The Troubadours share their songs, inspirations
Writing a new song inspired by his homesteading grandparents put Red Deer country singer Duane Steele in an acoustic sort of mood.
The singer will share Country Folk and other introspective tunes destined for his next unplugged album, Drifts and Dreams, at a songwriter’s circle at Innisfail’s Century Theatre on Thursday.
The intimate concert, billed as The Troubadours, will also feature the singing and songwriting talents of Lisa Brokop, Paul Jefferson, Wyatt Easterling and Jake Mathews, who will share the same historic Innisfail stage and take turns performing with Steele.
Between them, the five artists have won and/or been nominated for 35 Country Music Awards (CCMA in Canada and CMA in the U.S.), and 18 Juno Awards. “I think it’s going to be fantastic,” predicted Steele, who is friends with all the other singer/songwriters.
He even recorded Two Names on an Overpass once as a duet with Brokop and the duo won a CCMA award for their effort.
Steele believes their easy camaraderie on stage will be evident. “I think the audience gets more out of this kind of concert because they get to hear the songs, and they get to hear how the songs were inspired.”
For instance, Steele might reveal that Country Folk was sparked by some old photos taken of his grandparents in the Peace River region, where both sides of his family came to farm in the early decades of the last century.
“I don’t know the details of their lives — what I know comes from family stories and photographs. But it must have been hard. They had very limited money and had to work to clear a certain number of acres every year. . . . People talk about ‘the good old days,’ but I’m not sure about that,” he added, with a laugh.
His new album, slated for 2013 release, will also contain the song Brave, which Steele co-wrote with Sean Hogan. “It’s about how crazy the world is and how having a good family can strengthen you,” he said.
On that note, Steele and his wife are raising their soon-to-be four-year-old son, Ryken, who’s started pre-school one day a week. Although the singer raised in Hines Creek has fairly constant concert engagements this fall, he’s planning to be back with his family in Red Deer for Christmas.
In the meantime, Steele looks forward to performing with The Troubadours, an interesting mix of Canadian (Brokop, Mathews) and American (Brokop’s husband Jefferson and Easterling) country performers.
“Every one of us has a rich catalogue of music, so I hope people come out and have a good time.”
Tickets to the 7:30 p.m. concert at 4939 50th St. in Innisfail, are $30 at the door. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. For more information, call 403-227-0044.