Many Fridays at Casablanca on the Bagnell Dam Strip, Steven Scott’s vocal artistry rocks the night and draws big crowds.
Many Fridays at Casablanca on the Bagnell Dam Strip, Steven Scott’s vocal artistry rocks the night and draws big crowds. Scott covers the sounds of Neil Diamond, Garth Brooks, and Lionel Ritchie, just three of his favorites to channel and three that audiences love, too. What makes Scott’s covers so memorable is his ability to impersonate the sound and phrasing of the original. By closing their eyes, an audience might even believe Neil, Garth, or Lionel were standing on stage.
An older brother gets the credit for Steven’s love of music and his gift for mimicry. His brother was a Beatles fan and shared the movie Hard Day’s Night with his shy five-year-old kid brother. When a flock of girls chased the Beatles down a street in that movie, little Steven saw a great future unfold. Music might make him just as popular and in demand.
Steven recognized the different vocal qualities of John, Paul, George and Ringo. He began to imitate each and sing to the walls in one of their voices. He also watched the variety shows of old — Sonny and Cher, Donnie and Marie — and began to imitate the stars and their musical guests. Like his older brother, Steven could recreate the sound of them like one of the great impersonators, including Bruno Mars or former SNL star, Bill Hader. However, hearing the singer speak without music is the key that unlocks the sound for him. He continues to study closely performances and interviews to learn as much as he can about the inspirations for a song. He also embraces new music and performers to grow his repertoire. For him, it’s a matter of respect for the music and the artist as well as a way to capture the artist’s sound.
All those years entertaining himself at home and perfecting his vocal talents brought Steven to acclaim as lead singer with Contagious, a popular St. Louis band with gigs booked at Lake of the Ozarks. The band opened for Foreigner, 38 Special, Bret Michaels, and Hall of Fame inductee Cheap Trick. In fact, one of Steven’s dreams came true when Cheap Trick invited him on stage to sing “Surrender” with the band.
Another dream took shape during one of these Lake gigs. Steven met his fiancée. Loving her made Steven want to be present more often at the Lake, a place he’d visited as a kid. He already knew he liked life here. Love gave him a reason to make the Lake a bigger part of his life so Steven left Contagious after 10 years and dared to dream of being a solo act.
Having invested 17 years in St. Louis as a door hardware distributor, Steven sought ways to transition to the Lake for his two loves, his fiancée and his life-long passion for music. Dale Blue, Don and Suzy Akers, and Brent Boyles offered support, but Steven needed a year-round, steady booking. He had his eye on Casablanca because every time he drove to the Lake, he noticed how alive and busy the restaurant and bar were. He knew the sounds pouring from inside were as much a part of Casablanca’s draw as was the pizza.
Then, good fortune stepped in. Mark Brick’s place on the Strip needed a musician to fill an opening on Friday nights. Steven has been there for three years now.
Steven clones the vocal timbre of great singers and delivers that sound by way of a track. He has all the right moves, too. His act as a single in a small, intimate space brings to life the Lake’s favorites and ignites audiences to move, rock, and sing along.
Part of Steven’s attraction is also his love of the Lake and its fans. He says being part of the Lake’s entertainment scene, especially at Casablanca, is “kind of like a Cheers atmosphere,” a place where everyone knows your name and welcomes those who walk through the door. The Lake is also, in Steven’s estimation, a beautiful place all year long, a place with “plenty of great restaurants and resorts.” One day, Steven Scott would like to be year-round at the Lake, too. It appears love is leading the way, moving Steven Scott closer every year.
Steven Scott at Casablanca
Three sets on Friday Nights
Steve Scott Music on Facebook and YouTube