"I don't want to play a gig without my K4... ever!"
Rick Steff is a lifelong, second-generation, Memphis musician. His father, Dick Steff, was a highly-recorded trumpet player whose work can be heard on recordings such as Elvis Presley's "Suspicious Minds," "Kentucky Rain," "In The Ghetto," and most of Elvis's American studio recordings; Isaac Hayes' "Shaft," Dusty Springfield's highly-acclaimed "Dusty in Memphis," Rufus Thomas' "Funky Chicken," and countless other legendary Memphis recordings.
Rick's musical performance career began in the numerous clubs around Memphis and the southern region of the United States, working with local favorites including Keith Sykes, Van Duren, Joyce Cobb, and Tav Falco's "Panther Burns."
In the early 1980's, Rick traveled to London, England and found success as the organist with the acclaimed Dexy's Midnight Runners. During his stay in England, he began his association with Rolling Stones producer, Andrew Loog Oldham. He was also featured on recordings with Pete Townshend of The Who and members of legendary British bands, The Damned, Wham, Outfield, and The Babys.
When Rick returned to the United States, he began a multi-year career as the keyboardist for Hank Williams, Jr. and continued his successful recording session career.
In 1994, Rick left the road and returned to Memphis. His concentrated focus was on recording, and in the following years, he had multiple releases with artists including The Gin Blossoms, Todd Snider, Billy Swan, and Willy "Mink" Deville, along with a Grammy-nominated performance on the critically-heralded "Memphis Blood" album by James Blood Ulmer with Vernon Reid of Living Color.
A veteran of over 150 albums, Rick, more recently, has been a regular guest on a host of notable Indie rock albums including Ryan Adams, The Twilight Singers, and The Afghan Whigs; blues legends such as George Thorogood and Luther Allison; and rockabilly stars, Sam the Sham and Billy Lee Riley.
Rick's continued success led to his work in 2006 with famed Indie artist, Cat Power. During his tenure with Cat Power, he acted as music director for "The Greatest" tour, which featured a 13-piece Memphis band, including Al Green's songwriter, Teenie Hodges, producer Doug Easley, and Steve Potts from Booker T and the MGs. Cat Power and the Memphis Rhythm Band traveled extensively in 2006 with appearances on many prominent American and International television programs.
Throughout his career, Rick has been a featured performer on a wide spectrum of Grammy-nominated and platinum Contemporary-Christian records with well-known artists that include Big Tent Revival, Clear, Jonah 33, and Todd Agnew. He has produced and arranged for artists Dobie Gray, Jerry Butler, Ruby Wilson, and some of the last recordings of the late Jimmy Griffin of Bread and famed producer, Norbert Putnam.
In 2006, Rick became a member of Universal Recording artists LUCERO and is featured on their latest recording, Rebels, Rogues & Brothers, as well as performing live with them on their subsequent American and International tours and TV appearances.
2007 and 2008 saw Rick perform and record with THE AFGHAN WHIGS for their reunion recording and best of compilation as well as appearing on many indie rock albums and contributing a track with CAT POWER for the Bob Dylan bio-pic "I'M NOT THERE."
2009 began with Rick recording with legendary bassman/artist KLAUS VOORMAN (John Lennon, George Harrison, Ringo Starr) as a featured performer on the DVD, and CD "A SIDEMAN'S JOURNEY." Rick plays on tracks with Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Dr. John, Bonnie Bramlett, and others.
Lucero's new Universal LP is being recorded in March 2009 and will be released in the fall.