By Kelly Sabetta
Blues musician Steve Grills will be among the first artists to perform on the Commons Park Stage of the Canandaigua Arts and Must Festival, Friday, July 16th. Getting an early start in his career, Grills grew up with a passion for music as he listened to his father’s records.
“I would say I inherited my love of music from my father. He was interested in the Folk music boom of the ’50s and ’60s,” Grills shared. “My father later had a nightclub in Rochester called the Nugget. He present a wide variety of musicians, many of whom are legends, such as Miles Davis, John Prine, Steve Goodman, even Cheech and Chong. So there was a lot of music around me growing up”
Inspired by legends Freddie King, Earl Hooker, Chuck Berry, and Robert Lockwood Jr., Grills picked up and started playing guitar at ten years old and playing his first song. “I remember putting some basic chords together and playing House of the Rising Sun, which was a popular song when I was young,” he said.
Captured by the genuine nature of blues musicians, Grills established a connection with one of his idols.
“Robert Lockwood is one of my favorite guitar players. I feel very fortunate to have been able to spend time in his company,” Grills said. “He gave me a lot of encouragement, even inviting me to Ohio to play at a festival he put on. Recording with Robert was probably one of my proudest moments. It was an experience I will remember always.”
Currently, Grills is preparing for the release of his new album in July. Entitled, “After Hours,” the album will also feature tracks with Ernest Lane on piano. “Ernest is an incredible musician whose career reaches back to the late 1940s when he worked with the legendary Robert Nighthawk,” Grills said.
With such a passion for the music he plays, Grills will perform an exciting show at this year’s Festival, with a variety of styles that will please listeners of all ages.
For more information about Steve Grills, visit his Web site, www.stevegrills.com, or check out his live performance at this year’s Canandaigua Art and Music Festival, Friday, July 16th, 3:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. on the Commons Park Stage.