up the wide range of our styles and traditions in a single word or short phrase.  I used to say that we played pre-war music, which though it might mean something to the handful of people who obsess over this stuff, loses most people—which war, they wonder?  Then I began saying that we played the greatest hits of the 1920’s and ‘30’s, but that’s not exactly the truth as a lot of what we play was obscure even in its own time, and we play stuff from way earlier and later in the century.  We needed a term that handily defined what we do and whom we represent, and thus “Vintage Music.”  Vintage Music is old music, but not just any old music.  Vintage Music is timeless, as exciting to listen to today as it was when first performed.  We give you blues, jazz, country, hokum, jug band, fiddle tunes and more.  This is the music of America, of all the people who have come and gone and contributed a verse to our national song.  Collectively, it tells the story of who we are and where we have been—what we have endured and how we got through.

Sound Recordings

The Side Street Steppers now have three full length albums out, each of which features 16 tracks of perfectly aged vintage music.  The new record is If It Don't Fit, Don't Force It, recorded in December 2014 and released in June 2015; this record features Ben "Texaco" Smith on fiddle.  The Sweetest Peaches Don't Grow On Trees (2013), which features the Djanjo-influenced jazz guitar stylings of Christo Ruppenthal from the Madison, Wisconsin bands Gypsy Caravan Swing Ensemble and Safety Last!  Our debut record is Memphis Stomp (2011), featuring musical guests Jamie Finley of Red Mountain White Trash on harmonica, Mariachi Guadalajara violin virtuoso Abraham Valenzuela, and Jeremy Barziza on saxophone.