About the artist

“Sure, Ken Burns is good at research. But can he play guitar? Burns has made documentaries about jazz, but can he sing?
Steve Cheseborough can, and does, in one-man shows that bring the Delta blues to life.

— Oregon Coast Today

Watch Oregon Art Beat feature: http://www.opb.org/television/video/blues-musician-steve-cheseborough/

Hear CD samples: cdbaby.com/cd/cheseborough1 and cdbaby.com/cd/cheseborough2

Network: myspace.com/stevecheseborough

What Cheseborough does:

Re-creates the blues and hokum of the 1920s-30s, interspersing the songs with stories, history and humor.

Sounds like:

Bo Carter playing, with Alan Lomax moderating and Groucho Marx adding comments.


Steve Cheseborough — vocals, wood and metal guitars, harmonica, percussion, expert commentary.

Adopted hometown

Portland, Ore., after many years in the Mississippi Delta.

Awards and distinctions:

  • Author of Blues Traveling: the Holy Sites of Delta Blues, internationally acclaimed “Bible of the Delta” tour book, now in third edition.

  • International Blues Competition finalist, 2004.

  • Noted authority on blues; writer for Living Blues, Acoustic Guitar, Delta, many other newspapers and magazines.

  • Have taught Blues In the Schools to children in South Carolina, Mississippi, Oregon, Arkansas and Arizona

  • Have taught and lectured on blues to adults at Delta State University, University of Mississippi, Arkansas State University, Portland Community College and Willamette University

  • Master’s degree from University of Mississippi for thesis on the life and music of Bo Carter, a prominent 1930s blues artist

Film, TV and radio:

  • Featured performer/commentator in Last of the Mississippi Jukes, also featuring Morgan Freeman, Chris Thomas King and Bobby Rush.

  • Host and musical director of Mississippi Public Broadcasting’s “Blues Breaks.”

  • Featured on Oregon Art Beat

  • Featured on Blues To Do TV, Seattle

  • Frequent guest performer/commentator on River City Juke Joint, KMHD Portland, and King Biscuit Time with “Sunshine” Sonny Payne, KFFA Helena, Ark.


Self-produced solo albums Blues for Jean, Ham Hocks & Gravy, Outstanding Blues, (forthcoming) Fetch It with You When You Come. Also play on Jackalope with R. Carlos Nakai

Selected venues and festivals:

  • Featured performer/commentator in Last of the Mississippi Jukes, also featuring Morgan Freeman, Chris Thomas King and Bobby Rush.

  • Portland Waterfront Blues Festival

  • American Queen, Mississippi Queen and Delta Queen paddlewheel steamboats

  • King Biscuit Blues Festival, Helena Ark.

  • Mississippi Delta Blues Festival, Greenville

  • Festival Internacional de Blues Guadalajara Mexico

  • Experience Music Project, Seattle

  • Lowcountry Blues Festival, Charleston S.C.

  • Delta Blues Museum, Clarksdale, Miss.

  • COPIA: the American Center for Food, Wine and the Arts, Napa Calif.

  • Bienal Internacional de Arte, Havana Cuba

  • Northwest Folklife Festival, Seattle

  • Port Townsend (Wash.) Country Blues Workshop & Festival (teacher and performer)

  • Puget Sound Guitar Workshop (teacher and performer)

  • Tucson Folk Festival

  • Junior Kimbrough’s Jook Joint, Chulahoma Miss.

  • Filberg Folk Festival, British Columbia, Canada

  • Victoria Folk Society, Canada

  • Havana Blues Society, Cuba

  • Colonial Williamsburg, Va.

  • Delta Cultural Center, Helena Ark.

  • Highway 61 Blues Festival, Leland Miss.

  • The Rhythm Room, Phoenix Ariz.

  • Big Muddy Folk Festival, Boonville Mo.

  • Rancho la Puerta, Tecate Mexico (teacher and performer)

  • Barfly’s, Guanajuato Mexico

  • Delta Studies Conference, Jonesboro Ark.

  • Food For Life Conference, Chattanooga Tenn.

  • Jazz Alley, Norfolk Va.

  • Jazzbones, Tacoma Wash.

  • San Francisco Jug Festival

  • Center for Southern Folklore, Memphis

  • Ground Zero, Clarksdale Miss.

  • Subway Lounge, Jackson Miss.

  • Birdie’s Roadhouse, Varnado La.

  • Jazz Record Mart, Chicago

  • Mississippi John Hurt Festival, Avalon Miss.

Has worked or sat in with

Honeyboy Edwards, T-Model Ford, Dogman, David Kimbrough, Kinney Kimbrough, Paul “Wine” Jones, Eddie Cusic, John Weston, Robert Lowery, “Philadelphia” Jerry Ricks, “Big” Pete Pearson, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Neal “Big Daddy” Pattman, Algia Mae Hinton, Chico Chism, Guitar Gabriel, The Mississippi Spoonman, Eden Brent, David Lee Durham, Willie King, R. Carlos Nakai, Fruteland Jackson, Robert Mugge, Steve James, John Rauhouse, John Savoy, Lauren Sheehan, Loren Schulte, Eric Lanier, Vertamae Grosvenor, Del Rey, Dave Riley, Sam Carr, Caroline Herring, Dr. David Evans, Mary Flower, Michael Baytop, Sule Greg Wilson, Terry “Harmonica” Bean, C.W. Gatlin, W.S. “Fluke” Holland (Johnny Cash’s drummer), Taizz Medalia, Dave Mullany, Philip Stackhouse (Houston’s grandson), Annieville Blues, Ben Payton, Gerry Hundt, Newman Baker of the Ebony Hillbillies, Johnnie Ward, Waxwing John Cowan, Anne Weiss.