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This Gig Had Class(ics)! 

Had a blast playing a private corporate solo gig at a very unique location this past weekend! Classic automobiles and nostalgic memorabilia cover every inch of this place. Amazing!

Where you ask? Astor Classics Event Center in Anaheim, CA.

Need a special place for your special event? Ask for Michael and tell him Steve sent you! (He happens to be the husband of one of my wife's awesome cousins) :)

The guests begin arriving!

Blue Sky Riders, Kenny Loggins, Idina Menzel 

Within the space of a week a got a chance to witness on stage two of my favorites (three actually).

Kenny Loggins with his new band Blue Sky Riders at Coach House, San Juan Capistrano, CA

Kenny and I "go way back" (Definition: He was a musical inspiration - an idol as they say - in my formative, unformal musical studies) Some real good music happening with Blue Sky Riders. Here's a video, the only one, from the very show I was at:

Idina Menzel at Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, CA

I've been a fan since, a number of years ago while on the road, I found a used CD of the Wicked Musical in a Goodwill store in downtown Bakersfield for 25 cents! I loved her voice, but had know idea who she was. I was like, "Who is this voice?"

Very cool finding videos  of the concerts you were at on YouTube. :)


A 'slightly' bad-composition shot I took from the 4th row


What Are You Doing?.... 

Happy Saturday! 

Well, did a bunch of takes on a lead vocal for "Houston In The Blind" a couple days ago. Making progress there.

Watch and repeat: Take 1, take 2, take 3.... #moonfilter #houstonintheblind #recording

A video posted by @steveprobstmusic on

A final mix is almost there for "The World Smiles With You" I think this may be my next single. (Still collecting tracks for album 3, by the way)

And hey, on top of all this, why not start a couple of new lyrics?

I saw a picture of refuges in a plastic boat making land on a Greecian island and the songwriter senses started tingling. "Plastic Boat" is the title. It's one of those songs where ideas just start flowing and you go with it. Wasn't a song I was planning to write. More on this lyric later.

And then there's "I've Gone Home Again". This one has spiritual flavor to it, and I'm interested to see where it goes. (Besides "home")

But wait, there's more!  I've signed on to an exclusive songwriting bootcamp with one of the best! Who is Jeffrey Steele?


ThrowBackThursday - Happy Post, Flying Dog 

ThrowBackThursday Post- Looking back on a blog post of recent yesteryear (and bringing it over from the old website for further reference).

Just wanted to break the gloom of the last post.
My Mac is back, I'm on the road for two weeks, and if you're like me, you welcome an occasion to smile. So here it is:

Lola's first walk on the leash in Huntington Beach, CA

Turkey, Cucumbers, and Transmissions 

Two surprises today:

1. The leftover-from-a-party turkey I put in my sandwich was bad. Out it came! Voila! Cucumber sandwich.

2. Our 2004 Corolla with only 130,000 miles on it needs a new transmission. Big Surprise. I thought Toyota's lasted longer than that.

I wear this shirt today in honor of life's many surpises

I am still retaining a sense of humor.

...For now. Lol

The bright side: I got to spend two hours reading Ernest Hemingway while waiting for a diagnosis at the mechanic's. That's always some splendidly good grease for the songwriting gears.

Writing this: Slightly cathartic

Thomas a Kempis Rocks (Quietly) 

Wow, I like this. Wrote it down in my journal 5 years ago. I was reading Thomas a' Kempis "Imitation of Christ" (15th century)

'Check it out' - Tom

When a man desires a thing too much, he at once becomes ill at ease.
A proud and avaricious man never rests, whereas
He who is poor and humble of heart
Lives in a world of peace. 

România, vă mulțumesc ! 

Wow, Romania, you rock!

Now, I'm always thankful when anyone gives me money in exchange for my music, but this was kinda cool.

Got my first performance royalty check from ASCAP! (But it really isn't a check, this being the direct-deposit age. I wish it was.) At $9 and some change, this international play in Romania put me past the payment threshold.

Think I will splurge this month then and, oh I don't know.... buy the real Mayo instead of generic. Yuk! Lol

Got Ice Cream? 

As a singer, I try to stay mindful of what dairy products I eat and when. Mucus is not my friend at any show or gig. I'd just rather not deal with it. [No backstage pass or you!]
So, one day (an off day-no singing) in line with my lovely walking partner and wife, I looked up in the discounted garden items aisle of the local drug store and witnessed a message from heaven.  

Book Quotes - Custom of the Country 

I am so glad to finish my iPad book "Custom of the Country" by Edith Wharton (not that I didn't enjoy it) so I can actually hold my next read, a real live book - binding, pages turning in anticipation of the next - with my own two hands!


“It's dirty and ugly—all the towns we've been to are disgustingly dirty. I loathe the smells and the beggars. I'm sick and tired of the stuffy rooms in the hotels. I thought it would all be so splendid—but New York's ever so much nicer!"

"Not New York in July?"

