Steven Bowers

Steven Bowers

Nanaimo, British Columbia, CAN
SoloFolkAlternative

Steven Bowers is a gifted songwriter, singer and award-winning producer with 5 critically acclaimed recordings to his credit. He's been a repeat finalist in the International Songwriting Competition, an ECMA winner and three-time nominee, and twice won Producer of the Year from Music Nova Scotia.

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Biography

Steven Bowers

Steven Bowers has solidified his reputation as a gifted songwriter, singer and producer.

His latest recording, "Beothuk Words" (2011), was produced by Dale Murray (Cuff The Duke, Christina Martin, The Guthries). Recorded at Murray's studio in Port Howe, NS, "Beothuk Words" features nine compositions and many talented musicians including multi-instrumentalists Kev Corbett and Dale Murray, Keith Mullins (drums, percussion), Fleur Mainville (fiddle), Brian Murray (banjo), Daniel Ledwell (trumpets) and guest vocalist Christina Martin.

Regarding the title [Beothuk Words], Steven says: "I was wrapping up production and trying to finish two final tracks. I stumbled on an article about the Beothuk, who were native inhabitants of Newfoundland during the time of European colonization in the 15th and 16th centuries. They became extinct as a people in 1829, and subsequently much of their language was lost. That really stuck with me. The title of the record speaks to the lyrical themes of impermanence, seasonal cycles and generations. The album closer, "Song for Little You" was written after I found a photograph of my wife as a child. Its sister song and album opener "Song for Grown You", bookend the record, and the lost Beothuk Language, the idea that it came and left so quietly, was something that seemed to tie all of these ideas together."

Stevens limited edition 2009 EP titled Circadian Anthem, highlights five new songs and a fresh take on his song Comfortably Sweet featuring Christina Martin on lead vocals. "Comfortably Sweet" has since landed in the season four premiere episode of CBC TV' series "Heartland".

Steven Bowers' third full-length CD, "Homing" received significant airplay at CBC, specialty and folk radio programs across Canada, and generated nominations for Folk Recording, Songwriter and Producer of the Year from 2008 Music Nova Scotia Awards along with an East Coast Music Award nomination for Folk Recording of the Year. Steven was a finalist in the 2008 International Songwriting Competition for his song "Bees In Jars", while his song, The Boy Who Lost An Eye delivered a semi-finalist designation in the 2007 ISC and was the subject of a music video made as part of the Atlantic Film Festival's "10x10 program", under the guidance of LA filmmaker Norwood Cheek.

The title track, Homing, a duet with singer Meaghan Smith, was inspired by Halifax writer-broadcaster Stephanie Domet's novel of the same name but its roots stretch back several years. "I watched a special on the Discovery Channel about pigeons and sparrows and other birds who fly into buildings and die because they think they are flying into the horizon. It was very sad," Bowers says. "That image stuck with me and seemed almost too easy a metaphor for people who flock to cities from small towns. Also, pigeons move and weave through people's feet on the busiest of streets here in the city. They go unnoticed, just trying to find some food and make a life for themselves. As a songwriter they are perfect fodder for my incessant need to find despair in something and give it a voice."

Steven's 2006 folk-pop release, "Tired Light" delivered nominations for 2007 ECMA Pop Recording Of The Year, 2006 MusicNS Songwriter Of The Year, Pop-Rock Recording Of The Year and won the 2006 Producer Of The Year Award from MusicNS (with co-producers Matt Miller and Keith Mullins).

Several of the songs on "Tired Light " are the result of Bowers collaboration with other writers, including popular folk artist Dave Gunning, guitarist Jamie Robinson, and a duet/co-write with songwriting icon, Ron Hynes.

Steven Bowers won the 2004 Producer Of The Year Award (w/co-producer Dave Gunning) for his debut full-length disc "Wanderlust". Several tracks made Top 10 on the East Coast Countdown.

Lyrics

Bees In Jars

Written By: Steven Bowers


Well baby you’re the breaker of
A hundred thousand hearts or so I’m told
You were raised just like your mother
And she was brazen beauty good as gold
And we grew up together but could never
Quite remember the same years
And they’re rolling by so fast these days
No one’s got a chance to stop for air
**
And so you cry yourself to sleep at night
You cry yourself awake and back and forth
And pray the ‘rum & coke & cigarettes’
Will make you so much braver for it
Though it won’t
And there’s a storm on the horizon
The storm that’s in your heart
**
And you said your years were going wrong
Though I remember not too long ago
When you were my girl
We were devils on our bikes
And you held your hands around the stars
While I was catching bees in jars for you
I’d chase you with them and we’d run like holy hell
**
Well baby you’re the breaker of
A hundred thousand hearts including mine
Though I swear I’m better for it
And you put it back together just in time
And it’s true my love we’re hopeless
Because the stillness comes and fills us all with sound
And now there’s a storm on the horizon
The storm that’s in your heart
**
And you said your years were going wrong
Though I remember not too long ago
When you were my girl
We were devils on our bikes
And you held your hands around the stars
While I was catching bees in jars for you
I’d chase you with them and we’d run like holy hell
**
In the sunlight
In the sunlight
We had a witness in the sunlight

