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Steve Damstra

Cades Cove, Horsefeather, Foxfire, Dirk Rivers, Natchez Trace, The Trace

(Lead guitar – bass – harmonica – banjo – lead and backing vocals)


It was 1964 on a Sunday night and my family and I were doing what we always did on a Sunday night, we were getting ready to watch the Ed Sullivan Show. It would be the first time I would see and hear the   magic of the Beatles and little did I know that this particular show was about to change my life forever. I remember seeing a close-up of John Lennon and thinking, that’s what I want to do! A few days later, our next store neighbor gave me my first guitar. It had a square neck and was very hard to play, however I was determined and it wasn’t long before I was strumming chords and singing to my favorite songs.

I played my first real gig at the seventh grade dance with a band I formed with my best friend, John Andrews. We used to call girls up on the telephone and sing to them, because we were too nervous to sing to them in person.

I played in several rock bands through my High School years, playing mostly school dances and a couple of “Battle of the Bands” in which we never won…LOL! I was attending Kendall College of Art and Design when I found what would become my true musical love, the acoustic guitar. Teaming up with John again, we formed an acoustic duo named “Cades Cove” which later morphed into a fairly successful regional band named Horsefeather. We played all over Michigan and Wisconsin and toured out west as well, playing clubs and festivals. Horsefeather was one of the first and only bands at the time with an album of all original songs that was played extensively on WLAV FM in Grand Rapids, MI.

After Horsefeather broke up I joined a country show band called Foxfire which only lasted about nine months and then went on to join another fairly successful local band called Dirk Rivers, which toured the mid-west and came in second in the state at the state Wrangler Country Star Search finals.

After about four years with Dirk Rivers, I took part in reforming the band Natchez Trace with a couple of the veteran members.  I played with that band off and on for the next 28 years and through many band member changes and musical styles, that band finally came to an end in 2011. I also played a solo for about three years during that time.

At present I am very excited to be on a new adventure with my band “The Trace.” We have a similar feel to the old Natchez Trace, however, there is a new passion and we are playing lots of new songs along with writing and playing our own original music.







Natchez Trace “Acoustic Rock Years” 1988 c.

John Andrews, Ronn Burke, Steve Damstra, Tom Dever



“Horsefeather Years”

Mark Swanson, Steve Damstra, John Andrews, Kenny Nowicki, Dave Lubenow



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