"I don't care—there are the roof-gardens, anyway; and there are always people round. All these places seem as if they were dead. It's all like some awful cemetery.”

“She was aware of the fading of the summer light outside, of the movements of her maid, who was laying out her dinner-dress in the room beyond, and of the fact that the tea-roses on her writing-table, shaken by Van Degen's tread, were dropping their petals over Ralph's letter, and down on the crumpled telegram which she could see through the trellised sides of the scrap-basket.”

“The smothered springs of life were bubbling up in Ralph, and there were days when he was glad to wake and see the sun in his window, and when he began to plan his book, and to fancy that the planning really interested him. He could even maintain the delusion for several days—for intervals each time appreciably longer—before it shrivelled up again in a scorching blast of disenchantment. The worst of it was that he could never tell when these hot gusts of anguish would overtake him. They came sometimes just when he felt most secure, when he was saying to himself: "After all, things are really worth while—”

WRITING (Written about me? L.O.L.)

“...after nights of brooding he made a dash at it, and wrote an opening chapter that struck him as not too bad. In the exhilaration of this first attempt he spent some pleasant evenings revising and polishing his work; and gradually a feeling of authority and importance developed in him. In the morning, when he woke, instead of his habitual sense of lassitude, he felt an eagerness to be up and doing, and a conviction that his individual task was a necessary part of the world's machinery. He kept his secret with the beginner's deadly fear of losing his hold on his half-real creations if he let in any outer light on them; but he went about with a more assured step, shrank less from meeting his friends, and even began to dine out again, and to laugh at some of the jokes he heard.”

Excerpts From: Wharton, Edith. “The Custom of the Country.” iBooks. 
This material may be protected by copyright.


3 Tweets (Say 5 Times Fast!) 

One-liners from my Twitter-Self this past twittering week.

ThrowBackThursday - Steve Can Read - "The Road" 

ThrowBackThursday Post- Looking back on a blog post of recent yesteryear (and bringing it over from the old website for further reference).

Well, that was a fast read! (For me, anyway) Ontario to Phoenix to Denver to Minneapolis by 737 on Friday.  Then reverse that scenario on Sunday! (Even reversing 737 is still, well.....737)

And while I was traversing the country thousands of miles above, I had with me The Road by Cormac McCarthy, a story of a father and son's survival through a post-apocalyptic, read-between-the lines nuclear ravaged America.

The large type and spaces between the most interesting, non-indented paragraphs (see photo) probably had a little to do with my surprised completion before I even touched down in Phoenix on the trip home.  It was a good fast-paced read nonetheless.
The Road (Movie Tie-in Edition 2009) (Vintage International) 
A movie starring Viggo Mortensen was made based on this book as well.  Have you read this book or seen the movie?
Further notable about this trip was the special Southwest aircraft I rode in during the Phoenix leg of the jaunt back home to California with the Official State Animal, the grizzly bear, painted on it. 

I just figured I'd borrow a photo off the internet rather then taking one myself on a bad camera phone.  Grrrrrr-oovy!

Chris Botti Trumpets Into Town! 

Recently got a chance to catch Grammy winner Chris Botti and "cast" at the Fox Theatre, Riverside. Wow-do yourself a favor and go see him! Wonderfully paced show and every player he brings with him is amazing. I am now a fan. 

My daughter and I w/Chris and violinist, Caroline Campbell
(The talent was so brilliant, it took me a while to be able to open my eyes!)


And hey, found a video from the very show we were at. Complete with extended and interesting drum solo. Have you ever heard or seen one like it?

Go Caroline!

Can you pass me a knapkin? 

Such a generous note I received recently. Aw. 

So I guess this would count as a gig review then? ;) [At no time were stage spots, colored lights, and fog machines used in the making of this folded paper sentiment.] 

I have one Saturday in April coming up and two more in May at the JW Marriott Desert Springs resort before entertainment at the Blue Star goes on hiatus until October.

Check schedule here.

Gigging Right Along 

I was recently discovered online by someone who was looking for a singer to bring some live music in the afternoon to a local Assisted Living/Memory Care Community. Not being sure

Really went back in time for this set list!

 how it would go for me, I said yes of course, anyway. A guy's gotta work right?

For a couple hours that day, that is, before the cares of life responsibilities sneaked back into the forefront of my mind after the gig, it gave me a little perspective-check on life. I have no more words to describe it, but it's nice to work and do some good, bring some joy to the older generation who are way-later in their years.
As some of you may know, Hotel California does quite well with the Active Adult Communities-55+ and up, in different US locales. So this just kind of takes that step further I guess, right? ;) 

On another front, a good friend here in town recommended me to an agent who has given me two Saturdays in March (solo acoustic) at the J.W Marriott Palm Desert Resort (near Palm Springs for those you of out-of-town who may be reading this). Looking forward to this being a monthly thing. Also, things are brewing in Orange County for me with some monthly stuff down there. 

Object Writing - "Worm" 

I so easily amuse myself, warming up to work on a lyric...

