Mr. Downchild is a singer, guitarist and harmonica player who has been a fixture on the U.S. blues scene for more than two and half decades. Born Stephen Brazier in South London in 1950, he learned to sing and dance from his mother, a singer and dancer, and his great aunt, an opera singer. When he was 5, he sang Frankie Lymon’s “Why do Fools Fall in Love?” at one contest and won £5. He now calls it his first paying gig.
His father was friends with various U.S. service men who were stationed around London. They brought and shared their records with Steve’s father which provided him with his introduction to rock and roll and ultimately, the blues. “You couldn’t get those records in England back then,” he said “But the Americans had them, and I loved Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis!”
When he was 11 years old, Steve began acting in various musicals and
plays in London. He appeared as Oliver opposite of Davey Jones’ Artful Dodger (yes from The Monkeys) as well as on several TV shows and in some movies. When he was 15 his acting career suddenly became less important. “I saw Sonny Boy Williamson playing with the Yardbirds on Ready, Steady, Go!,” he recalled, “and it was the coolest thing I had ever seen. I was totally knocked out by that guy.” Steve went out and bought a harmonica and learned how to play it.