Steve Louw

Thunder And Rain, produced by Kevin Shirley, released on 11th November 2022.
Thunder And Rain, produced by Kevin Shirley, released on 11th November 2022.

Award-winning singer, songwriter and musician, Steve Louw, active since 1981, is recognised as one of the most respected and accomplished talents in the South African music industry.

Thunder And Rain, produced by Kevin Shirley, released on 11th November 2022.

Steve Louw – Take Me Down

A 1964 Epiphone Casino guitar gave me the gift of this song. The intro riff played high on the neck, sounding ‘Beatlesque’, led me to the chord changes and chorus.

A song of endings and beginning of solace in solitude, of joy in the future, of hope, resilience, and anticipation for the future.

Steve Louw
Steve Louw – Mother, Don’t Go featuring Joe Bonamassa.

Louw celebrates the restorative, nourishing love on “Mother, Don’t Go,” an insightful, insistent tune graced by guitar wizard Joe Bonamassa, who brings out the song’s incandescent spirit as he intertwines his playing with that of Doug Lancio, a guitarist who has just entered Louw’s orbit.

Stephen Thomas Erlewine

In 2020 I had been in my home on our farm for more than six months when I made the trip to Cape Town. I had been playing the only guitar that I had with me, an old acoustic. In town, I traded with my buddy, Willem Moller, for a beautiful 1964 Epiphone Casino.

When I got home, I took the Casino out of its case, and the first thing I played on it was the riff on “Mother, Don’t Go”. The riff took me to the lyric, to the beauty of a mother’s love. It’s a simple song, and its simplicity celebrates the joy and longing for unconditional, selfless love.

Steve Louw
Steve Louw | credit: Jacqui Van Staden
Steve Louw | credit: Jacqui Van Staden

Steve Louw One-Hour Feature on WMKY (Morehead State Public Radio), 17th February 2023

WMKY (Morehead State Public Radio in the USA) will be doing a 1 hour Steve Louw feature, playing 7 tracks from the new album, Thunder And Rain and tracks from the previous album, Headlight Dreams, with commentary from Steve’s bio.   The shows will air February 17th at 8pm Eastern and then again on February 18th at 3pm Eastern.   The station is streaming at wmky.org.  WMKY is based in Morehead KY and covers the Lexington KY area. 

New Video, Take Me Down from Steve Louw, launched today!

Steve Louw – Take Me Down

The official video for “Take Me Down”, created by Jacqui Van Staden and Kian Eriksen.

Written by Steve Louw.

From the album “Thunder And Rain“, released 11 November 2022.

Produced by Kevin Shirley.

Stream/download “Thunder And Rain” album:


by Steve Louw

A 1964 Epiphone Casino guitar gave me the gift of this song. The intro riff played high on the neck, sounding ‘Beatlesque’, led me to the chord changes and chorus.

A song of endings and beginning of solace in solitude, of joy in the future, of hope, resilience, and anticipation for the future.


Five in the morning
I’m out of my head
I can hear voices calling
People I thought were dead
And it’s alright, you know
When you’re down on your knees
I can see the light
Coming up on the trees.

Take me down, down, down
Down to the ground
You got to count me down
Count me down, but don’t count me out
Count me down to the ground.

Hey, I got to say, it’s gonna be OK
Hey, I got to say, it’s gonna be OK.

One more piece to make a picture
‘Til you can say yes
I think you know the one
I’m sure you can guess
Yeah, the love you feel
That’s been laid at your gate
Oh, you know, you know it’s real
You can feel the weight.

You gotta take me down, down, down
Take me down to the ground, yeah, yeah
Count me down, count me down, yeah
Don’t count me out, down, down.

I said hey, I want to say hey
It’s gonna be OK, it’s gonna be OK
I got to say, it’s gonna be OK
Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Oh yeah, yeah.

‘Cause I’ll take the hours
I’m watching the trees
Or the flowers
Around the bees
Or that picture, anything I please
It’s alright, it’s OK, ‘cause I’m gonna be
I’m, I’m gonna be, I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be free, yeah, yeah.

You got to take me down, down, down
You can take me down, down, down not out
Just count me down, down, down to the ground
Take me down, take me rolling round.

I said hey, I got to say
It’s gonna be OK
I got to say, you gonna be OK
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
You can hear it now, it’s gonna be
You got to be, yeah free, oh yeah
Gonna be, gonna be, gonna be
You gonna be, yeah, yeah, free
I got to say, it’s gonna be OK
I got to say, gonna be OK
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.


Written by Daniel Luckhoff Wessels

From Texx And The City

For all his accomplishments and accolades – including a SAMA nomination for best rock album with Headlight Dreams – Steve Louw has a genuine and disarming affability to him as he greets me over Zoom from a predictably rainy England. Since he started becoming active in the scene 1981 he’s built a name as one of SA’s finest blues singer-songwriters and shared stages with the likes of Queen’s Brian May and Beyoncé.

