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Live music is a healing force

Steve Morse appeared on the Sea of Tranquility podcast talking about the upcoming Dixie Dregs / Steve Morse Band tour, history of Dixie Dregs, prospects for making new music, leaving Deep Purple, Jerry Goodman, possibilities of collaboration with John McLaughlin, and cool new guitar gadgets.

For the impatient among us, the Purple bits start at around 29 minutes into the interview. That being said, we encourage you to listen to the whole thing, it’s worth your time.

In other Steve news, a new collection of visual artwork based on his fretboard finger movements is going to be unveiled on May 2, 2024. It is called Plasma Channel and is a followup to the previous collection Northern Lights, released two years ago.

You can check the progress of this project at stevemorseart.com.

Thanks to Mike Whiteley and Orhun Yakin for the heads-up on SoT interview, and to BraveWords on the Plasma Channel project info.

21 Comments to “Live music is a healing force”:

  1. 1
    Gregster says:


    Good stuff ! And the thought of Steve playing with John McLaughlin has to rival G3, so that will be a huge history making occasion, possibly equalling John with Santana…

    Peace !

  2. 2
    CN says:

    Sounds like Steve didn’t want to leave.

  3. 3
    MacGregor says:

    Thanks for the Steve Morse interview, much appreciated. John McLaughlin was still playing well a year or so ago when I last viewed a few performances online. However he did say in an interview at about that time that his hands were telling him something, in regards to life in general at approximately 81 years of age. If Morse & McLaughlin could do something musical together that would be grand indeed. Here’s hoping. Cheers.

  4. 4
    Tony says:

    Nice guy,…. yes he wanted to be the last guitarplayer in Deep Purple.
    But things happend on the way to heaven.

    Either way, he made his mark and perhaps he also saved Purple in the difficult times after the tour with Joe Satriani.

    Thank you Steve

  5. 5
    eiricd says:

    definitely sounds like Steve wanted to continue, but with a less gruelling schedule.
    I can understand both sides :/

  6. 6
    Blair Forrester says:

    Great interview, would love to see the Dregs/SMB tour…

    Saw John McLaughlin with Shakti last year and they were amazing, it would be fantastic to see/hear him play with Steve.

  7. 7
    George Martin says:

    Steve wanted to stay until the end but he realized years ago that it may take forever for the end to come. I remember talking with him back in 2013 and asking him how much longer do you think the band will keep touring and he said ” I thought the last tour was the last tour ” I think the heavy international touring schedule and never being home finally got to him. If you notice the Dixie Dregs and Steve Morse Band rarely tour outside of the United States. Every date he’s done since he left Purple I believe has been in America. Even when he just joined one of his other former bands on stage Kansas that was in Florida, not far from where he lives. I thank him for the time he has put in and wish him the best. I don’t believe there are any hard feelings on either side.

  8. 8
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Like George says, Steve never turned into an international gypsy, he just had to live like one. To Airey, Gillan, Glover & Paice touring is a way of life since the 60ies or 70ies (Airey). It’s second nature to them, they live for the gig and push all the travelling back as a necessary chore, albeit these days well-organized and with all amenities (it still gets boring fast). When they’re home, they probably get restless after a few months and their wives say “I think it’s better for both of us you go on tour again, see you in a few months!” 😂

    Even Ritchie (as early as the 90ies) and Jon (a decade later) grew tired of the rigors of the road eventually and wanted to settle down at the cost of presenting their music around the globe constantly.

    Steve started his international touring life late (he was already 32 when he joined Kansas and their touring circuit was nowhere near as international as DP’s), by the time he joined DP he was 40 and approaching middle-age. I don’t think he ever really got a kick out of it though the size of the Purple crowds must have been a new experience for him – he had mostly lived a sheltered musicians’ musician life up to then. When I saw Steve for the first time in 1984 he was playing a room in a community venue in Rüsselsheim the size of a larger class room (with a solely male audience consisting only of guitarists and one bassist*** – me! 😁), that was the scale of his “international touring” at the time.

