Steve Bell (musician)
Bell in 2009
November 17, 1960 |
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
|Origin||Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada|
|Occupation(s)||performer, songwriter, producer|
Steve Bell (born November 17, 1960) is a Canadian singer-songwriter and guitarist based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. He is among the best-known Christian musicians in Canada and is an accomplished songwriter and record producer. Bell has an extensive catalogue of songs including "Deep Calls to Deep", "Eventide" and "Fresh and Green". Before embarking on his solo career he was a long-time member of the group Elias, Schritt, and Bell. In 1989, Bell founded the independent recording label Signpost Music along with Dave Zeglinski, long-time friend and co-producer. His first solo album, Comfort My People, was released on Signpost that same year. Bell now has eighteen albums to his credit. Among his many awards are two Junos and several GMA Canada Covenant Awards.
Steve Bell has been performing music since childhood. His recording career began at 13 when his family's gospel band, The Alf Bell Family Singers, recorded an LP. The album contains some of his earliest songwriting. After graduating from high school he was a member of a succession of bands playing a number of different musical genres. For three years he played with the secular folk trio Elias, Schritt and Bell, along with Tim Elias and John Schritt. The group released one commercial studio album, Awakening, in 1982. Bell quit the band and performed with various artists (Rocki Rolletti, Rhonda Hart, Byron O'Donnell, Bob King) until 1988 when he withdrew from performing. It was during this period that his childhood Christian faith became reanimated and over a six-month period wrote most of the material for his first four solo projects. Faced with a lack of interest from established labels he formed the Indie record label Signpost Music in 1989 and released his first solo album. The first edition of Comfort My People comprised 300 Cassettes.
Bell has gone on to release fifteen solo albums. His tours have taken him all over North America and the world. In 1994 Signpost Music received a boost when Bell became business partners with his co-producer Dave Zeglinski. Bell was the Juno Awards' first winner in the Best Gospel Album category in 1998. That category was created from the former Blues/Gospel Album category, which represented the industry's recognition of Contemporary Christian Music in Canada. He has also won and been nominated for several Gospel Music Association Canada Covenant Awards, including Male Vocalist of the Year, Recorded Song of the Year and Album of the Year. Bell performed at the 30th annual Covenant Awards night on October 24, 2008.
In recent years Bell created two symphony series for concerts (scored by Mike Janzen), and has performed 22 sold-out or capacity-crowd concerts with symphonies across Canada. Bell's concert DVD, Steve Bell in Concert with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, won a 2009 International Christian Visual Media Gold Crown Award for Best Music Video.
All of his solo albums have Canadian distribution through Signpost Music.
- Blessings, volume 1
- Can God Be Trusted, volume 2
- Co-wrote "Tremble" with Glen Soderholm on his album By Faint Degrees (Pilgrim Gargoyle Recording, 2000)
- Co-wrote "These Are The Ones" with Glen Soderholm on his album This Bright Sadness (Signpost, 2008)
- "Everything We Need" (2009, video) (with Fresh I.E.)
- Mandolin and vocals on Glen Soderholm's album In the Belly of the Fish (Pilgrim Gargoyle Recording, 1997)
- Background vocals on Glen Soderholm's By Faint Degrees (Pilgrim Gargoyle Recording, 2000)
- Mandolin and guitar on "It Has to Be You", on Carolyn Arends' album Travelers (Signpost, 2001)
- Duet on "Who You Are" on Carolyn Arends' album Under the Gaze (2B Records, 2004)
- Duet on "When I Survey The Wondrous Cross" with Lianna Klassen on her album Out of Borderland (Dawntreader Productions, 2004)
- Harmony vocals on "All Is Made Well" on Glen Soderholm's World Without End (Signpost, 2006)
- Background vocals on "Tonight I Am the Wind" with Kerri Woelke on her album Where We Were (Signpost, 2008)
- Background vocals on "Never Say Goodbye" on Carolyn Arends' album Love Was Here First (Signpost, 2009)
- The Music of Steve Bell (1989–1995)
- Romantics & Mystics (1997)
- Simple Songs (2000)
- Waiting for Aidan (2001)
Songs in other projects
- Window of Hope, "Here by the Water", "Burning Ember", "Ready My Heart" and "Psalm 32" (Gospel Music Foundation, 2002)
- Signpost Collections Vol. 1, "Ever Present Need", "Stay Awake" (Signpost, 2003)
- Sea to Sea: Filled With Your Glory, "Jesus My Glory" (CMC, 2004)
- Canadian Bible Society centennial CD: Good News Celebration, "Eventide" (CMC, 2006)
- GMA Canada presents 30th Anniversary Collection, "Deep Calls To Deep" (CMC, 2008)
- Sea to Sea: Christmas, "Coventry Carol" (Lakeside, 2009)
- Steve Bell - In Concert, at Home, and With Friends (1996)
- Steve Bell Band In Concert (1999)
- Steve Bell in Concert with The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra (2007, review)
Awards and recognition
Note that years indicated represent award ceremony dates, not the years in which qualifying albums were released.