In more recent years he’s found himself recording with the highly-esteemed likes of Joe Bonamassa, a veritable blues legend who opened for B.B. King at the age of twelve and never looked back, and Doug Lancio who played guitar with Bob Dylan on his Rough and Rowdy Ways World Wide Tour in 2021. 

These are just two names in a list of heavyweights that producer Kevin Shirley, whose CV includes production on Aerosmith’s Nine Lives and Iron Maiden’s Brave New World, brought together to work on Louw’s latest album Thunder and Rain which rallies against 21st century hopelessness with familiar and achingly tender blues-rock strains.

Once we’ve made our introductions I ask if recording with such acclaimed musicians was as daunting as it seems which he confirms was the case with Headlight Dreams, his comeback album after a 13 year hiatus, but assures me that the second time round was easier. It would have to be since they only had three days to learn, record, and mix the album – on top of which they had to find a way around losing one guitarist to another professional commitment and the other to unexpected personal reasons.

To my surprise that doesn’t seem to have been too big a hurdle. The picture Louw paints of their time in the studio is one of impeccable professionalism. “You’ve gotta just have the songs prepared so it’s not that stressful,” he says before adding that, “everybody knows their instruments, the drums are tuned. It’s just ready to go.”

Louw’s the first to admit that he’s not the most technically-oriented musician, erring more on the organic side of making music so, even though the band was learning his songs they would end up playing the role of panel-beater, correcting Louw when he, unknowingly, added or changed beats. “For me it was like, oh shit I don’t know what I’m doing,” he says with a laugh but, in my opinion, things turned out just fine – Thunder and Rain evokes a myriad of emotions and paints pictures that border on tangible.

Recording the album saw Louw jetting off to Nashville so I ask how a musician from South Africa managed to get himself to the point of recording at Ocean Way Studios, who have worked with the likes of Kings of Leon and Avril Lavigne, with the cream of the crop and that famous old adage rears its head: it’s who you know. “It’s only because I knew Kevin when he was in South Africa and we were making records.” Shirley was on his way to becoming a world-renowned producer when Louw was getting active in the industry and it was his know-how that helped him navigate the music world’s messy waters.

Louw’s journey from first recording with Shirley to releasing Thunder and Rain has been a long one so I put forward the question of the blues’ place within the modern world to which he says, “Well it’s like a tiny niche market… ja, it’s very small.” There’s a quick and nervous laugh that follows, after all it’s not easy for niche markets but he doesn’t let it get him down because, to him, music isn’t about how much demand there is, it’s all about expression and connecting with people, “even if there’s ten people, one, it’s great.”

“I don’t think, as an artist, you can ever get through to people by … saying I’m going to do this kind of music because I know there’s a lot of people who will buy it,” says Louw, reinforcing his approach to making music – he’s not one to pander to an audience. “Obviously it’s gotta be in tune and in time … but the heart of the song will always be you on a piano or a solo guitar singing to someone and they’ve gotta get it.”

Since we’re talking about the practicalities of being a professional musician, I ask if he plans on experimenting with his sound at any point to which he says simply, no. “I write the songs that I write, not consciously as blues songs or rock songs”, but rather songs that are trying to say something, the blues is just the most organic way he knows how to get that something across.

I venture further and ask why he’s so steadfast about the genre and open the door to his life-long passion for it. There’s the slightest crack in his voice and a wistfulness in his eyes as he peers off into the distance searching for the best way to define the indefinable. “I find a lot of spirituality in the blues” is what he ultimately settles for, his casual demeanour doing little to hide the depth of its meaning.

That friendly, easy going demeanour that Louw greeted me with exists in equal measure in his approach to music. Through genuine love and never-ending passion for making things that matter, even if it’s only to one person, he’s navigated the unforgiving waters of the industry and found himself at a pinnacle most can only dream of.

Interview with Steve Louw | Celeb Savant

Interview with Steve Louw | Celeb Savant

Celeb Savant, Barret Edelstein, sat down with South African singer and songwriter, Steve Louw. Steve tells us about his decades-long journey in the music business, being part of numerous bands – most notably, Big Sky – culminating in his current solo career. He shares his experience of the 1985 Concert in the Park at Ellis Park during Apartheid in South Africa, and the difference between collaborating and creating music in a band, compared to being a solo artist. Barret and Steve dive deep into the world of social media, digital vs physical music sales, and how Steve creates a live experience for the audience.

Website – www.stevelouw.com

Instagram – @stevelouw

Facebook – @stevelouwmusic

Twitter – @stevelouwmusic

%d bloggers like this: