Stevie Coyle is one lucky bum. His dad ran a radio station in southern California and brought home all the promo LPs that didn't fit the Spanish-language format. The Ventures’ Guitar Freakout, The 50 Guitars of Tommy Garrett, and Alvin and the Chipmunks Play The Beatles's Hits all came home on a single fateful day.
It didn't hurt, either, that string-meister David Lindley played in a bluegrass band that rehearsed right next door and gave Stevie his very first lessons, or that his dear Granny was a pianist in the heyday of vaudeville and that his sainted mother was a whiz in mandolin orchestras during the 1930s.
Not even several years of playing Folk Masses every Sunday could quash his musical spirit, and in high school he began fingerpicking, inspired—as so many were— by the first Hot Tuna album.
After securing degrees in Theatre and Theology at Santa Clara University he hit the road for three years with the Royal Lichtenstein Circus, doing comedy, magic, wire-walking, sword-swallowing, unicycling, juggling, and rola-bola and working with dogs, cats, birds, bears, monkeys, horses, and even house-cats.
Once back home, he signed on as actor and stage manager/actor for the San Jose Repertory Company, and announced orca, dolphin, sea lion, water ski, lion, tiger, and elephant shows at Marine World/Africa USA.
He and his dear satirist friend Roy Zimmerman have worked closely in several collaborations over the past 25 years, including folk tribute/parody band the Foremen and comedy duo the Reagan Bros. That chapter took him to Los Angeles, briefly, and while there, Stevie appeared on Cheers and in many television commercials and voiceovers, and had a regular role on the Young and the Restless, which was utterly subsumed by the then-daily broadcasts of the interminable Iran-Contra hearings.
Safely back in the Bay Area, he continued his acting career, doing commercials, radio, voiceovers, and films and played in folk duos the Frontmen and the Back Room Boys. In 1999 Stevie co-founded the Waybacks and toured steadily with them from 2001 through 2007. He toured solo nationwide from 2008 to 2012 and in 2009 released his first solo LP Ten-In-One, a nice polite fingerstyle guitar record that somehow went feral and turned into a whole concept album, with full-band arrangements, plots and subplots, a woebegone protagonist and a cast of musical guest-greats, including Mike Marshall, Phillip Aaberg, Kit Walker, Kendrick Freeman, Sam Bevan, Teresa Tudury, Corinne West, Hank Roberts, Rich DePaolo, and producer Walter Strauss. The very day after he decided to stop touring an opportunity came up to open his own high-end acoustic guitar shop. That newest adventure is Mighty Fine Guitars, in Lafayette, CA.