Steve Bell (musician)

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For other people named Steve Bell, see Steve Bell (disambiguation).
Steve Bell
Bell in 2009
Background information
Born (1960-11-17) November 17, 1960 (age 55)[1]
Calgary, Alberta, Canada[2]
Origin Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Genres folk
Occupation(s) performer, songwriter, producer
Instruments guitar, vocals
Labels Signpost

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.

Musical career[edit]

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.[2][3] 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.[2][4] 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.[5] The first edition of Comfort My People comprised 300 Cassettes.[6]

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.[7] 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.[8]

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.[9]


  • Released: 1982

Comfort My People (review[10])

  • Released: 1989
  • Label: Signpost
  • Producer: Steve Bell
  • Tracks: "Psalm 90", "Comfort My People", "Amen, Listen to Our Prayer", "Jenny", "You Are to Be Holy", "Ride On, King Jesus", "Shepherd of Life", "The Lord Has Done Great Things", "You Are Near", "The Lord's Prayer"

Deep Calls to Deep

  • Released: 1992
  • Label: Signpost
  • Producer: John Paul O'Neill
  • Tracks: "Wings of an Eagle", "Why Do We Hunger for Beauty", "Hear Our Prayer", "Faith's Song", "Cashe Island", "Fashion for Me", "Deep Calls to Deep", "What A Longing", "Marie", "Blessed are the Poor", "The Wellspring / Holy Lord"

Burning Ember (review[11])

  • Released: 1994
  • Label: Signpost
  • Producer: Steve Bell, Dave Zeglinski
  • Tracks: "Dakota Hymn", "As Long As the Sun", "Psalm 40", "Never Mind", "How Long", "House of Peace", "Song for the Life", "So Long", "She's In Love With Me", "I Will Not Be Shaken", "Burning Ember", "Psalm 32", "Even So Lord Jesus Come"

the Feast of Seasons (Christmas seasonal; review[12])

  • Released: 1995
  • Label: Signpost, Rhythm House (US)
  • Producer: Steve Bell, Dave Zeglinski
  • Tracks: "Ready My Heart", "May It Be Done", "Magnificat (Holy Is His Name)", "The Angel Gabriel", "Come Thou Long Expected Jesus", "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen / Angels We Have Heard On High / Silent Night (Instrumental)", "The Coventry Carol", "O Holy Night", "I Heard the Bells", "Every Stone Shall Cry", "Home Again (Old Sage)", "The Coventry Carol (Reprise)"

Romantics & Mystics (review[13])

  • Released: 1997
  • Label: Signpost
  • Producer: Steve Bell, Dave Zeglinski
  • Tracks: "Dark Night of the Soul", "Here By the Water", "Remember Me", "Alone Tonight", "Drumheller Circle", "All for a Loveless Night", "Moon Over Birkenau", "Lament for a Nation", "Keeping Vigil", "This Is Love", "Can I Go With You", "Let's Do It Again"

Beyond a Shadow (review[14])

  • Released: 1999
  • Label: Signpost, Rhythm House (US)
  • Producer: Steve Bell, John Paul O'Neill, Dave Zeglinski
  • Tracks: "Here By the Water", "Remember Me", "Wings of An Eagle", "Psalm 40", "Never Mind", "How Long", "Burning Ember", "Drumheller Circle", "Ride On, King Jesus", "Shepherd of Life", "The Wellspring", "Holy Lord", "This Is Love"

Steve Bell Band Live in Concert (US version titled Each Rare Moment; review[15])

  • Released: 1999
  • Label: Signpost, Rhythm House (US)
  • Producer: Steve Bell, Dave Zeglinski
  • Tracks: "Ready My Heart", "Comfort My People", "Burning Ember", "Hear Our Prayer", "The Wellspring", "Holy Lord", "Wings of An Eagle", "I Feel the Winds of God Today", "The Story of Drumheller Circle", "Drumheller Circle", "Shepherd of Life", "Here By the Water", "Come Home", "Deep Calls to Deep"

Simple Songs (review[16])

  • Released: 2000
  • Label: Signpost
  • Producer: Steve Bell, Dave Zeglinski
  • Tracks: "God Our Protector", "Home", "High Above the Fray", "Fox Glove", "All the Diamonds", "Down the Way", "Done Made My Vow", "What Kind of Love Is This", "Unto the Least of These", "Fresh and Green", "Peace Prayer", "Come Thou Long Expected Jesus / Be Thou My Vision / Great Is Thy Faithfulness", "We Come", "For the Journey"

Waiting for Aidan (review[17])

  • Released: 2001
  • Label: Signpost
  • Producer: Steve Bell, Dave Zeglinski
  • Tracks: "Eventide", "Jesus My Glory", "Pleasing to You", "Somebody's Gotta Pay", "Restless", "The Water Runs", "Diamonds From the Other Side", "Waiting for Aidan", "A Sorrow for Connoisseurs", "Oh Love", "Psalm 121", "Stay Awake", "Eventide (Reprise)"

