2013 - Individual Artist
His career began in Sioux City, IA, when he was paid to play for the 16th birthday of a classmate, and her father offered $20 for he and the other members of The Moondawgs to stop playing. Luckily, Steve Grams kept playing, and he’s been playing now for nearly 50-years.
Steve’s first really memorable gig was with Moondawgs members Stan Davis, Tom Packard and Richard Levitch in their newly named band, Shadow and the Shades. It was 1965 and they’d added neighborhood buddy Fred Grandy their lead singer when they played outdoors before a couple thousand kids at the Rivercade Festival. Steve remembered thinking, “Man this is something I want to keep doing!”
The summer after graduating with the 1966 class of Sioux City Central High School, Steve was hired by Sioux City promoter Eddie Skeets to play bass with the blues and R&B horn band called The Only Boys. They toured in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Minnesota and opened at concerts for Mitch Ryder, Gary Lewis & the Playboys, The Beach Boys and Paul Revere and the Raiders. Steve says, “The first show we played that summer at the Sioux City Civic Auditorium was the first time I started thinking about being a professional musician. By the time this summer ended and I was off for college, I decided that no matter what, I was going to be a musician for life.”
After graduating from Mankato State University in 1976, Steve started a family, so music took a backseat professionally. However, all the years he worked a day job, he still managed to find outlets for his music. By 1995, Steve’s wife convinced him to just play music, and since then he’s toured all of the USA and many countries in Europe.
Steve has played electric bass, acoustic double bass, and mandolin with numerous bands over the years, and these are some of his favorites: The Penetrator's (Grand Forks, North Dakota) 1966 – 1969; Grizzly (Minneapolis, MN) 1970 – 1972; An Old Friend (Fargo, North Dakota) 1972 – 1974; The Blitz Boys (Mankato, MN) 1974 – 1976; Ned Sutton & The Rabbits (Tucson, AZ) 1979 – 1980; Los Lasers (Tucson, AZ) 1982 – 1991; The Boogieman Blues Band (Tucson, AZ), 1991 – 1992; Tony & The Torpedoes (Tucson, AZ) 1992 – 1994; The Kings of Pleasure (Tucson, AZ) 1995 – 1997; The KGB Trio (Tucson, AZ) 1997 – 98; The Fluffingtons (Tucson, AZ) 1998 – 2000; Grams & Krieger (Tucson, AZ) 2000 – present; Mr. Boogie Woogie and the Hot Wings (Tucson, AZ and Nieuw-Vennep, Netherlands) 2002-2011; Teddy Morgan (Tucson, AZ) 2004 – 2005; The Bad News Blues Band (Tucson, AZ) 2005 to present.
In addition to performing live, Steve has played on and/or produced nearly 100 LPs and CDs. His most recent efforts include a CD in 2012 with Grams & Krieger called 5. Other CDs include The Fluffingtons from 2000, Two Days from 2001, That's the Way We Work from 2003 (on the Vitalegacy Records), and No You from 2006.
Steve cut his bass teeth in Sioux City, Iowa, but has been in Tucson since 1979 where he’s built a reputation as one of the area's most reliable bassists. In addition to his most recent honor as an inductee into Iowa’s Rock ‘n Roll Music Association’s Hall of Fame, Steve received the Tucson Area Music Award (TAMMY) for bass player of the year in 1998 & 2005. He is also in the initial induction group of the Tucson Musicians Museum, as well as being a member of the Arizona Blues Hall of Fame.