Stephen Houpt

Blues Explosion: Strictly Tablue


The Blues thing exploded and became a full band and a new album: Strictly Tablue.  To be released on February 22nd on Spotify, Apple Music, etc.  I gathered together the best blues players I knew: Kevin Taylor on lead guitar, Marion Glorioso on vocals, Chirag Gokani on bass, Collin Katz on rhythm and lead guitar, and Mike Camerata on drums.  We chose some great classic blues songs by some of the best blues artists of all time and made the recording at Dallas Audio in early January.  It was an experience I'll never forget.  After the recording came the editing and mixing and mastering.  A lot of time invested, but it was worth it!  I am so proud of our work.  I hope you enjoy it!

The new big thing: Blues


The new big thing at our (Chirag and I) gigs these days are the blues songs.  Chirag sets down a bass line on the looper pedal and then solos off of that.  Meanwhile I sing and play the harmonica.  Chirag plays incredible bass solos and people LOVE the harmonica.  Great fun and lots of applause. 

Another new thing is my use of pedals.  I use a reverb pedal on one instrumental and when I play the tricone through my amp I use CMATmods Sigma Drive.  It's a boost pedal that makes the tricone growl. 

The last new thing is our use of audience participation.  Last gig vocalist Amy Harms came up and did a couple songs with us.  The voice and spirit of an angel!  Also, in the third set we did Freddie King's Lonesome Whistle Blues and got folks to sing along.  So much fun!

New Album: White Rock Lake, born from hard work and pain and album release party


My new album, White Rock Lake, is set to be released on February 16th!  It is an album born from hard work and at times, literal pain.  My friend Chirag Gokani plays the Fender Precision bass and takes six of the songs to a whole new level.  Four of these are instrumentals.  He often uses the bass as a lead instrument, playing solos that beautifully fit the chord progressions.  Sooo talented!  Makes me cry to listen to him.  Michelle Stroescu, my church-singing buddy, sings beautifully on two of the tracks.  I have always wanted to record with her, and it was an honor to be able to do it. I wrote all the music on the album and the lyrics for four of the songs.  The poet Todd Jeffries wrote the lyrics for two of the songs.  I play a Tony Francis Weissenborn on five of the songs and a 1927 Weissenborn on the other five songs.  Both instruments play with great beauty and depth of emotion.  Tony Francis is a luthier from New Zealand.  His instruments are respected world wide. 

The 10 original songs were recorded and mixed over 5 or 6 sessions at Audio Dallas.  Thanks to Paul Osborn for his incredible work.  The first of these sessions occurred when I was still in pain from my hernia operation.  Two songs got tossed out along the way, those that remained are all good! 

Mastering comes after mixing, and that means a little more work for me, listening carefully and spotting problems.  George Guerin at DES Mastering did a terrific job on this album. 

Then the CD's are produced at Disc Makers.  This means that art work has to be done.  The pictures on this album were all taken by Sherry Houpt.  She also helped with the layout and design.  My friend Scott Hunt helped edit the photo for the jacket cover. 

The album release party will be at the Wine Therapist on March 17th from 4:00-6:00 in the afternoon.  See the calendar at for all the details.  I hope you can be there!

Hernia operation and Global Village Market with Michelle Stroescu


I had to have a hernia operation, not at all fun, especially the recovery.  So I can't schedule any solo gigs for the month of October.  It takes time to get over this!  And I can't carry anything heavy, like my Bose or my metal bodied tricone or much other stuff. 

However, I am really looking forward to playing at the Global Village Market with Michelle Stroescu sitting in on some of the songs.  Michelle is a terrific singer.  If you look under videos on this website, you will be able to see and hear us performing in church (along with Carol Montgomery).

Gigs in New Mexico and next 8/3 at the Wine Therapist


I've had four wonderful gigs this summer in Taos, New Mexico.  I played outside at Eske's Brew Pub, a great time, but I didn't take long enough breaks.  Lesson learned.  Then I played for the fourth time at the Adobe Bar at the Historic Taos Inn, another wonderful time.  After that, I played at at the Taos Tap Room.  This was a special night because the audience included Judy and Cameron McMillen and also Matt and Evelyn Cardillo all the way from Vermont.  Matt is an old college friend who also plays guitar.  We did a lot of jamming while they were in town.  The final gig was also amazing.  I played as part of the Summer Writers Series at the Society of the Muse of the Southwest in Taos.  Wonderful because it was like playing in church.  Everybody listened to every note and every word I sang, and I was able to explain why I wrote each song!  I'll be back in Dallas at the end of July and I'll be playing at the Wine Therapist on Thursday, August 3.  I hope to see you there!

