Presented by Joshua Tree Music Festival

By Eleni P. Austin

Acclaimed singer-songwriter Steve Poltz is back in the high desert to present the 2nd annual Bahootenzie; a SongSchool that will happen on May 2-4, leading up to the annual Joshua Tree Folkfest on May 5-6, that takes place at The Joshua Tree Lake Campground.

Although he’s best known for co-writing Jewel’s massive late ‘90s hit, “You Were Meant For Me,” as a solo artist, he has released over 20 albums. He’s also collaborated with celebrated musicians like Billy Strings, Molly Tuttle, Sierra Hull and Oliver Wood. No Depression magazine referred to him as “a sardonic provocateur, with a light-hearted acoustic driven wit.”

Bahootenzie gets its name from a phrase Steve’s late dad, Joe, used to say whenever someone sneezed or coughed. As a kid, Steve thought it meant “let’s go nuts.” But his dad regarded it as more of a blessing. So, they opted to combine the sentiments as “many blessings, let’s go nuts.”


The SongSchool welcomes all levels of writers, players and music lovers. Steve, along with experienced songsmiths like Maya de Vitry, Amber Rubarth and Tim Bluhm (of The Mother Hips) are on hand to mentor aspiring musicians and writers. Small group instruction in a magical setting offers the ideal blend of creativity, encouragement and kindness. As much as Steve loves performing, he truly enjoys the fine art of creating a song, writing music and teaching others to discover their muse.

The Folkfest which happens Friday and Saturday, May 5th and 6th, features performances by Steve, as well as Keller Williams, Rainbow Girls, Glen Phillips (of Toad The Wet Sprocket), Tim Bluhm, Maya de Vitry and Amber Rubarth. Fans can camp on site at The Joshua Tree Lake RV Campground, rent a cool camper trailer backstage, or stay at a nearby AirBnB or hotel. The venue has sweeping desert views, plenty of shaded areas and plenty of room to safely gather outdoors. Bahootenzie/Folkfest is offering a ticket giveaway: Three (3) pairs of the two (2) day Folkfest tickets.