Steve Oasen

Guitar, Vocals

Steve brings literally decades of music and band experience to the Horn Dawgs. He “shared the hydrant” with us as a sub on bass in 2003. When a permanent guitar slot opened in 2006 we jumped at the chance to lock him in the pound with the rest of us!

He started playing in organized bands when he was seventeen and hasn’t taken a break since. While he was in the Navy he played in an American country band throughout Great Britain and other parts of Europe. While he has poked his nose in and out of many groups since then, his music foundation is probably the band   Swing Shift, which has played around Madison for almost 25 years.

Country, Blues and old time Rock-‘n-Roll are what Steve gravitates toward when he’s playing on his own or in smaller groups. He terms it, “Bare-bone grit; nothing fancy–the way good music is supposed to be enjoyed.” Since he’s joined the ‘Dawgs we have let him lead the rhythm section on tunes like Great Balls of Fire and I Saw Her Standing There.  He also brings a stunning reincarnation of Elvis.


But don’t think Steve’s a one trick pony. He brings added lift to all the styles of music we play, from swing tunes (You and Me and the Bottle Makes Three Tonight) to Classic Rock (Magic Carpet Ride) and Funky/Disco (Mustang Sally and Play That Funky Music).

While we were thrilled to have him sign up for the long haul, he was actually nervous about what he was getting into. “I was intimidated by the level of the guys’ musical backgrounds,” he says.

But the truth is while most of the ‘Dawgs need to read music to play it, Steve (like many guitar players) learned to play without it. While he was worried about playing with guys who used music, we marveled at how he could play without it!

In his own words, “I like playing with top notch quality musicians, and having a blast doing it!” He likes the fact the ‘Dawgs don’t just play songs, but put on a show. He also likes that we try to rotate in new material to keep from getting stale.

Steve also contributes a blog to this website, “Steve’s Guitar Shop {link}, which offers helpful hints for guitarists at every level.  Check it out!

Guitars for Vets  is a favorite undertaking of Steve’s.  He repairs and sets up guitars for for veterans learning guitar.  This is very important to Steve, as he is a vet himself.

Steve also likes to fix up broken guitars and donate them to Girls’ Rock Camp, as well as repairing instruments they already have.

By day, Steve is a Madison “mild-mannered shop keeper”, who is also happily married and has two beautiful children. He also has “three hairy tenants who don’t pay rent,” by which we think he means dogs!  He’s a fair-weather motorcycle rider and likes to repair guitars and old tube-style amps.