It’s not about fame or wealth, but just telling stories about where you have been and the area you live in.
This is how local recording artist Steve Free describes being a Folk singer.
Free has written many songs and performed on many stages throughout the country and the world since he started performing in the late 1970s. He has recently hit the plateau a singer/songwriter can only dream of by recently being awarded Best Folk Singer by Lux Magazine in Staffordshire, England. An award that puts Free at the top in his class worldwide.
“I’m really honored to have it,” Free said. “Folk singers aren’t out to be famous. They just tell stories.”
Free credited his recent album, Seasons, for his latest award. So far he has had three number one hits including Dance With Me Tonight, Country Blessings, and Down The Road. His latest release from this album is Count Your Blessings.
Also on Seasons is the anthem for Portsmouth’s Bicentennial which Free has titled Portsmouth Ohio. He said it was a difficult song to write and was recorded in Tracy Park with the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra.
Free is an Internationally Acclaimed Award Winning singer/songwriter whose music is drawn from his Native American (Shawnee/Cherokee ) and Appalachian roots. He has won numerous Music Industry Awards including nine ASCAP Awards, a Platinum Record, a 2016 Grammy nomination,and three Americana Music Award nominations.He has charted over 50 songs on The National and International Charts including 21 # 1 songs and is one of the most popular Folk/Americana Artists on European and International radio.
In 2008 he won The Governors Award For The Arts as the #1 Artist in his the State of Ohio and received an Arts Award from The Kentucky State Senate in 2009 for his contributions to Appalachia.
An accomplished Native American flute player he is an Ohio Arts Council ” Ohio Artist On Tour” with an award winning school program. His Christmas song JUST A BABY BOY has become a worldwide Christmas classic performed around the world every holiday. His latest CD SHIP OF DREAMS was named one of The Top 50 Albums of 2015 by Roots Music Report and received a Grammy.
“I have a hard time comprehending this,” Free said of his latest award. “My music gets played all over the world. It’s mind boggling.”
Many of Frees songs are about southern Ohio and his family. He has written songs from Grandma’s Homemade Apple Pie, to a song in the 90s about the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility prison riot in 1993. Free described the Fold song lyrics in many of his songs as up close and personal.
He said his music really doesn’t fit into the mainstream music of today, but said “there’s a lot to be said about longevity.” He remembers back when he was a guest on the Charlie Daniels Show saying the producer told him to be different than anyone else and he would have a long and successful career. “And here I am,” Free said.