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Stephen Hardy Palmer: Simple Folk-Singing Road-Survivor

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 touring and playing support for most of the big name suspects during the ‘60s UK invasion. And then more steady dues 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. Now based in Moose Jaw Saskatchewan, he travels a troubadour circuit around Western Canada and the Northwestern US. Forty years as a traveling musician is a lot of road, and Steve Palmer is still playing and still touring. Grown enough to sing about life and simple pleasures with all the unhurried authority of a quiet and simple folk-singing road-survivor. 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'. Colin Lazzerini- ‘Root Cellar’.

The Story.....

THE BASICS: Born Edmonton AB, Canada May 2, 1948. Parents Miles Franklin Palmer and Queenie Aurelia Palmer. I was (and remain) the youngest of five, having 2 older brothers and 2 older sisters. Starting life at the end of the Swing Era, I can remember the radio always being on in our house. The Andrews Sisters, Tony Bennett, Bing Crosby, and my mother's favourite- Oscar Peterson introduced me to the world of music. In 1955 we got a TV- just in time to watch Elvis's first revolutionary appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show. (In 1964 the same Ed Sullivan Show introduced myself and the rest of the world to The Beatles.) Elvis was phenomenal but even bigger for me was The Kingston Trio's emergence on commercial radio in 1958. They introduced acoustic guitars and banjos to the airwaves and I was hooked! An inlaw (Wally Eurchuk) gave me a old guitar around this time and that got me started on my own musical journey. In High School I began jamming with friends and formed my first band The Time Machine in 1966. We tried to play a lot of Wilson Picket and Otis Redding soul music to some very puzzled small town dance crowds. My next groups were more succesful, playing our original Psychedelic-Folk rock at Lightshows and Be-ins. One of these groups- The Warp Factor- got to open locally and regionally for several 'name' acts of that time. Led Zeppelin was probably the biigest 'name' but we enjoyed meeting and hanging out with The Who, Spencer Davis Group, Eric Clapton (Cream), Jesse Colin Young, and The Guess Who. Through the 1970's I became a touring guitarist with loung and night club acts. In the 1980's I attended Capilano College to study voice and arranging. After that I started a career as guitarist/vocalist at first leading my own wedding bands the progressing to solo work. I now have 4 albums recorded (with a 5th album on the way) and I focus on concert work. I now tour throughout Canada from the West Coast to the Maritimes and I'm hoping to add Europe and the States to my tour schedule. The journey continues....


Reviews & Quotes

Steve's music helped make our Festival a good time for audience and organizers. Nothing but great reviews!" Phyllis Elmer Director Come By The Hills Festival Vermilion

“Not to be missed! Steve Palmer was a great addition to our Spring line-up, providing depth and variety that was much appreciated by our audience. He enchants and entertains with his superb guitar playing, wide-range of songs (we got to sing along on a number of them), resonant voice, and engaging chat (his quips and funny stories had us in stitches)".Peter Opryshko, Heartwood Folk Club

"My kind of music!" Paul Mills (Ontario Council of Folk Festivals)

“A gently timbered voice backed by some very stellar acoustic playing!” Gary Fjellgaard

"With his fine original songs, solid picking and easy-going humour, Steve Palmer earned a strong encore from our very appreciative audience." Vic Bell, Artistic Director Nickelodeon Music Club

"Steve Palmer played our club and definitely won over hearts and minds " - Peter Pirquet, Full Moon Folk Club

"His knowledge of music history is phenomenal. He sings well and can he ever play a guitar! He should consider teaching and share his knowledge. He explains the history of a song then follows! He interacts with the audience and we sang along. He is very nice, had excellent manners, and was respectful. We listened to one of his CD's on a drive today. What a pleasant experience that was. I want to get his other two..." (Don Tait, Quill Lake Arts Council)

“Steve Palmer is an amazing performer. His lyrics and at times his vocals conjure up Hoyt Axton, Jim Croce, or Leon Redbone. Steve is also a superb guitar player - "The Water is Wide" is one of the most beautiful instrumental arrangements I have ever heard..." - Anne Lawrie, Courtney BC

“Nice Playin!”- Valdy

That was a pretty good song to open a show…” Host Stuart McLean (‘Welcome Back/Come On In’ from ROOTS & STRINGS on CBC’s Vinyl Café)

Easygoing, sweet-pickin' Steve Palmer brought a cheerful summery Folk Fest vibe to the Fly and Camel Café in January. Thanks! Who says it's cold outside?! Chuck Kroeker, St. Mary's Road UC Music coordinator, Fly And Camel Café, Winnipeg


Lorraine Beverley Hill

Writer and Enthusiast!

March 20, 1955 - June 4, 2015

This summer I lost my life partner and best friend, Lorraine Hill. Lorraine loved meeting people and hearing their stories. She was an enthusiastic gardener, writer, and character home renovator. She loved collecting antique watches, and supporting antique musicians. Lorraine was also quite sentimental about small animals, kids (especially other people’s!), Farmer's Markets, garage sales, thrift stores, Latin dancing, and hats. In my heart forever.



CONTACT

Call Steve Palmer - (204) 291-1440

Email:steve@spmusic.ca



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