The word, "Worm", unedited writing practice (taste, touch, sight, sound, smell, movement, body sensations), 10 minutes, go!...

Bite into a worm, what do you get? I don't know-never tried it! Insect jelly covered in moist dark dirt? Gritty in your teeth like sand only softer and grossly juicier. Oh, how about a rainbow colored gummy worm? Spongy sugar molded into a less-grosser version of the real creature that burrows through soft dirt or makes an appearance under a lifted rock like an over-achieving actor when the curtain suddenly opens too early. Dingy gray piece of twisted rope comes alive and convulses wildly in my hand. His silent panic seems to amuse me and I'm guilty of the fact. He's not hurting me. I will free him from his five-finger skin prison.

What Are You Doing.....? 

February 21st Edition:

New songs are coming along. Always intrigued with new writing techniques to stay away from the dreaded "writer's block" It ain't gonna happen, now that I have my new tools handy! [Adjusts tool belt] 

I've been thinking that it would fun or (or maybe disturbing-lol) to post song progress clips here on the website soon. Maybe weekly? I'm talking like "raw, unedited, not-singing-perfectly kind of tracks".I don't know....thinking. Lol Some newer songs in progress are:

"Houston in the Blind" (My 70's space song!)
"Live On' (My attempt at Inspirational, Acoustic-Based Contemp.Singer/Songwriter with a Pop appeal)
"Just Beautiful" (Trying out the new songwriter "tools")

PLUS: Got two more older songs re-mastered within the last week for album #3. (Remember my promise....or threat.... to put out three albums?) Continuing with that task.

Oh and don't forget, I'm doing 3-5...6 gigs a week plus being a busy at-home husband and dad. I'm not cranking out original music 12 hours a day like some may be able to. But I press on!

The Voice - Audition 2015 

And back I went on Super Bowl Sunday 2015 to audition for "The Voice" It was the quickest time spent at the LA Convention Center so far; done in about 2 hours. (It's sort of like, when you live in Southern California, what's the best day to go to Disneyland for shortest wait times? Super Bowl Sunday!)

I sang a verse and chorus of "Home" by Daughtry. It was a "no" for me.

Showed up. Points for that, right? 

Get in line for the ID and weapons check :)

Jam at the Bitter End, NYC 

What a hoot singing a few songs at the legendary Bitter End in Greenwich Village, New York City last Monday. Richie Cannata (Billy Joel Sax) hosts a jam every Monday night 11:30 that goes into Tuesday morning.

What a thrill playing with him and a stellar bunch of players from the Big Apple. No guitar needed! (Which was kind of fun in it's own right-what to do with my hands?!) My songs were "Before You Accuse Me" ~ Eric Clapton; "Drift Away" ~ Dobie Gray; "I Can't Tell You Why" ~ Eagles.

Thanks to my friend Jacki for capturing the night in some photos.

Joe Cocker face!



Book Quotes - Valerie Lawson (Life of P.L. Travers; Voice of Mary Poppins)  

After seeing the movie "Saving Mr. Banks" sometime early this year, I naturally had to put the book on which this film was based ("Mary Poppins, She Wrote: The Life of P.L. Travers" by Valerie Lawson) on my to-read list for down the road. 

Well....down the road finally came, and I recently enjoyed this read.

Quote about New York City:

And here, Ms. Travers reminds the world she doesn't "write for children". :)

Sick Writings and Molten Morning Damage 

Spent a day and half or so holed up Howard Hughes-style in a Nashville hotel room, not really feeling well, filling up the trash cans with tissues, but happy as a clam that I got some writing done, no matter how little - object writing and the start of a new song.

And by the way, you know I'm not feeling well when I'm staring at a football game on TV for any extended length of time in the early evening.

New song started:

The definition of your tears
Is that the world can't keep it's hold on you
They'll scrub your heart to see a higher truth
[Insert acceptable line, at least for the time being, here]

The definition of your tears
Disguise a fighter who can take a punch
And plumb the depths of dreams with all they got

That's all I will reveal for now. :)  I would have sung a little for you, but see my sniffling excuse above.

And warming up......The word, "Eruption", unedited writing practice, 10 minutes, go!...

Microwave oatmeal decides to teach me all about a volcanic eruption. Pressures from within this water-drowned mass of pseudo-breakfast oats and scientific tasty hellodelights silently scream their way upward. I supply the words like, "Damn" and "Crap" with explosive exclamation marks. Totally unwanted lava drippings bubble over the edge of my crater paper bowl. Peaceful morning thoughts jump and flee, screaming, "Run for your lives"! Pasty disaster, glass plate stops it's rotation when I press cancel. I am suddenly like God who can halt catastrophe as I am doing now. But the molten morning damage is done.

Oh, Canada! (Guess what?) 

This is how close we were to the Canadian border recently; something a person from the sunny south is not use to seeing every day.

Oh, Canada!
Got my feet in North Dakota
But I can almost touch your borda'