Steele in Red Deer: Catch him while you can

Having released an album of Dirt and Dreams, local country musician Duane Steele is gearing up for a rare hometown concert in Red Deer.

Having released an album of Dirt and Dreams, local country musician Duane Steele is gearing up for a rare hometown concert in Red Deer.

The Canadian Country Music Association Award-winning artist has been living here for the past 15 years, but to hear him perform, Red Deer-area residents usually have had to trek around the province or even go as far as the Yukon.

Steele admits he doesn’t do a lot of local shows as a way of not over-playing his welcome. “There’s the idea that if you play too much in your own town, then it becomes not as much of a ‘thing.”

If that’s so, then his Saturday, March 5, show at the Golden Circle should be quite the thing.

It will be the first chance for many Red Deer residents to hear Steele perform a series of tunes from his 2015 country-folk album, Dirt and Dreams — as well as older favourites such as Anita Got Married, Stuck on Your Love, Tell the Girl, The Trouble With Love and others

With no local CD release party last year, “this gig has been a year in the making!” joked Steele, who looks forward to being part of the Golden Circle’s music series. “My music is now not about the party, but the songs … so it’s a nice place for me to be right now, with a listening audience.”

His sixth studio album is more country-roots flavoured than previous efforts. Steele has always considered himself foremost a singer/songwriter and feels this more folky album reflects this, with tunes ranging from the personal to the speculative.

Country Folk is an ode to his late parents’ homesteading roots. Steele said his dad’s family emigrated from Scandinavia to Wisconsin, then Saskatchewan, before settling in the Fairview area of northern Alberta in the 1920s. His Mom’s clan arrived in the province in the 1930s from Scandinavia and Scotland.

Steele grew up with 10 siblings, which means “you had to fight for every square inch of turf!” he confessed. While the family farm was sold during his parent’s lifetime, many of Steele’s sisters married into farm families, so crops are still a big topic of family conversation.

His song Johnny’s Dream takes an imaginative spin on a real-life experience. When Steele first arrived in Nashville in the mid-1990s, he and his friends excitedly headed right over to Music Row, even though it was a gloomy, rainy Sunday night. The streets were deserted except for one young musician who was earnestly performing under a tarp in the hopes of finding an audience.

“There he was, just belting his heart out, singing and playing … and I thought, this is just bizarre … There was no one else around, but he obviously had this dream of making it.”

Steele lived in Nashville for six years and loved the city. Then his first marriage collapsed, and his U.S. record deal was about to end, while his career was taking off in Canada.

The circumstances prompted his move back to Alberta, and “it turned out for the good,” said the singer, who racked up CCMA awards for a duet with Lisa Brokop on the single Two Names on an Overpass as well as Independent Male Vocalist of the Year, among other accolades.

Steele now has his own label, Jolt Records, upon which his last four albums were released. Dirt and Dreams was recorded at the Jeff Bradshaw production studio in Leslieville, with “four of us musicians recording the album live off the floor,” recalled the singer, who co-produced the album.

Steele is married again, with a seven-year-old son, and isn’t letting any dust settle before making his next release. “We’re recording a bunch of new songs and hoping to do another new album by this fall.”

Before this month is over, he’ll take advantage of one of the “perks” of being a performer — he’s flying to a gig in Mazatlan, Mexico, where he will entertain at a hotel and likely jam with Alberta ex-pat Dick Damron, who winters there.

“If you can’t get rich playing, at least you can perform in some beautiful places!” he said, with a chuckle.

Tickets to the 7 p.m. concert are $20 in advance from the Golden Circle, 4620-47A Ave. For more information, please call 403-343-6074.

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Red Deer realtors share precautions in aftermath of Calgary sex assault

“Safety is a huge issue,” says local realtor

Man charged after string of break and enters

Break-ins occurred at rural properties

Updated: Red Deer Mountie’s sexual assault trial begins

RCMP officer facing sexual assault with a weapon and breach of trust charges

Central Albertans invited to bring concerns to air quality meeting

Parkland Airshed Managment Zone holds public meeting June 25

WATCH: Hundreds run in the 5K Foam Fest in Red Deer

The annual event took place at Heritage Ranch on Saturday

Italy’s Milan-Cortina wins vote to host 2026 Winter Olympics

LAUSANNE, Switzerland — Riding a wave of widespread Italian enthusiasm to be… Continue reading

Productivity gains outpace steep rise in agricultural energy use since 1990

CALGARY — Third-generation farmer Ron Lamb remembers his father pulling six-metre-wide crop-seeding… Continue reading

Health: Believing myths is bad for your heart

George Orwell, the English journalist, wrote, “Myths that are believed in tend… Continue reading

Family: We all get by with just a little help from our friends

The celebration of our great country of Canada is waiting in the… Continue reading

Cavallini, David scores 3 goals, Canada defeats Cuba 7-0

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Coach John Herdman couldn’t be happier about the state… Continue reading

Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse lands same job with Canada’s men’s team

Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse is the new coach of Canada’s… Continue reading

Steamy romance novelist Judith Krantz dies at 91

LOS ANGELES — Writer Judith Krantz, whose million-selling novels such as “Scruples”… Continue reading

Flying Wallendas safely cross Times Square on high wire

NEW YORK — Two siblings from the famed Flying Wallendas safely crossed… Continue reading

Most Read