Steve Passfield Bio
Golden Guitar winner Steve Passfield has certainly “paid His dues”. The leader and driving force behind the Award winning Handpicked Band formed back in 1988, which went on to tour much of Australia, Asia and New Zealand. Steve released 3 independent Handpicked albums and a 21 year Anniversary DVD that intertwines the Anniversary Gig with Steve’s personal story of the Macleay Valley, His hometown Kempsey and family and friends that have formed the background for many of His songs.
The year 2007 saw Steve release his first completely solo album Goin’ It Alone with all original songs and one tune. It was the instrumental “Stump Jumpin” that was to put Steve on the Country Music Radar and the album went on to achieve great success and took out many Awards including;
• 36th CMAA Golden Guitar for Instrumental of The Year
• TIARA Barry Thornton Memorial Instrumental of the Year
• TIARA Nomination for Male Vocal
• MusicOz Instrumental finalist
• Australian Songwriting Competition Top Ten Finalist
• 5 People’s Choice Awards Nominations
• People’s Choice “Most Promising Star” Award
The album also saw Steve gain great radio and CMC support. Television appearances and many festival invitations followed.
Support from Fender Australia followed with Steve becoming an Endorsee and playing Fender, Guild and Gretsch guitars.
The new album Timberman & Other Tales was for sale at the 2010 Tamworth Country Music Festival and the first single hit the airwaves soon after. Steve says, “the Timberman album is all about really good songs and it took almost a year to write. Many of the songs were co-written with Producer Rod McCormack and Rod pushed me to new heights lyrically”.
“Being an independent artist is not easy, but if you’re doing what you love, and people get a kick and relate to your story, then it’s worthwhile continuing to swing the hammer” says Steve. Determination, hard work and a very strong belief in His Country and His music sees Steve continuing on the creative journey, looking always to improve His skills and reach out to a wider audience.
Handpicked Band Bio
When you think of fiddles, mandolins and banjos, what music do you think of Folk, country, bluegrass? Anything can happen, depending on the influences the players bring to the mix. When you combine the infectious and personal side of country with the traditional sounds of Celtic and infuse them with the contemporary influence of rock and funky syncopation you will get a combination that may or may not work. Steve Passfield's Handpicked Band not only has it working a treat but also is connecting in a big way with audiences around town and on tour. Like life itself, Passfield’s original songs bear the influences of many styles and experiences, with an unpretentious delivery and lyric that says the things we all feel. And with take away melodies you can't forget. Along with a touch of forgivable idiocy and a stirring grasp of the entertainment ethic, Handpicked have their audiences dancing and foot tapping into the night. More than a decade of performance has given birth to three fine CDs and a string of awards in National Band Competitions. The band has evolved into a valid part of the Australian musical landscape with regular appearances at festivals across this big land and overseas with promise of much for the future. With the ability to deliver credible and engaging performances in both genres, Steve Passfield's Handpicked Band has an unfair advantage in winning over audiences at both Country and Folk festivals. Handpicked are a show worth leaving the TV for.
History: Steve Passfield had the brilliant idea back in 1988, following many years of performing in various different bands from Kempsey to Sydney, to try and start up a band that was versatile and fun. Handpicked was born in 1988 just at the end of the bi-centennial celebrations and, in it's infancy, worked the crowds at The Vinegar Hill woolshed most Saturday nights in a lively bush dance theatre show that involved people both willingly and unwillingly in a lot of fun. The band slowly grew and changed along with Steve's passion and vision for music until what is now a very entertaining and fun mix of many styles of music, but with a strong emphasis on all things Aussie! Steve's original songs have become an important part of the Handpicked story with references to his 6th generation first fleeter family and his farming, grazing and timber getting ancestors from his hometown Kempsey. It's his way of delivering a little fresh rural influence on anyone that happens along. His energy and efforts to bridge the gap between the city slickers and the rest of the country beyond the freeways and the great divide is infectious and captivates an audience. Humorous and good spirited interaction with the crowd in any situation, and the ability to read a crowd's mood, are characteristics that few performers possess but Steve certainly does. Dale Carnegie in his bestselling book, How to Win Friends and Influence People said that "diplomacy is the ability to tell somebody to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip", get into a Handpicked show and you'll go to beyond the great divide and the freeways and certainly enjoy the trip!