(c) Steven Bowers - SOCAN

Fade on the Line

Written By: Steven Bowers/Dave Gunning


Well our house has fallen
But the clothesline still stands
And the ghost of your dress
Got hung out again
Maybe I’m a ghost who
Couldn’t leave town
Me and this clothesline
Just hang around
**
And I am so dry
As everything passes by
But I won’t leave on the wind
I’ll stay in the sun
And fade on the line
**
They say everything changes
But the grey has always been here
Under the colors
It longs to appear
But if I knew then
Just what I know now
I’d have carried your colors
Far away from this town
**
And if you were here right now
You’d pull me down
You’d pull me down
And if you were here right now
You’d pull me down
To the ground
**
So I wish I could visit
A graveyard for noise
The sound of the trains
And of girls chasing boys
I’d walk by each headstone
I’d leave flowers beside
One that read simply:
“A sweet voice here lies”

(C) Steven Bowers & Dave Gunning - SOCAN

It Breaks You So

Written By: Steven Bowers

It Breaks You So

When you are old and coming home some blustery night
Kickin’ your winter boots off
I hope I'm there to hardly hear your return
Sleepin' homemade wine off by the woodstove
And maybe you will come and lay beside me
And after fifty years you'll look the same
To this old man with cataracts
Who'll love you so

When you're fit-to-be-tied at your ears
For what they no longer register:
Songs of bully mockingbirds who return
To see how much you've silvered
And crows of years who reappear to blind you and
Leave a trail of footprints by your eyes
Out the door - down the road
And it breaks you so

(Solo Break)

And cryin' in the canyon of your living room
Thinkin’ time is such a mess
You become the echo of your Mother's voice
The way she became your Nan's I guess
It seems like only yesterday my darlin'
We put the spittin' images to bed
Where'd they go?
Where'd they go?
To make their own
Make their own
And it breaks you so

© Steven Bowers 2007 - SOCAN

Homing

Written By: Steven Bowers

Homing

A pigeon truly wants out of the city
But she doesn’t have a heading or a mark
On these grounds - she stays ‘round Clayton Park
And she knows the Frontier’s plea off by heart
“You follow me, because I don’t mind”
But she can’t tell the real horizon
From the beautiful high-rise
Reflecting a deadly setting sun

The thought of being towed by all this evening mountain gold
Has her happy as a lark
On these grounds she taxies Clayton Park
And she knows the Frontier’s plea off by heart
“You follow me, because I don’t mind”.
She barrels for the sunset blaze
Wonders why she feels the rays
Behind her confused little heart

She says:
“I just want to get out
Fly down to the river
Where all the pigeons go
When they need to feel somethin’
I’m tired of walkin’
Through the city unnoticed
And what’s even worse
Is that my whole existence
Is a metaphor for someone
Out there writing songs (stories)
‘Cause he/she tired of
Walkin’ through the city unnoticed”
Always homing
And never home
Always homing
And never home

© Steven Bowers 2007 SOCAN

Comfortably Sweet

Written By: Steven Bowers

Comfortably Sweet

If I could bust into your heart and reach
The truth and mystery beneath
The reasons you can’t sleep
Here with you
I will always be thirteen
And this whole world is you and me
In consistent melody
By your sea
Embracing peace
You don’t need
No pills to keep you down, love
You just need someone else around
So everything’s complete
Comfortably sweet
Don’t you ever leave

When you can’t
Fall asleep without the sound of
Someone near you keeping count
Of your breathing in and out
And if you have another dream
In which you drown, love
I’ll go to sleep and track you down
We’ll sink together in the sea
Comfortably sweet
Don’t you ever leave

With you I’ll always be thirteen
And this whole world is you and me
You are consistent melody
You’ll forever be
Submersed in peace
With everything complete
You’re comfortably sweet
Don’t you ever leave

Words & Music © Steven Bowers, SOCAN

Performed by Christina Martin and Steven Bowers, w/ Dale Murray.

