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

West Shore RCMP arrest man in stolen vehicle, seize handgun

Vehicle was reported stolen from Duncan on July 18

The Trading Post in Langford is up for sale

For sale sign and retirement sign spotted Tuesday

Premier John Horgan hints at daylight saving changes after record-breaking survey response

B.C.’s largest public consultation saw more than 220,000 residents respond to time change survey

Victoria Police issue warning after man left dangling from raised Johnson Street Bridge

A man bypassed safety measures and became stranded as the bridge lifted

A sunny day ahead for Tuesday

Plus a look ahead at your week

VIDEO: Missing teens named as suspects in three northern B.C. killings

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky are wanted in the deaths of Lucas Fowler, Chynna Deese, unknown man

Memorial bench painted by Vancouver woman to stay in park for now

Park board to look at options for artistic enhancements on commemorative benches

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Weather Network’s anti-meat video ‘doesn’t reflect true story’: cattle ranchers

At issue is the video’s suggestion that cutting back on meat consumption could help save the planet

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

Wrestling legend finds his wedding dance groove in B.C.

Professional wrestler Chris Jericho posted on social media that he was in Penticton recently

Coroner investigating after body recovered from Okanagan Lake

Penticton fire department assisted the RCMP with the recovery of a body Saturday

Overdoses overwhelming in B.C. Interior

Part two: Who’s affected by the current opioid crisis

Kelowna cab driver charged with sexual assault

RCMP received a report May 28 alleging a taxi passenger had been sexually assaulted by a cab driver

Most Read