Best known as a singer and songwriter, Texas-born Steven Fromholz writes songs recorded by other songwriters. Hoyt Axton, John Denver, Lyle Lovett, Michael Martin Murphy, Willie Nelson, Jerry Jeff Walker and Rusty Wier have all cut his tunes with Willie's recording of Steven's "I'd Have To Be Crazy" earning the writer two platinum records. In Kirk Dooley's BOOK OF TEXAS BEST (Taylor Pub., 1988), he names Steven's "Texas Trilogy" the best song ever written about Texas.
His recording career began in August of 1969 in New York City where he and Dan McCrimmon, his partner in the duet, FRUMMOX, had gone from their homes in Colorado to cut the now classic folk album, FRUMMOX: HERE TO THERE. The duet went their separate ways in the spring of '71 and since then Steven has released two albums on the Capitol label, one on Willie's Lone Star Records, THE OLD FART IN THE MIRROR on Jerry Jeff's Tried & True label, and six on his own Felicity Records, including his new releases, A GUEST IN YOUR HEART and LIVE AT ANDERSON FAIR.
In 1977, Steven launched his theatrical career in Austin as the lead in "Willie the Shake" (a midsummernight's look at "A Midsummernight's Dream" at the Roundtop Shakespeare Festival), written by his publisher Tommy White and co-writer Nick Andrews, for a four-week run at the Ritz Theater on Sixth St. He has appeared in five motion pictures including a co-starring role in Andy Anderson's critically acclaimed psycho-drama thriller, POSITIVE I. D. Among his roles at Austin's award-winning Live Oak Theater are "Tevye" in FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, "the Judge" in SWEENY TODD, 'Woody" in the '97 Texas premier of P. Glazer's WOODY GUTHRIE'S AMERICAN SONG and "Gus" in Larry L, King's award winning play, THE NIGHT HANK WILLIAMS DIED. He also plays a mean "Scrooge". BOSQUE COUNTY, TEXAS , a play co-authored by Steven and based on his song, "Texas Trilogy" opened at Live Oak in March of '92 for a record-breaking six-week run.
Tim Leatherwood, long-time proprietor of Anderson Fair, long-lasting folk club in Houston, calls Steven, "the funniest man in folk music." (By the way, thanks Tim for turning on the CD burner on that magical night so we could put out LIVE AT ANDERSON FAIR.) Indeed, an evening in a club with Steven on stage presents almost as much of his bawdy, bodacious humor as it does his remarkable singing and songwriting talents. His style is a quick-witted, ad lib, comeback kind of funny that really makes his audiences feel a part of the evening's entertainment. A natural story-teller, with his "Aunt Minnie and The Bear" and "Granny's Pendulous Breasts", Steven will have you laughing until your cheeks hurt.
Steven sings his songs in a rich, smooth baritone voice with just enough edge on it to sound like honey and tequila. He can be big and boisterous on one tune and tender and touching on the next. He has the heart for the ballads but when asked, he describes his music as "free-form, country-folk rock, science-fiction, gospel-gum, bluegrass opera, cowjazz music."
In the fall of 1980 Steven began working with Far Flung Adventures, a river outfitter in Terlingua, Texas. His job was to be the featured entertainer on three-day float trips down the Rio Grande through Santa Elena, Mariscal, and Boquillas Canyons in Big Bend National Park. He loved it. Steven has since trained as a white-water river guide, swift water technician and medical first responder and now, five or six times a year, he rows the rivers with Texas Fiver Expeditions/Far Flung Adventures in Texas, Mexico, New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado.
Steven led his first Horseback to Mexico in February and became the official Singin' Cowboy for Lajitas Stables, joined by Angela Blair, his ex-barrel racing sister.
Steven says he will "play 'most anywhere for 'most anybody.", and in the past thirty-three years he certainly has been as good as his word. But if you ask him where is his favorite place to play, he'll tell you it is, "sittin' on a beer cooler on a riverbank in a canyon somewhere, pickin' and singin' for fifteen or twenty happy campers sittin' 'round the campfire."
In January, 2001, Steven released his first studio recordings in many years, a 14-song Felicity Records collection entitled A GUEST IN YOUR HEART. The CD features "a bunch of new tunes and a few old friends and some pleasant surprises." Some of those "few old friends" include the last session recordings by the late pedal steel legend, Jimmy Day, appearing with old friend Johnny Gimble. Lyle Lovett sings some background vocals, and Butch Hancock added some harmonica! Plus many of the best session players around! In November, 2001, he followed that with Felicity Records' CD release of LIVE AT ANDERSON FAIR, a great location recording of Steven and his guitar playing 21 of his favorite tunes, generously mixed with the customary snappy patter.
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