(note: this blog is kinda lengthy. There’s lots to share but I don’t care to waste your time so I put in headers so you can quickly scroll to see what might interest you.  – Steve)

On the Road Again

Steve BellIt was really great to get back on the road doing concerts again last weekend.

I still think in terms of school years – mostly because my touring season looks much like that pattern.  Typically I tour quite intensely from mid-September to mid-December. Then I’m back at it pretty hard from the end of January to June.  Summers are usually free of concerts. There is still plenty of work to do then, but at least I get a rest from being on the road.

This past summer I only had one concert from mid-June to Sept.18th. It is the longest break I’ve had from touring in 15 years. As much as I get awfully road-weary by the end of spring, and as much as I love the break, I start getting antsy if I’m off for too long.

This past weekend was lovely. I was out on the west coast (Vancouver, Surrey, Seattle, Lakewood). The weather was glorious, and but for the grumpy-making traffic of Vancouver and Seattle areas, it was a fun string of concerts. After a year of touring with my band, and several symphony concerts as well, it’s good to be back on stage with just a stool and my guitar.  I do love the freedom of the solo stage. I like being able to work without a set-list and to follow any rabbit trail that presents itself. I like the intimacy and, quite frankly, I really enjoy the smaller venues where you feel like you are connecting to a real community, not just a gathering of fans. Each community has it’s own personality and charm. I’m always energized by the particularities and peculiarities of each place.

Most of this year’s touring will be like this.  Many of the concerts are more remote and rural. And but for a handful of symphony concerts in December, they are all solo events.   This feels good to me – a little simpler than the last few seasons have been. I’m really looking forward to it.

Speaking of Symphony Concerts – I do have a few this December;  three in Saskatoon and one in Kitchener-Waterloo.  It will be good to gather the usual musical posse of Mike Janzen, Gilles Fournier, Daniel Roa, and Rei Hotoda.  I love these folks immensely. The chance to make music and hang with them is a great joy.

Tickets for the Kitchener-Waterloo concert on Dec. 6th have just gone on sale.  If you’re thinking of attending, it’s best to make that decision early as these concerts tend to sell out.  Click HERE for details and to order tickets.

New Video!

The fun news around here is the new Video that we’ve just posted for you all.

Jeff Lukin | Videographer

Jeff Lukin | Videographer

Last spring, Jeff Lukin, my web-designer, asked me if he could do an experimental video for the song Everything We Need. He wanted to get local hip-hop artist, Fresh I.E. to lay a rap track on the song and then shoot a video. We had no budget for such things but he wanted to take a stab at it even if the resources were few.

Everything We Need

New Video!

I will admit I wasn’t convinced this was going to work. And I was traveling, and didn’t have time to really pay attention to it. But Jeff sold Fresh on the idea and between the two of them, they came up with what I think is a pretty exciting version of this great but simple song.  Then Jeff rented some cameras and a modest sound-stage to shoot the video.  I really am not comfortable in front of a camera, but Fresh is such a pro.   I think the results are a riot.  Jeff’s interpretation of the song brings a whole new meaning I hadn’t seen myself.

To watch the video click HERE. A BIG thanks to Fresh I.E. for his most excellent work.  And kudos to Jeff for pulling this off in such a unique and meaningful way. To read Jeff’s “Director’s Notes” click HERE

DEVOTION Wins Western Canadian Music Award | Brandon, Sept 20/09

WCMAI briefly wanted to mention how pleased I am that DEVOTION won the Best Gospel Recording award category at the Western Canadian Music Awards this past Sunday. (click HERE for official announcement)

I was touring, so I couldn’t attend the event but I specifically wanted to thank Roy Salmond (producer) and share the award with him –  as well as Gord Johnson who wrote most of the material on the project.  The uniqueness of this CD is due to the dedication these two gentlemen invest into their craft. Devotion was a labour of love for sure and I am so very pleased it resonates with others.

Daniel Roa

Daniel Roa

Thanks also to my manager Dave Zeglinski, and our wonderful staff Faye Hall, Jeff Lukin and Tim Plett.

Lastly, thanks to Daniel Roa (my drummer) for accepting the award on my behalf.  Daniel was on hand to receive his own award for Best Francophone Album. Félicitations Daniel! Bon Croissant!

A heads-up about Jon Buller’s new CD to be released in the next few weeks.

Jon Buller. Roy Salmond and myself |Devotion Tour 09

Jon Buller. Roy Salmond and myself |Devotion Tour 09

Many of you know Jon Buller’s music already. Jon is a tremendous singer/songwriter originally from Winnipeg, but currently residing in Vernon B.C. I’ve known Jon since he was a teenager and have watched him grow into the talent he has been blessed with.  Jon traveled with me last year as part of my band for the Devotion Tour. I’ve never seen anyone radiate from the stage the way Jon does and have a deep admiration for his talent, compassion and  devotion to Christ.

This last weekend I had rough tracks from his new album in my iPod. The new album highlights the “rockin” part of the lad and I think you’re going to really enjoy it.  We’ll do a big announcement and review of the CD when it becomes available. But for now, feel free to enjoy a song from his previous release Broken DrumBroken Drum would be up there among my favourite albums.

Click on the player (arrow) below to listen to Jon’s song:  I’d Rather Be

Thanks for following.  Have a great week!

Steve Bell

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