more tales of the new album, Just This Moment


Wow, putting out an album can sometimes be difficult!  In my last post I said there would be two blues covers.  Well, they were both recorded and mastered, and the album was ready to be put into production, but the licensing wasn't finished.  I got Forty Days and Forty Nights by Bernard Roth okayed without too much trouble.  The other song, Crescent City Blues by Gordon Jenkins, was another matter entirely.  The music from this song had been ripped off a long time ago by Johnny Cash to make Folsom Prison.  So in order to get this song on the album I had to go through a law firm.  They sent me a hard copy of the licensing agreement that was amazing!  First, I would not have been able to put their song on Spotify or Apple Music.  Second, no sound clips were allowed on iTunes or Amazon.  Third, the agreement didn't authorize me to perform the song in public.  Fourth, they reserved the right once a year to come to my "office" and look at my "books" to make sure I was paying them the royalties they were owed.  Well, for one thing, I have no control over sound clips on iTunes, and for another thing, one song can't be treated differently from the rest of the songs on the album.  And I sure wasn't interested in having a troop of lawyers invading my little house!  So, Crescent City Blues had to be dumped.  There are 10 songs on the album, and it is out on this website and on CD Baby, and will soon be on iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, etc.  I had a great time making it.  Paul Osborn at Audio Dallas and George Guerin at DES Mastering did a terrific job.  Amy Harms sounds amazing on Forty Days and Forty Nights!  Todd Jeffries wrote some incredible lyrics on Zendo Crickets!  I hope you enjoy it.  It's got a lot of me in it.  After it was finished I felt relief and happiness and a little depleted too.  Almost like giving birth, I imagine.

New CD and gigs in Taos, New Mexico


A lot has happened since my last post.  The latest: I just finished recording my new album at Audio Dallas Recording Studio with Paul Osborn as the recording engineer.  There are eleven songs, including two blues covers sung by my old singing partner, Amy Harms.  Two of the songs are instrumentals.  Also, I am playing three times in Taos, New Mexico, this summer.  Check the calendar for details.

Upcoming gigs and album release party


I'm excited to report that I'll be playing at the Bath House Cultural Center at White Rock Lake on September 3rd from 7-8:30.  It's for a big art opening of works by 60 artists who will be featured during the White Rock Lake Artists Studio Tour.  There should be around 400 people in attendance. 

On September 15 I'll have my album release party at the Wine Therapist.  I'll play all the songs from my new album, Sweet Green Mystery.  CD's will available for a cost of $0, free while they last.  Showtime will be 7:45. 

I hope to see you at one my performances.

New Mexico Tour


We recently spent five weeks in New Mexico, and while I was there I played five gigs. 

The first was at SOMOS, the Society of the Muse of the Southwest.  This is the literary society of Taos.  I played at the Gala Grand Opening of their new building.  They had authors reading works from various genres all day and into the evening.  I played in the middle of 14 published poets, just 4 songs, but it was amazing.  There were probably about 40 or 50 people in the room, and they listened carefully. It was just like playing in church.

My next gig was at the Adobe Bar at the Historic Taos Inn.  It's been there since about 1880 and has seen the likes of Georgia O'Keefe, D.H. Lawrence, and Dennis Hopper.  A bunch of people I knew came to hear me play, including my grandchildren Toby and Amy, my daughter Jessica and her husband Chris (down from Denver), Cameron and Judy McMillen (over from Angel Fire), Jim and Mary Wilcox (up from Santa Fe), and of course Sherry, my wife.  Very enjoyable.  I played there twice more later in the month.  The last time was the best musically and generated a lot of interest and tips. 

My third gig was at Taos Mesa Brewing, out on the road to the Rio Grande gorge.  I played outside, in the afternoon.  It was a little warm and occasionally windy but again a lot of fun.  I played a lot of blues at that one.

Altogether a great experience.

new CD, Sweet Green Mystery


My new CD, Sweet Green Mystery, is out.  You can find it on this website and buy it through CD Baby.  It will be on iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify sometime in the next two weeks.  It's a solo CD this time, and I do all the singing and also play the Weissenborn acoustic lap steel slide guitar.  On two the songs, "Mystical Sludge and the Used Car Blues" and "Among the Skulls and Mango Vines", I play a National Resophonic Style 1 Tricone.  The official CD release party will be sometime in September, more information to be announced. 

I want to acknowledge Sherry Houpt for all her support and for taking all the photographs on the CD; Debbie Shelton, Cameron and Judy McMillen, Nancy and Bill Marmion, LeeAnn Sloane, Alice Ann and John Dailey, Ben Harms, and many others for supporting me by coming to my shows.  I want to thank Jacque Forsher for suggesting the title of the CD.  I want to also acknowledge Paul Osborn of Audio Dallas for recording and mixing and George Guerin of DES Mastering for mastering and refining the CD.  A special thanks goes out to Amy Harms, without whose help and inspiration this CD would not have been possible.

You can find all the lyrics for the CD on this website.

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