    ***I only went because a guitarist dragged me along!

    In various interviews, different members of current DP have been relatively blunt about it: They’ve resigned themselves to a rest life where NOT waking up in the hotel bed you went to sleep in one morning is increasingly more likely every day. They are ok with that, it’s their choice. Steve OTOH needs a base, he’s been living where he lives for more than 40 years now and outside of music leads a rural life, farming tasks included.

  9. 9
    Uwe Hornung says:

    You’ve got to give it to Steve, he’s painfully honest as regards the entertainment value of the Dixie Dregs for the fairer sex. 😄 No country for old men and no music for young chicks either …

  10. 10
    Uwe Hornung says:

    If Steve did a Blu-ray of those plasma visuals while playing his more lyrical pieces, it would probably sell like hot cakes – in yoga classes! 😂 He’s gonna find that female audience in the end, I tell ya!

  11. 11
    MacGregor says:

    You left out one aspect Uwe. Steve Morse is also a pilot. The last thing he probably wants to do is be on a plane with someone else piloting it. Maybe he should have done a Bruce Dickinson. “I will fly the bloody thing’. Cheers.

  12. 12
    Henrik says:

    Never a good fit for Deep Purple.

  13. 13
    Uwe Hornung says:

    IIRC, Steve did fly the Purple guys a few times to gigs in smaller aircraft, but prevailing insurance policies called a halt to that!

  14. 14
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Steve was never an obvious choice for DP, Henrik, but reducing him to “never a good fit” is underselling how much unique music he and the other Purple guys created together. And he sure had longevity, who’d have thought in 1993 that they would exist another almost three decades with him at the lead guitar helm and release eight studio albums as well as tour the world?

  15. 15
    Gregster says:

    @13 said,,,

    qt.”Steve did fly the Purple guys a few times to gigs in smaller aircraft, but prevailing insurance policies called a halt to that”!…

    Similar may have happened with RUSH & Alex Lifeson flying the boys around…

    Peace !

  16. 16
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Voilà, the Aviator, who uses explosives against gophers ruining his grass strip and suffers “aviation withdrawal” plus explains that “structure and dedication”
    define both aviation and guitar playing:

    (They also talk music starting at 10:30.)

    Also takes care of the worry some of you guys seem to have that Steve is not in a financial sound position thanks to DP: He doesn’t just have one plane, but more like half a dozen plus an own air strip and a hay farm …

  17. 17
    MacGregor says:

    Thanks for the Steve Morse aviation interview, very interesting. I knew he was into to it, but not that into it. Good on him. A few other rockers I am aware of that fly about the place occasionally are David Gilmour & Nick Mason. Gregster mentioned Big Al from Rush. Although Neil Peart use to push bike & then later on motor bike to gigs, so it makes me wonder about Lifeson’s flying. ‘Sod this, I am taking my bike’ ha ha ha. Cheers.

  18. 18
    Ted The Mechanic says:

    Steve once mentioned that he and Lerxst flew together in Steve’s plane from Southern California to Northern California when The SMB opened up for Rush. Lerxst took the controls until the landing. There was something funky about the landing gear at that point and Steve assumed control and thankfully a safe touch down. ;>

    Chris DeGarmo’s career post Queensryche has been a a professional private jet pilot….


  19. 19
    Uwe Hornung says:

    DeGarmo’s sudden disappearance off the map of rock music was a real loss. Queensryche’s Empire was a hell of an album, Silent Lucidity is high art.

  20. 20
    Gregster says:

    @18 said…

    qt.”Steve once mentioned that he and Lerxst flew together in Steve’s plane from Southern California to Northern California when The SMB opened up for Rush. Lerxst took the controls until the landing. There was something funky about the landing gear at that point and Steve assumed control and thankfully a safe touch down”. ;>

    There’s so much involved with landings, that it’s a wonder they’re mostly so successful…How do you check the landing gear from inside the cock-pit ???…I guess the airport said it looks OK, & Lerxst opted for the parachute option lol !

    Peace !

  21. 21
    Uwe Hornung says:


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