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Steve’s Guitars presents Rupert Wates

Locations: News Published

Rupert Wates, an award-winning singer-songwriter based in New York, will be taking the Steve’s Guitars stage on Aug. 20. This melodic folk singer has been performing original music since he left Oxford College and has been playing guitar since his teenage years in London, England.

His songs capture vivid images of folklore stories as he sings in a poetic and almost vaudevillian manner. This style is perfectly encapsulated in songs like “The Man Who Worked in Clay & Stone,” “Lady of The Glades,” and “Guinevere,” all from his most recent album, “Elegies.” Wates is looking forward to his performance at Steve’s as an opportunity to share the stories behind these songs, along with others from his vast discography.

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Wates said a series of events pushed him into making music professionally after college. These trials, he said, led him to the road he is on today, without knowing it at the time.

“It wasn’t until I came to America that I started playing live full-time. Before that, I was writing for other artists as the sort of house composer for my publishing company in London, which committed me to create a certain amount of writing material a year,” Wates told The Sopris Sun. “When I came here in 2007, I started playing live full-time myself.”

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Wates had ties to the U.S. through family-friends and often visited during his youth. One visit in particular that inspired him to pursue music was a Joni Mitchell concert he attended. His decision to officially move across the pond was catalyzed by a conversation with his wife about expanding audiences for his music while they were living in Paris, France.

“It made sense because this is where the opportunities were for musicians,” Wates said. “I knew there was a limited future for me working as a musician in Paris. I knew that sooner rather than later, I’d have to try and find a bigger audience. America seemed like the logical place.”

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Additionally, he was inspired by a quote from Miles Davis where in an interview he stated: “Man, sometimes it takes a long time to sound like yourself.”

“Inevitably, you absorb different influences when shaping how you sound. If you have any luck, you eventually shake those off and find your way to a sound of your own, but it can take a long time. It took a long time, in my case, before I was making music that sounded like me,” Wates explained.

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This is his first gig at Steve’s, but Wates is no stranger to the Valley. Having performed at several Redstone festivals, he heard about the Carbondale venue for years and was always intrigued by it. He also has a cabin in Colorado that he uses as a headquarters for his touring gigs in the West.

“It’s not a huge space, but I tend to prefer smaller, more intimate spaces anyway,” he said. “As a musician, it’s good to adopt the attitude of ‘small is beautiful.’ In particular, venues are tightening budgets, and many are closing their doors altogether.”

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He noted that people are feeling more comfortable again in smaller and more intimate crowds when seeing live music. He expressed that Steve’s Guitars will be a perfect place for him to create new connections in the Valley. Additionally, he said that his goal as a performer is to move people.

“I’m not the kind of artist that makes people want to get up and dance,” he admitted. Nonetheless, “if I feel I’ve helped heal them in some way, perhaps in ways that they’re not entirely conscious of at the time, then I know I’ve done well.”

To get updates on Wates’ touring schedule, visit, and for tickets to his upcoming performance at Steve’s on Aug. 20, visit

Tags: #folk music #Rupert Wates #songwriter #Steve’s Guitars
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