Steven Casper, a Los Angeles based singer/songwriter, grew up in Japan, Italy, Nigeria and Mexico as an American Embassy brat. Steven spent countless hours listening to his parent’s record collection of American music icons such as Hank Williams, Bob Wills, Leadbelly, Woody Guthrie and Mahalia Jackson.
Steven had been looking for a guitarist to help him record some of his new root based songs. As luck would have it, Steven was given Glen Lynskey’s number by a mutual friend. Glen, who had performed for numerous major label acts, had won Best Electric Guitarist of the Northwest in 1996. They spoke briefly on the phone and agreed to meet. Glen liked Steven’s songs and the two quickly became good friends.
A three song demo was recorded. The drummer on the session, Tony Felicetta (who now plays Ringo in the highly successful Las Vegas Beatles tribute show), asked Steven if he had any other songs because he thought “we could put a set together and play some clubs.” “Yeah, I’ve got about 300 tunes,” Steven said. A band was born.
Steven then decided to speak to a longtime friend, Ross “The Professor” Levinson, a film and TV music composer, who played violin and keyboards, to see if he was interested in joining the band. Ross had previously played with such artists such as Tom Waits, Harry Belafonte and Joan Jett. Ross came by a rehearsal and immediately clicked with the band. The interplay between Ross on violin and Glen on lead guitar has become one of the features of the band’s sound.
Ross also went on to produce the band’s first two records, “Cowboy Angst” and “I Used To Be The King of The World”. The current band’s line-up was completed in 2004 with drummer Jay Nowac, and bassist Herb Deitelbaum.
Steven Casper & Cowboy Angst then released, “Topanga Ranch Motel” in 2008, and “Solid Gone” in 2010. Both albums were produced by Ira Ingber, who has been a guitarist and producer with numerous artists including Bob Dylan, Brian Wilson, Frank Sinatra, Canned Heat and Captain Beefheart. Ira was able to capture the bands dynamic live sound which Music Connection Magazine described as “country music originating in the Allman Brother’s backyard.”
The next album, “Kindness” recorded in 2011, continued the collaboration with producer Ira Ingber. For this record the band and Ira brought in some guest musicians: The Brotherhood Horns, Carl Byron on keyboards and accordion, John McClung on pedal steel, and Matt Cartsonis on mandola.
In the following year, The Professor and Glen moved on to other endeavors. Both are greatly missed. However, as the door closed on the band’s original lineup, another door opened as Carl Byron and John Groover McDuffie joined up.
John is a multi-talented, versatile musician who is accomplished on electric and acoustic guitar, pedal steel, lap steel, dobro and slide guitars. Since 2005 John has been the Musical Director for Rita Coolidge.
Carl, hailed by the Los Angeles Times as a “musical ace”, adds piano, organ and accordion to the mix. Also a talented composer, Carl’s compositional works have appeared in dance and theater performances.
“Trouble” is the latest work from Steven Casper & Cowboy Angst. The new members and guest musicians help guide the music deeper into American Roots music while still keeping a Rock and Roll feel. That is until you sit down “on the front porch”. Once again the album was produced by Ira Ingber.
The band performs regularly in the Los Angeles area at clubs like The Grand Ole Echo, Ronnie Mack’s Barndance, The Viper Room, Molly Malones, Club Good Hurt, TRiP, and The Mint.