Steve Wynn (songwriter)

Steve Wynn, 2011

Steve Wynn (born February 21, 1960) is a songwriter based in New York (born in California). He led the band the Dream Syndicate from 1981 to 1989 and afterward began a solo career.[1]


Career in bands

Before forming the Dream Syndicate, Wynn played guitar in the Davis, California-based band The Suspects, whose members included vocalist Kendra Smith (who later played bass in the Dream Syndicate), Russ Tolman and Gavin Blair (who would form True West); in 1979 they released a single, "It's Up to You" b/w "Talking Loud." Two years later, under the name 15 Minutes, he self-released another single, "Last Chance for You" b/w "That's What You Always Say" (later performed by the Dream Syndicate).

Though they were popular with critics, an influence on other musicians, and signed briefly to a major label, the Dream Syndicate were not commercially successful. They did establish, however, the fan base on which Wynn built his solo career.

In 2008, he formed The Baseball Project with Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey, and his wife, drummer Linda Pitmon.

Solo career

Since 1990, Wynn has released a number of albums exploring various musical styles. His first solo album, Kerosene Man, included a duet with Johnette Napolitano of Concrete Blonde, backing work by bassist Fernando Saunders (a frequent sideman of Lou Reed, to whom Wynn was often compared early in his career), drummer D. J. Bonebrake from the L.A. punk band X, Howe Gelb of Giant Sand and saxophonist Steve Berlin from Los Lobos. Peter Buck, from R.E.M., played on its follow-up, Dazzling Display, and co-wrote the title song. Backing on Melting in the Dark (1996) was provided by the Boston band Come.

Here Come the Miracles (2001) was his best-selling solo album to date, and the best-reviewed, appearing at year's end on numerous critical Top Ten lists.

In 1985, Wynn wrote a collection of songs with Dan Stuart of Green on Red, and recorded and released them as Danny and Dusty. In the 1990s, he was a part of the indie supergroup Gutterball along with Stephen McCarthy of The Long Ryders, Bob Rupe of The Silos and Cracker, and Bryan Harvey and Johnny Hott of House of Freaks.

The double CD From a Man of Mysteries: A Steve Wynn Tribute was released by the German label Blue Rose in 2004 and features Wynn's songs performed by the likes of Concrete Blonde, the Silos, Chuck Prophet, The Minus 5, Russ Tolman of True West and others.

Wynn is at present more popular in Europe than in the United States. While domestic tours are rare, he continues to perform regularly overseas.

Steve allows the recording and trading of his live concerts and some of the recordings are available from the Live Music Archive at (see link).

On August 26, 2007, Wynn debuted a new band, Hazel Motes (the same name as the protagonist of Flannery O'Connor's novel Wise Blood), at Magnetic Fields in Brooklyn, New York. The line-up consists of Steve Wynn, Linda Pitmon, Steve Espinola and NY based band the Teenage Prayers. The band's My Space page describes them as "A whiskey-fueled rock and roll gospel band whose spiritual furor is matched only by it’s self destructive dark side."


Dream Syndicate

  • The Dream Syndicate EP (1982)
  • The Days of Wine and Roses (1982)
  • Medicine Show (1984)
  • This Is Not the New Dream Syndicate Album......Live! (1984)
  • Out of the Grey (1986)
  • Ghost Stories (1988)
  • Live at Raji's (1989)
  • Tell Me When It's Over – The Best of Dream Syndicate 1982–1988 (1992)
  • 312: The Lost Tapes 1985–1988 (1993)
  • The Day Before Wine and Roses (1995)
  • Complete Live At Raji's (2004) 2CD


  • Kerosene Man (1990)
  • Dazzling Display (1992)
  • Fluorescent (1994)
  • Melting in the Dark (1996)
  • Sweetness and Light (1997)
  • My Midnight (1999)
  • Here Come the Miracles (2001)
  • Live in Bremen (2008)
  • Crossing Dragon Bridge (2008)

Steve Wynn and The Miracle Three

  • Static Transmission (2003)
  • ...tick...tick...tick (2005 Europe, 2006 USA)
  • Live Tick (2006)
  • Northern Aggression (2010)

Danny and Dusty

  • The Lost Weekend (1985)
  • Cast Iron Soul (2007)
  • Here's to You Max Morlock (2007)


  • Gutterball (1993)
  • Weasel (1995)
  • Turnyor Hedinkov (1995)

Smack Dab

  • Smack Dab (2007)

with Australian Blonde

  • Memento (2000)

with The Baseball Project

  • Volume 1: Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails (2008)
  • Broadside Ballads = One song per month for free download in's The Life
    • March: All Future and No Past
    • April: Cubs 2010
    • May: 30 Doc
    • June: Lima Time!
    • July: Phenom
    • August: (Do The) Triple Crown
    • September: DL Blues
    • October: That's The Way It's Gonna Be
    • November: The Giants Win the Pennant
  • Volume 2: High and Inside (2011)

with The Dragon Bridge Orchestra

  • Live In Brussels (2CD + DVD) (2009)


  • Advertisements for Myself (1998) - limited edition compilation
  • The Emusic Singles Collection (2001) - 12 internet singles released each month in 2000.
  • Riding Shotgun (2004) - limited edition compilation
  • What I Did After My Band Broke Up / Visitation Rights (2005)


  • Take Your Flunky and Dangle (1994) – outtakes 1990–1994
  • The Suitcase Sessions (1997) – sessions from Melting in the Dark Era
  • Pick of the Litter (1999) – outtakes 1996–1999


  • From a Man of Mysteries: A Steve Wynn Tribute (2004)


  • Carolyn (1990)
  • Tears Won't Help (1990)
  • Conspiracy Of The Heart (1990)
  • Kerosene Man EP (1991)
  • Drag (1992)
  • Tuesday (1992) – promo
  • Carelessly (1994)
  • Shelley's Blues pt.2 EP (1996) – includes "James River Incident"
  • Why (1996) – promo
  • The Way You Punish Me (1996) – promo
  • How's My Little Girl EP (1997)
  • Nothing But The Shell (1999)
  • There Will Come A Day (2001)
  • Sustain (2001)
  • California Style EP (2003)
  • Cindy It Was Always You (2005)
  • Bruises (2006)

Singles charts

Year Title Chart positions Album
US Hot 100 US Modern Rock US Mainstream Rock UK
1990 "Tears Won't Help" 10 Kerosene Man


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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