His "Everybody's Friend" is becoming everyone's favorite as it pulls at heartstrings across the country and around the globe.
Steve Free's "Everybody's Friend" is now fifth on the International Gospel Music Chart.
That's no surprise for those who have heard the refrain. I first heard it on MIX 99.3. played by Steve Hayes on his morning radio show. I get the same reaction each time I hear it -- tears!
"Friend" is a single on Steve Free's latest album, "Coming Home." What kind of a reception is the album getting? Maybe Album Reviews' writer Joe Johnston says it best:
"Steve Free is the embodiment of the perennial American folk spirit. Not only the wandering Woody Guthrie aspect of folk music, but also country sensitivities, the Appalachian Celtic tradition, and Native American cultures.
"Steve weaves them all together in 'Coming Home.'
"In his performances, he wears Native regalia, and he devotes a great deal of his performing time to teaching children and speaking on Native traditions, values and music.
"This album features a tune for the Shawnee Nation, 'Ho Wa Ne Ba Ke Che.'
"If our nation is a melting pot, then this album is its reflection, with the Bluegrass favorite 'Wayfaring Stranger,' the pure country fun of 'Party on the River,' and the tender ballad, 'If I Told You I Love You.'
"Production is simple, just Steve's band, captured in solid performances with a minimum of overdubs and no signal processing tricks. This is simply good, eclectic Americana music."
There's something else folks around here know. It doesn't matter to Steve whether he is playing before an audience of six or 6,000, he puts his whole heart into his songs.
And an earlier song, "Just a Baby Boy," is a seasonal hit, with Steve and his band joining with the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra on the crowd pleaser during the Christmas season.
Steve also received the Governor's Award April 16 at the Columbus Athenaeum in downtown Columbus. This prestigious award is presented in the "Individual Artist" category.
You can reach Steve at P.O. Box 262, McDermott, OH45652.
Having an open-door policy may be a good idea in the occupational or business world, but it has its drawbacks if you live in the Shawnee State Forest.
We keep our front and garage doors open in good weather for our cats. Besides, we like the openness. What we don't like are some of the critters that like our indoors as much as we like their outdoors.
We were watching TV the other day when my wife, Liska, looked at the rug next to my chair. "What's that," she asked.
"That" looked like a black shoe string, curled up -- until it moved as I apparently got too close. There was no question then as to what it was -- a snake, probably only about 4 inches long.
It immediately headed for an arm chair, hoping to get lost in the workings.
With no little effort, we finally corralled it, then managed to get a glass under it, slipping a piece of cardboard underneath. From there, it was a quick walk off the front porch to release it where it belongs - outdoors.
Now the question is, where are its brothers and sisters?
Art Kuhn is managing editor of the Portsmouth Daily Times. He can be reached at (740) 353-3101, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.