Roots to Rock - Marley to Merle
StevEstes: Vocalist, 6 and 12 String Guitarist.
Following 12 years as a professional percussionist, Steve has risen to become front man, guitarist, and vocalist both as a solo performer and in highly successful bands in the classic rock, country, and bluegrass realms. Residing always in world class resort markets, Steve has mastered his craft as vocalist, accompanist, and especially, entertainer.
With untold thousands of stage hours under his belt, Estes focuses on vocal styling, audience engagement, honoring traditions of various musical genres, and performance flow.
For the vast majority of his performance years, Estes played only the 12-string. Already a gigging drummer at 15, the jangle and symphonic nature of this instrument took hold of his imagination.
Estes believes playing a 12-string guitar like a standard 6 is what many guitar players find disappointing about that instrument. “This approach to guitar requires its own mindset as to attack and how we want the song to come out. The 12-string is an absolute must for 60’s-70’s rock and roll. I use my own hybrid banjo-style picking patterns for those as well as for roots and bluegrass tunes. I also find ways to weave that in to a good number of other styles of music. Flatpicking a 12-string feels very natural to me. Finally, when I need a rich orchestral backdrop for a pretty ballad, the 12-string gets the call.”
Enough about guitar -- it’s the vocals that set Estes apart. With or without vibrato, its all about tonal quality and range. Often in the same song, Estes digs deep for those Don Williams notes working all the way to anything the Eagles can offer in the upper ranges.
But, it’s not all just deep crooning and pretty high falsetto passages. When it comes to growl or drawl, Estes delivers there, too. Blues, rock, folk, reggae, roots, bluegrass, country and alternative, all may find their way into his performances.