Steven Palmer: Folksinging road survivor

Sooke Folk Music Society coffee house event on February 21

It’s time once again for the Sooke Folk Music Society’s monthly coffee house. This Saturday evening, February 21, sees the return of Steve Palmer to our stage. It’s been a while since Steve has been with us and it’s a real pleasure to welcome him back.

Raised on gospel, country and the blues, the old time influences on a young prairie picker with a love of Doc Watson made him a good fit for psychedelic folk-rock bands. He was touring and playing support for most of the big name suspects during the ‘60s UK invasion. Then more steady dues were paid as guitarist-for-hire in country bands working the rural Alberta bar scene.

He started using his voice only in the ‘80s, when he’d picked some West Coast time to study music a bit more formally. But it wasn’t ‘til he returned home to care for his mother that he found personal respite and freedom in becoming a solo performer.

Originally from Edmonton, Alberta Palmer is now based in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan (“The most Canadian of all cities,” Peter Gzowski). He travels a troubadour circuit around Western Canada and the Northwestern U.S.

In 2003 Palmer recorded his first original album, the country influenced  From Here To Nashville. That lead to performing his own concerts. While living on Vancouver Island he then recorded Roots and Strings and Morning Road — two albums of Original and Traditional folk featuring Pallmer on acoustic guitar and vocals with super guest pickers John Reischman and Nick Hornbuckle sitting in. These albums opened up his Western Canadian touring. In 2014 Palmer released his fourth album Prairie Airs and that led to even more Western Canadian touring and his first Maritime and Ontario concerts.

“I’ve been pickin’ and singin’ and writin’ songs for a long time now, but these last few years have been the most fun of all” said Palmer. “My biggest acoustic guitar influences are Doc Watson, Merle Travis, Maybelle Carter, and Tony Rice. My songwriting style is a little more varied — Lightfoot, Ian Tyson, the Beatles, and Bob Dylan are heavy influences.”

Sometimes compared to Hoyt Axton, Leonard Cohen, or John Prine, the echoes of Doc Watson remain clear on his albums, Prairie Airs, Roots and Strings and Morning Road.

Forty years as a traveling musician is a lot of road, and Palmer is still playing and still touring. He has grown enough to sing about life and simple pleasures with all the unhurried authority of a quiet and simple folk-singing road-survivor.

So be sure to join us this Saturday evening, February 21 at Holy Trinity Anglican Church on Murray Road for a great night of music with this travelling troubadour. Doors open at 7 p.m. with open stage at 7:30 with Steve Palmer hitting the stage at 9.

Dave Gallant

Just Posted

High speed internet coming to remote CRD areas

Ottawa to invest $34 million to build 3.5 million metres of subsea fibre optic cable in B.C.

Affordable housing organization seeks to build in Sooke

Habitat for Humanity hopes to build cluster of townhouses at 2008 Murray Road

Council re-tenders Murray Road staircase project

Project could be delayed months

Upgrades to Millstream overpass to begin Feb. 1

Project includes addition of left hand turn lane onto highway to Victoria

Langford loses bid to host Amazon HQ2

Mayor hopes to attract more tech jobs to city

WATCH: Giant waves smash Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point

Folks made their way to Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point Lighthouse on Thursday, Jan.… Continue reading

Christopher Garnier appealing murder conviction in death of off-duty cop

Jury found Garnier guilty in December, rejecting his claim she died accidentally during rough sex

Transportation watchdog must revisit air passenger obesity complaint

Canadian Transportation Agency must take new look at Gabor Lukacs’ complaint against Delta Air Lines

Gas plants verdict coming down today; ex-premier’s top aides to learn fate

Verdict to be delivered on senior staff to former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty

WestJet appeals lost bid to scrap harassment lawsuit

Airline argues judge was wrong to have dismissed the company’s application to strike the legal action

Can U.S. border guards search your phone? Yes, and here’s how

Secretary of homeland security explains a new policy that let’s border guards check phones

‘Beautiful writer’ Nancy Richler dies of cancer in Vancouver hospital

Montreal-born author spent most of her adult life in B.C. as a fiction writer and novelist

Jury convicts spear-wielding Duncan man in 2015 Ladysmith RV park murder

Trever George Meers used a handmade spear to stab Rayna Johnson at the Campers Corners RV Park

Students frustrated by UBCO response to harassment allegations

Students on the Kelowna campus were unaware of resources and worried about lack of communication

Most Read