- Gold Crown Award
- 2009 Best Music Video: Steve Bell in Concert with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra
- 2001 two nominations: Favourite Male Artist of the Year, and Favourite Song of the Year: "Burning Ember"
- 2002 Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year: Waiting for Aidan
- 2006 four nominations, including: Male Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year: My Dinner with Bruce,
Folk/Roots Album of the Year: My Dinner with Bruce and Recorded Song of the Year: "Lord of the Starfields"
- 2007 nominee, Male Vocalist of the Year
- 2008 Producer of the Year (with Dave Zeglinski)
- 2009 Jazz/Blues Song of the Year: "Embrace the Mystery"
- 2011 Folk/Roots Album of the Year (tie): Kindness
- 1998 Best Gospel Album: Romantics & Mystics
- 2001 Best Gospel Album: Simple Songs
- 2002 nominee, Best Gospel Album: Waiting for Aidan
- 2010 nominee, Best Contemporary Christian/Gospel Album: Devotion
- 2001 Outstanding Christian Recording: Simple Songs
- 2001 Outstanding Producer (with Dave Zeglinski): Simple Songs
- 2002 Outstanding Christian Recording: Waiting For Aidan 
- Shai/Vibe Awards
- 2003 Male Vocalist of the Year
- 2004 Artist of the Year
- 2004 Male Soloist of the Year
- 2005 nominee, Male Soloist of the Year
- 2004 nominee, Outstanding Christian Recording (with Sarah Bell): Sons & Daughters
- 2004 nominee, Outstanding Producer (with Dave Zeglinski): Sons & Daughters
- 2008 Outstanding Contemporary Christian/Gospel Recording: Symphony Sessions
- 2009 Contemporary Christian/Gospel Recording of the Year: Devotion
- 2012 Recipient
- Harris, Holly (November 19, 2006). "http://thesymphonysessions.com/2009/06/steve-bell-seeks-finds-connection-with-fans/". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved May 19, 2012.
- Forrest, Ben (November 1, 2002). "Country Guide: Steve Bell". Cross Rhythms (71). Retrieved September 27, 2008.
- Hjalmarson, Len (August 17, 2006). "Steve Bell Interview Part I". Retrieved September 27, 2008.
- Emusic Canada review. Retrieved September 27, 2008.
- Dawes, David F. (March 2004). "(News) Steve Bell offers a Signpost of the times". Canadian Christianity. Retrieved November 2, 2008.
- Signpost Village. Retrieved September 6, 2008.[dead link]
- Fieguth, Debra (April 14, 1998). "Gospel Juno goes to Steve Bell". ChristianWeek. Retrieved September 27, 2008.[dead link]
- GMAC 2008 Covenant Award Performers (Awards held October 24, 2008).
- 2009 Crown Award Winners at International Christian Visual Media. Retrieved November 29, 2009.
- Rimmer, Mike (April 1, 1998). "(Review) Comfort My People". Cross Rhythms (44). Retrieved October 12, 2008.
- Rimmer, Mike (April 1, 1998). "(Review) Burning Ember". Cross Rhythms (44). Retrieved February 4, 2008.
- Lennie, Tom (December 1, 1998). "(Review) The Feast: Songs for Advent, Nativity, Epiphany". Cross Rhythms (48). Retrieved October 12, 2008.
- Lennie, Tom (December 1, 1998). "(Review) Romantics and Mystics". Cross Rhythms (48). Retrieved October 12, 2008.