Sons & Daughters (with daughter Sarah Bell[18])

  • Released: 2003
  • Label: Signpost
  • Producer: Steve Bell, Dave Zeglinski
  • Tracks: "In the Morning", "Hosea (Come Back to Me)", "Ever Present Need", "We Believe In Love", "I'll Fly Away", "Psalm 116", "Getting Ready for Glory", "Everything's Lies", "Air Jam", "Subtle Shiver", "Lauds", "The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)"
  • Bonus tracks: "Rain Song"

Solace for Seasons of Suffering (review[19])

  • Released: 2005
  • Label: Signpost
  • Director: Steve Bell, Dave Zeglinski
  • Tracks: "Psalm 90", "God Our Protector", "Remember Me", "Burning Ember", "Shepherd of Life", "How Long", "Dark Night of the Soul", "Moon Over Birkenau", "Ever Present Need", "Wings of An Eagle", "Hear Our Prayer", "Deep Calls to Deep", "For the Journey", "Hymn Medley"

My Dinner with Bruce (reviews[20][21])

  • Released: 2006
  • Label: Signpost
  • Producer: Steve Bell, Dave Zeglinski
  • Tracks: "Lord of the Starfields", "Wondering Where the Lions Are", "Red Brother Red Sister", "Going to the Country", "All the Ways I Want You", "The Coming Rains", "Thoughts On A Rainy Afternoon", "Pacing the Cage", "Southland of the Heart", "Closer to the Light", "My Lady and My Lord", "God Bless the Children", "Love Loves You Too"

Story and Song (vol. 1) (review[22])

  • Released: 2006
  • Label: Signpost
  • Producer: Dave Zeglinski
  • Tracks: "Intro", "Psalm 40", "Fat and Flourishing", "Fresh and Green", "Go Forth and Multiply", "Marie", "Romance and Reality", "That's Alright With Me", "Censoring the Laments", "How Long", "Pick Up the Phone", "In Closing", "Lauds"

Symphony Sessions (reviews[23][24])

  • Released: 2007
  • Label: Signpost
  • Producer: Steve Bell, Dave Zeglinski
  • Tracks: "Burning Ember", "Deep Calls to Deep", "Dark Night of the Soul", "Here By the Water", "Even So Lord Jesus Come", "Moon Over Birkenau", "This Is Love", "Pleasing to You", "Waiting for Aidan", "Lord of the Starfields", "The Wellspring", "Holy Lord", "Eventide"

Devotion (worship album; review[25])

  • Released: 2008
  • Label: Signpost
  • Producer: Roy Salmond
  • Tracks: "Almighty God", "Everything We Need", "He Will Know", "Praise the Father", "Gone Is the Light", "Embrace the Mystery", "Jesus Feed Us", "Who Condemns You Now", "The Lorica", "Benediction", "Praise the Father (String Mix)", "Gone Is the Light (String Mix)"

Kindness (review[26])

  • Released: February 10, 2011 (2011-02-10)
  • Label: Signpost
  • Tracks: "About Love", "Kindness", "Changes", "Good Friend", "Absalom, Absalom", "These are the Ones", "In Billy's Wake", "Stubble and Hay", "Birth of a Song", "Greatest Gift", "Gifting and the Giver", "Was it a Morning Like This"

Keening for the Dawn / Meditations on Advent, Christmastide and Epiphany (Christmas album)

  • Released: October 1, 2012 (2012-10-01)
  • Label: Signpost

Pilgrimage / A Four Disc Box Set Celebrating 25 Years / Essay by John Stackhouse Jr. (25th Anniversary - Four Discs - Book)

  • Released: October 1, 2014 (2014-10-01)
  • Label: Signpost

All of his solo albums have Canadian distribution through Signpost Music.

Audio magazines[edit]

  • 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.)

Notable appearances[edit]

  • 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)

Song books[edit]

  • The Music of Steve Bell (1989–1995)
  • Romantics & Mystics (1997)
  • Simple Songs (2000)
  • Waiting for Aidan (2001)

Songs in other projects[edit]


  • 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[27])

Awards and recognition[edit]

