The Ghost Steppers is a band formed in 2009, dedicated to exploring the old American folk musics: early blues, old time, jug band, gospel, etc. The core membership is Samm Bennett on vocal and walking drum, TOMO on guitar, and Suzuki Junzo on harmonica. They are sometimes joined by Yuichi "Ushi" Ushioda on banjo.
They perform no original songs, preferring to explore the rich heritage of musical Americana. But their goal is not to slavishly reproduce the music "authentically", in some sort of museum curator fashion, but rather to breathe new life into the old tunes that they love so dearly. They take their own liberties with the material, which, after all, was what so many of the original performers were doing with the songs they had learned as well. The Ghost Steppers believe that this is precisely the point of "traditional" music: that it should live and grow and be interpreted by new players, throughout the generations, in new ways.
Their repertoire includes tunes originally recorded in the 1920s and 1930s by musicians such as Tommy Johnson, Clarence Ashley, Dock Boggs, Geeshie Wiley, Skip James, the Carter Family and many more.
Samm dissolved the band in 2011, when guitarist TOMO put down the six strings in order to devote more of his time to perfecting his technique on the hurdy gurdy!