- "(Review) Steve Bell - Beyond A Shadow". Billboard Magazine. June 26, 1999. Retrieved October 5, 2008.[dead link]
- Rimmer, Mike (June 1, 2000). "(Review) In Concert". Cross Rhythms (57). Retrieved October 12, 2008.
- Newcomb, Brian Quincy (March 2001). "(Review) Simple Songs". CCM Magazine. Retrieved October 19, 2008.
- Breimeier, Russ. "(Review) Waiting For Aidan". Christianity Today. Retrieved October 12, 2008.
- Langmaid, Wilfred (March 1, 2004). "(News) Second generation a welcome addition". Anglican Journal. Retrieved February 4, 2008.[dead link]
- Dalton, Michael (October 23, 2005). "(Review) Solace for Seasons of Suffering". The Phantom Tollbooth. Retrieved February 2, 2008.
- Dalton, Michael (March 25, 2006). "(Review) My Dinner with Bruce (Songs of Bruce Cockburn)". The Phantom Tollbooth. Retrieved February 2, 2008.
- Breimeier, Russ (2006). "(Review) My Dinner with Bruce: Songs of Bruce Cockburn". Christianity Today. Retrieved February 2, 2008.
- Dalton, Michael (December 18, 2006). "(Review) Story and Song (live) Volume One". The Phantom Tollbooth. Retrieved February 2, 2008.
- Martin, D.S. (March 1, 2008). "(Review) Orchestral performance lifts Bell to new heights". Christian Week. Retrieved October 18, 2008.
- Dalton, Michael (November 11, 2007). "(Review) Symphony Sessions". The Phantom Tollbooth. Retrieved February 2, 2008.
- Wilkinson, Paul (October 9, 2008). "(Review) Canada’s Steve Bell’s ‘Devotion’ - An Album Review". WordPress.com. Retrieved November 2, 2008.
- Hills, Gareth (June 10, 2011). "(Review) Steve Bell - Kindness". Cross Rhythms. Retrieved March 3, 2012.
- Dalton, Michael (January 24, 2009). "(Review) Steve Bell in concert with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra DVD". The Phantom Tollbooth. Retrieved April 25, 2009.
- Steve received eight further 2008 GMA Canada nominations: Artist of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Album of the Year: Symphony Sessions, Classical/Traditional Album of the Year: Symphony Sessions, Recorded Song of the Year: "Deep Calls To Deep", Classical/Traditional Song of the Year: "Burning Ember", Instrumental Song of the Year: "Moon Over Birkenau" and CD/DVD Artwork Design of the Year: Symphony Sessions (with Brian Kauste). CGMA 2008 Covenant Award Nominees. Retrieved November 11, 2008.
- Steve Bell also received five other 2009 GMAC nominations, for: Album of the Year: Devotion, Inspirational Album of the Year: Devotion, Recorded Song of the Year: "Praise The Father", Folk/Roots Song of the Year: "The Lorica", and for CD/DVD Artwork Design of the Year: Devotion. GMAC 2009 Covenant Award Nominees. Retrieved October 25, 2009.
- Brian Kauste also won a 2002 Outstanding CD/DVD Artwork Design award for Waiting For Aidan
- These Canadian Christian/Gospel music awards were originally known as the Vibe awards. The name was changed to Shai Awards in 2005 to avoid confusion with the controversial American Vibe Magazine awards.
- The Western Canadian Music Awards succeeded the Prairie Music Awards from 2003.
- "Steve Bell Awarded Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal". December 1, 2012. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
- Official website
- Marshall, Drew (November 8, 2008). "(Podcast) Live studio interview with Steve Bell". The Drew Marshall Show (JOY 1250). Retrieved March 30, 2009.
- Solace for Seasons of Suffering album site
- CBC Radio 2: Concerts On Demand : Steve Bell & The WSO - A Feast of Seasons Concert recording of December 14, 2007.
- Hjalmarson, Len (August 17, 2006). "Steve Bell interview". Next Reformation. Retrieved February 4, 2008.
- Kendle, John. "Lord's player: Folksinger Steve Bell rings up Juno awards with style". Canoe. Retrieved June 18, 2008.