Track Premiere: Randy Steele & High Cold Wind “There’s A Part Of Me”

Photo: Mandy Rhoden

Randy Steele is an award winning banjo pickin’ singer/songwriter from Chattanooga, Tennessee – “There’s a Part of Me,” is his new single to be released on March 24th.  It was recorded with his bluegrass band High Cold Wind.  It’s a song that sounds as traditional as heck, but take a careful listen to the lyrics and you’ll find very modern sensibilities and concerns being thought about.  Not too many Bluegrass songs include scene like: “I remember that Christmas / When you got a neck tattoo / And your momma cried and / Spent the holidays holed up inside her room / She said that you can’t be buried / With your family anymore.

Randy Steele’s musical journey is a slightly unusual one – in the last decade of last century he could be found in the Jamband scene, then for a while he studied Jazz Guitar at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.  His dedication to playing and being in bands stopped for a while when he became a firefighter with the Chattanooga Fire Department and got married and settled down. He says, “I still wrote songs constantly but I figured my music days were mostly behind me. In the firehouse, I needed something to help me decompress and then I found the banjo…”  To pass the time at the fire station, Randy began practicing Scruggs style banjo and, a few years later in 2008, began performing with Slim Pickins Bluegrass Band, along with John Boulware and Justin Hupp who respectively play mandolin and upright bass in High Cold Wind. They went on to spend a month living in Belgium and played shows all over Europe, eventually though between jobs and family obligations, the band settled into playing a few select shows in the Chattanooga area each year.

Randy Steele shared his thoughts on the song with Americana UK: “I’ve been really itching to get back to the bluegrass side of the music world. ‘There’s a Part of Me’ was really born out of that desire to return to the traditional bluegrass style as often as I can. I enjoy playing in big full bands with amps and drummers and such, it’s a lot of fun. But it doesn’t have the same feel that an acoustic bluegrass 5 piece has in my opinion. Something about that intimacy of sound, all huddled in a circle, laughing and having fun with friends is magical. I’ve always felt his song has a sway to it. Between that sway and the traditional feel and chord structure, I’m trying to lure the listener into something expected. If they follow, the lyrics then really contrast against that expected normal bluegrass song idea.  The goodness and sweetness of the music and melody is contrasted by the lyrical gruffness. A pretty song about complaining, skipping out on bills, and neck tattoos!


About Jonathan Aird 2698 Articles
Sure, I could climb high in a tree, or go to Skye on my holiday. I could be happy. All I really want is the excitement of first hearing The Byrds, the amazement of decades of Dylan's music, or the thrill of seeing a band like The Long Ryders live. That's not much to ask, is it?
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Steve Wise

Randy Steele & High Cold Wind will be playing Thursday, March 30, at Waller’s Coffee Shop in Decatur, Ga. (near Atlanta) along with Eddie Kesler & 3/4 Time, 7-10pm.