Bluegrass and folk music fans know Steve Spurgin as a singer and songwriter from the west coast, famous for his work with seminal bands like Byron Berline’s Sundance, and with Berline, Dan Crary and John Hickman in California with John Moore.
Steve has also found success with his songs being recorded by other artists, and he popped up again in the bluegrass scene recently as a member of the short-lived Sawmill Road, along with Dick Brown, Mark Miracle, Charlie Edsall, and Doug Bartlett.
His newest effort is a departure from the songwriting genre, a book of stories from his life that seek to both demonstrate and perhaps explain some differences in American culture over the past two generations. It’s called Skint Knee, Texas – Narratives on the Great Transition, and draws on his own experiences growing up in Texas, where his family had been since his great-grandfather was alive.
Spurgin explained it to me thusly…
“The theme of the book is the culture shift that occurred in America, particularly the rural south, around the late forties through the mid fifties. I use stories of my own, as well as stories from my Dad and other family to illustrate the shift. The comparison between then and now is stunning, I think.
The book is a collection of tales and observations, some funny and some more thoughtful. People tell me that it jogged their memory and painted the scene of how we lost something significant along the way.”
If you’ve enjoyed his many songs over the years, there’s a good chance you’ll appreciate his storytelling and social commentary as well.
Skint Knee, Texas is available for $14.95 online.