Song For Grown You

Written By: Steven Bowers

Song for Grown You

Your parents danced and you was born
Like a marigold you grew
You watched them age like apple cores
Waltzing 'til they couldn't

Be as gentle as you can with her, and
Monday, please go easy on us
You outnumber us, and you'll outlive us
And Winter, please fasten to your dress
Dead leaves what left you
And take us out dancing

And be as gentle as you can with her and...

Everybody gets to be
An orphan before long
You watched your mother
turn to one
With courage in
Her heart

(Chorus)

**
© Steven Bowers 2011 (SOCAN)

Beothuk Words

Written By: Steven Bowers

Beothuk Words

Penny for your thoughts
I think you hurt yourself too often
Spend the penny on a drink
So you don’t have to hear the words
We’re smoking in your car
But this will also be forgotten
And the clouds were made of cotton
And the bruises made of berries
And they stained your lips
In the summer
You tell me that you love me
I wish you’d tell me that in person
Instead of when I’m dreaming
When you’re written by my brain
You’re in the hallway cold
And my heartbeat when it’s stopping
When the clouds are made of cotton
And the bruises made of berries
That stained your lips
In the summer

So sing to me in your tongue
Sweet Beothuk Words will echo
Winter on the Exploits River
Nothing’s really lost you know

There’s an aching in your bones
There’s a static in the speakers
And investigator ghosts
Looking for the living proof
There’s a clearing by your house
That the seasons have forgotten
Where the clouds are made of cotton
And the bruises made of berries
That stained your lips
In the summer

So sing to me in your tongue
Sweet Beothuk Words will echo
Winter on the Exploits River
Nothing’s really lost, you know?

© Steven Bowers (SOCAN)

Migration

Written By: Steven Bowers

Migration

She said "Do you realize how a monarch butterfly moves in migration? A single one is born and goes the one direction that it knows, and that's its purpose. So a little life arrives and leaves and only sees a little piece of the equation. Because they only live so long, the distance that they need to go takes generations."

I told her I was bored.

She said "Imagine forty years from now when you're dying, picture yourself coming back to be with me again right here in this moment. Would you feel that way, or would it be replaced with a joy so overwhelming?"

My love has that kind of heart
She'd sew the fins to broken sharks
Bring elephants their ivory
My love has that kind of heart
she makes it stop before it starts
and we do our part
On through the snow
In our migration

© Steven Bowers – 2011 SOCAN

Discography

2011 - Beothuk Words CD
produced by Dale Murray

2011 - "Wood Buffalo Youth Song Project" CD
produced by Steven Bowers
featuring Thom Swift and Keith Mullins
Winner ECMA Children's Recording of the Year

2009 - Circadian Anthem (Limited Edition EP)
(incl. "Comfortably Sweet" featuring
Christina Martin)

2008 - Homing CD
(incl. "Bees In Jars", finalist in the 2007
International Songwriting Competition and
"The Boy Who lost An Eye", semi-finalist in the
2007 ISC)

2006 - Tired Light
- "Bees In Jars", 1st single at radio in Atl Can
- 13 wks @ Top 10 on East Coast Countdown
- "Only One" 2nd single at radio in Atl Can.
- hit #4 on East Coast Countdown
- MusicNS Producer of the Year Award
(Steven Bowers, Keith Mullins, Matt Miller)

2003 - Wanderlust
- radio single "Run Aground" named #9 song
of 2004 on East Coast Countdown
- MusicNS "Producer of the Year" Award
(Steven Bowers & Dave Gunning)

2001 - In Theory (EP)

Compilation CDS
2008 - One Night In January - Songs for the IWK
Volume 2. (produced by Steven Bowers &
Aaron Pellerine)
2007 - One Night In January - Songs for the IWK
(produced by Steven Bowers)
2006 - Collections Volume I (IWK Telethon CD)
2005 - Best of East Coast Countdown Vol. 1
2005 - ECMA Cape Breton 2005 Sneak Peek
2005 - Atlantic Film Festival Music & Image I

Steven Bowers songs on recordings by other artists:

Kim Dunn/Take This Hammer CD
"Backroads of Heaven" (co-written by Steven Bowers & Kim Dunn)

Dave Gunning/House For Sale CD:
"Fade On The Line" ( co-written by Steven Bowers & Dave Gunning)

"Taking Turns" (co-written by Steven Bowers & Dave Gunning)

Dave Gunning/two bit world CD:
"Parallel Lines" (co-written by Steven Bowers & Dave Gunning)

Set List

Steven Bowers performs original music, both as a solo artist and with his band, The Whiskey Hymnal.
Usually 2 x 40 minute sets, or as event requires. Will occasionally include a cover tune.