[band] A bluegrass infused, hillbilly-boppin’, progressively fun jam band? Yes, you heard correctly. Visiting the Green Door Bar, 2005 E. Michigan Ave., on any given Monday means you better slip on your flood pants, because you’re about to step knee-deep into the new face of roots music.
Steppin’ In It, a local acoustic jam band, employs a clever juxtaposition of old time string music with a new, iconoclastic celebration of sound that not only rocks, but rolls right out of any easily pin-pointed genre of modern music. It has been referred to as Americana, or American Roots music, the band says.
The archetypal backwoods-Joes shredding the fiddle and plucking the banjo evidently found a new place to call home. This is an intelligent, emotional and talented group of music lovers, who happen to channel these delightful characteristics into a new wave of folk music that is seeping into Lansing’s music scene. Emo beware; a new alternative is coming to call.
The band came together in early 1997 and began by playing for East Lansing co-op parties.
“We had a different name for every show,” said Dominic Suchyta, an original member, who still plays master to the upright bass. “Steppin’ In It just stuck.”
Steppin’ In It features the talents of multi-instrumentalists Andy and Joe Wilson, upright-bassist Dominic Suchyta, and vocalist Joshua Davis. The band wields an arsenal of instruments between them, including the pennywhistle, dobro, cajun accordion, and trumpet, along with a plethora of other classic and not-so-classic musical contraptions.
Their first CD as a four-piece band on Hippo Coop Records, titled “Last Winter in the Copper Country” features ten original tracks and four covers that highlight songwriter Joshua Davis’ storytelling ability and the versatility of the band’s taste and style. The album snakes through hints of the blues, into whispers of zydeco and cajun, then bursts out of traditional western swing with songs like “The Butchers Girl” and “Gold and Silver.”
[emo] “Last Winter” propelled Steppin’ In It to the forefront of new roots artists in 2002, and since its release, the band has been widely requested at folk and bluegrass music festivals across the country.
Steppin’ In It’s latest development, “Hidden in the Lowlands“, picks up directly where “Last Winter” left off. Never obscuring the obvious hillbilly influences, the LP does offer witticism and intelligence that might be lost on Billy Bob and Johnny Sue if the sound reached their cornfield.
They were very concerned in putting out a quality representation of their work, and were pleased at the outcome.
“We went through our first printing really fast,” says Suchyta.
A performance from Steppin’ In It is a first-rate redefinition of “country” music. They have wooed audiences from Montana to West Virginia, making stops in Colorado and Canada along their merry way.
But every Monday from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., music enthusiasts can catch a wicked show at Lansing’s local watering hole, The Green Door.
And this isn’t just any background bar band; dancing shoes and a craving for pure unadulterated fun are required at a Steppin’ In It show.
Still not expecting much from a bunch of guys in holey T-shirts and worn out jeans? Well, Jesica Starr, the manager of The Green Door, disagrees. Steppin’ In It is drawing a crowd, she contends, “they do great music.”
After a night of cutting a rug to Bourbon Street throwbacks, you might be wondering where you can pick up a sample of their sound on CD format. Flat Black and Circular, CD Warehouse, and Elderly Instruments all carry both of their newest releases. And if you’re barely scraping together laundry money, check out their Web site: Steppininit.com. There are several downloads available so even the poverty-stricken can jam.
So, when was the last time you got your socks rocked off by a fiddle? There’s a first time for everything and plenty of chances to bawl your first yee-haw every Monday night at The Green Door.

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