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
Gospel Music Association of Canada Covenant Awards
  • 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)[28]
  • 2009 Jazz/Blues Song of the Year: "Embrace the Mystery"[29]
  • 2011 Folk/Roots Album of the Year (tie): Kindness
Juno Awards
Prairie Music Awards
  • 2001 Outstanding Christian Recording: Simple Songs
  • 2001 Outstanding Producer (with Dave Zeglinski): Simple Songs
  • 2002 Outstanding Christian Recording: Waiting For Aidan [30]
Shai/Vibe Awards[31]
  • 2003 Male Vocalist of the Year
  • 2004 Artist of the Year
  • 2004 Male Soloist of the Year
  • 2005 nominee, Male Soloist of the Year
Western Canadian Music Awards[32]
  • 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
Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal
  • 2012 Recipient[33]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Harris, Holly (November 19, 2006). "". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved May 19, 2012.  External link in |title= (help)
  2. ^ a b c Forrest, Ben (November 1, 2002). "Country Guide: Steve Bell". Cross Rhythms (71). Retrieved September 27, 2008. 
  3. ^ Hjalmarson, Len (August 17, 2006). "Steve Bell Interview Part I". Retrieved September 27, 2008. 
  4. ^ Emusic Canada review. Retrieved September 27, 2008.
  5. ^ Dawes, David F. (March 2004). "(News) Steve Bell offers a Signpost of the times". Canadian Christianity. Retrieved November 2, 2008. 
  6. ^ Signpost Village. Retrieved September 6, 2008. Archived September 21, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ Fieguth, Debra (April 14, 1998). "Gospel Juno goes to Steve Bell". ChristianWeek. Archived from the original on December 1, 2005. Retrieved September 27, 2008. 
  8. ^ GMAC 2008 Covenant Award Performers (Awards held October 24, 2008).
  9. ^ 2009 Crown Award Winners at International Christian Visual Media. Retrieved November 29, 2009.
  10. ^ Rimmer, Mike (April 1, 1998). "(Review) Comfort My People". Cross Rhythms (44). Retrieved October 12, 2008. 
  11. ^ Rimmer, Mike (April 1, 1998). "(Review) Burning Ember". Cross Rhythms (44). Retrieved February 4, 2008. 
  12. ^ Lennie, Tom (December 1, 1998). "(Review) The Feast: Songs for Advent, Nativity, Epiphany". Cross Rhythms (48). Retrieved October 12, 2008. 
  13. ^ Lennie, Tom (December 1, 1998). "(Review) Romantics and Mystics". Cross Rhythms (48). Retrieved October 12, 2008. 
  14. ^ "(Review) Steve Bell - Beyond A Shadow". Billboard Magazine. June 26, 1999. Retrieved October 5, 2008. [dead link]
  15. ^ Rimmer, Mike (June 1, 2000). "(Review) In Concert". Cross Rhythms (57). Retrieved October 12, 2008. 
  16. ^ Newcomb, Brian Quincy (March 2001). "(Review) Simple Songs". CCM Magazine. Retrieved October 19, 2008. 
  17. ^ Breimeier, Russ. "(Review) Waiting For Aidan". Christianity Today. Retrieved October 12, 2008. 
  18. ^ Langmaid, Wilfred (March 1, 2004). "(News) Second generation a welcome addition". Anglican Journal. Archived from the original on August 21, 2008. Retrieved February 4, 2008. 
  19. ^ Dalton, Michael (October 23, 2005). "(Review) Solace for Seasons of Suffering". The Phantom Tollbooth. Retrieved February 2, 2008. 
  20. ^ Dalton, Michael (March 25, 2006). "(Review) My Dinner with Bruce (Songs of Bruce Cockburn)". The Phantom Tollbooth. Retrieved February 2, 2008. 
  21. ^ Breimeier, Russ (2006). "(Review) My Dinner with Bruce: Songs of Bruce Cockburn". Christianity Today. Retrieved February 2, 2008. 
  22. ^ Dalton, Michael (December 18, 2006). "(Review) Story and Song (live) Volume One". The Phantom Tollbooth. Retrieved February 2, 2008. 
  23. ^ Martin, D.S. (March 1, 2008). "(Review) Orchestral performance lifts Bell to new heights". Christian Week. Retrieved October 18, 2008. 
  24. ^ Dalton, Michael (November 11, 2007). "(Review) Symphony Sessions". The Phantom Tollbooth. Retrieved February 2, 2008. 
  25. ^ Wilkinson, Paul (October 9, 2008). "(Review) Canada’s Steve Bell’s ‘Devotion’ - An Album Review". Retrieved November 2, 2008. 
  26. ^ Hills, Gareth (June 10, 2011). "(Review) Steve Bell - Kindness". Cross Rhythms. Retrieved March 3, 2012. 
  27. ^ Dalton, Michael (January 24, 2009). "(Review) Steve Bell in concert with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra DVD". The Phantom Tollbooth. Retrieved April 25, 2009. 
  28. ^ 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.
  29. ^ 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.
  30. ^ Brian Kauste also won a 2002 Outstanding CD/DVD Artwork Design award for Waiting For Aidan
  31. ^ 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.
  32. ^ The Western Canadian Music Awards succeeded the Prairie Music Awards from 2003.
  33. ^ "Steve Bell Awarded Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal". December 1, 2012. Retrieved November 25, 2013. 

External links[edit]