Steve Poltz

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Steve Poltz
Poltz performance in Café Continental, October 2012
Background information
Born (1960-02-19) February 19, 1960 (age 58)
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Origin San Diego, California, USA
Genres Pop rock, indie-rock, folk rock
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Years active 1990s- current
Labels Mercury Records, 98 Pounder Records, Scam-o-Rama Records, Polygram
Associated acts The Rugburns, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum

Steve Poltz (born February 19, 1960) is a Canadian singer-songwriter and guitarist. He is a founding member of the indie-rock band The Rugburns and is best known for his collaborations with singer Jewel, especially the 1996 single, "You Were Meant for Me" which reached number 2 in the US.[1]

As a solo artist, he often performs acoustic-only "good old-fashioned sing-along" shows. His songs have been noted for their simple melodies and satirical lyrics.

Early life[edit]

Poltz was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada and later immigrated with his family to Pasadena, California, then to Palm Springs, California. He attended the University of San Diego, where he received a degree in political science, he met guitarist Robert Driscoll and The Rugburns were formed.


Poltz and his bandmates developed a local and national cult following by playing coffeehouses and bars. While performing dates at the Innerchange Coffeehouse in San Diego, he formed a relationship with Jewel,[2] frequently opening for her on tours, co-writing songs, and appearing in her music video for "You Were Meant For Me." The song won her 2nd place on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 song charts, charting in four other categories in the USA, and several European countries.[citation needed] Poltz has also covered songs by others, which include some Jerry Hannan songs at live gigs.[citation needed]

In 1998, Poltz released his first solo album, One Left Shoe, for Mercury Records. A disagreement in the artistic direction of his material led to him leaving the label and forming his own company, 98 Pounder Records. Five years later, he recorded Chinese Vacation, an album heavily influenced by the events of September 11 and the murder of one of his closest friends. During a radio interview and performance on the Dave, Shelly, and Chainsaw radio program, he performed a "male" version of "You Were Meant For Me". During the bridge, he went on a 5-minute rant on David Cassidy and assorted stories in Las Vegas, including one that led to the album name "One Left Shoe". Poltz also performed the song on the Bob and Tom Show and included the Cassidy story during the bridge.

In 2000, Poltz was awarded the title of "San Diego's Most Influential Artist of the Decade" at the 2000 San Diego Music Awards.[citation needed]

In 2012, Poltz guest-starred in the web series Up the Creek as a Canadian country singer named Peeve Stoltz.[3] He improvised the songs in the episode during filming.

Poltz has collaborated as a songwriter with A. J. Croce on Croce's 2004 album Adrian James Croce.

According to his website biography, Poltz considers "Everything About You" to be the favorite among his own songs. It appears on the soundtrack album to the movie Notting Hill.

Poltz is known to name his various guitars. They include Smokey Joe, which he saved from being destroyed, Clackety-Clack, Flowerpot, and Trailer-Trash.

Dreamer: A Tribute to Kent Finlay, released in early 2016 on Austin-based Eight 30 Records, features Poltz' version of Finlay's "The Plight of the Bumblebee."


  • One Left Shoe (Mercury, 1998)
  • Conversations Over a Cerveza (Mercury, 1998)
  • Answering Machine (Scam-o-Rama Records)[4]
  • Live at Largo (98 Pounder, 2000)
  • Chinese Vacation (98 Pounder, 2003)
  • The Barn with Songs by Steve Poltz (98 Pounder, 2007)[5]
  • Traveling/Unraveling (98 Pounder, 2008)
  • Dreamhouse (98 Pounder, 2010)
  • Noineen Noiny Noin (98 Pounder, 2012)
  • The Accident (98 Pounder, 2014)
  • Running Wild The Life Of Dayton O Hyde (98 Pounder, 2014)
  • Folksinger (98 Pounder, 2015)



  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (2013). "Steve Poltz". Allmusic review. Rovi Corp. Retrieved April 8, 2013. 
  2. ^ "A Conversation with Steve Poltz". Puremusic. February 2008. Retrieved 2015-04-12. 
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 5, 2013. Retrieved August 1, 2012. 
  4. ^ Answering Machine is a self-released album composed of 56 separate 45-second songs which Poltz recorded as outgoing messages on his telephone message recorder while he was on tour. Reportedly, it is one of Neil Young's favorite records.
  5. ^ A children's album credited to "The Barn".

External links[edit]