Steely DeCosta : a young guitar player
"I started playing guitar when I was around thirteen years old and I haven't stopped since."
Steely Decosta is a talented musician hailing from the state of Kentucky. I attended his show for the first time at VirtualMusic Services, and was impressed with his vocals and guitar skills. He smoothly transitioned between regular strumming and finger-picking to create a style that is all his own. Hitting the high notes, which is hard for a lot of musicians, is what Steely does best. His influences come from many of the bands whose music he covers, including artists like U2, Ben Harper, Joe Cocker, Amos Lee, the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Smokey Robinson, Billy Joel, Steely Dan, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Eric Clapton. He also covers songs by newer artists such as the Kings of Leon and John Mayer.
The first song he learned was Mack the Knife, and he quit his guitar lessons soon after because he didn’t like the songs the teacher was picking. “After I quit, I learned all my songs by ear. The first song I sang was ‘Get Back’ by the Beatles.”
Since he picked up the guitar, he has been a part of many bands, including a high school band named Noise. "When people heard our music, they said 'that sounds like noise,' so we said what the hell," he remembers with a smile. When he was a senior in high school, he joined the Musicians' Union in Louisville, Kentucky and played in a band called the St. James Infirmary. “I was in a band that booked through an agency so we had to join to play certain places. It’s not like that now at the Musicians’ Union.” He and his band played the college circuit in Indiana and Kentucky, as well as many clubs along the way. "I played bass then. Later, I switched to guitar because several years later, I met some guys who needed a guitar player. I really liked playing the guitar a lot more."
For five years, Steely was part of a music group named “A Chance,” who did Southern rock and a variety with three and four part harmonies. Steely played the guitar, sang lead vocal, and sang the high parts. After these musical ventures, he married and focused on his job, putting his musical career on hold.
In 2007, he started playing Second Life after seeing an episode of Crime Scene Investigation: New York, where NYPD detectives went into SL to solve a murder. “Then I discovered the music scene here and met some people who helped me learn. Miso Tiramisu introduced me to some people and Swina Allen showed me how to stream.” Because Steely had played guitar since he was a teen and had sang in a three and four part harmony band, he developed a unique style of music that is appreciated by numerous music fans from all around the world. “At first I was a nervous wreck, then it got easier as I played.”
“I love the ease of performing in Second Life and I also love all the wonderful friends I’ve met. You also don’t have to drag a bunch of equipment around anymore in order to meet people from all over the world.” Steely is well known for the appreciation he has for all his fans. Even if it’s a small crowd, he knows that the people are there to listen to him and he plays his heart out in every show.
His favorite original song is his funky jam. “It’s just a groove that I can jam to. It’s always different and evolving.” The reason for that is because he makes it up as he goes. Once he has the rhythm laid out, he plays the bass part using his looper. Then, he adds on more rhythm and finally a lead guitar part. “I use a guitar that has twenty-five guitars - dobros, sitars, banjos, and stuff built in. For bass, I play down low on my string on the guitar to give it a bass feel. Rhythm too, it’s all on one guitar.”
“I mainly come in SL to perform music and talk to friends, but I built a waterfall here once. In real life, I built a fountain in my back yard out of copper and glass. That was pretty fun.”
As for real life, Steely doesn’t do as many gigs; him and a buddy did a show at a club several months ago, and also played at a wedding for a friend’s son. “I’m definitely doing more in Second Life. This place is a blast!”
Check out his calendar at http://firstname.lastname@example.org&ctz=America/New_York for dates and times of his upcoming shows!
For booking info, contact his manager, Sparkie Cyberstar.