Steven Bowers was born in Newfoundland and now lives on Vancouver Island, but for eight years the singer-songwriter called Pictou County home.
And so it will be in a familiar territory that he performs on March 9 to do a release show at the Decoste Centre of his latest album Elk Island Park .
"It has been several years since my last record came out, and I am looking forward to returning home to Pictou County,” said Bowers.
In many ways Bowers credits his time in Pictou County for nurturing his musical interests. He was given the chance to perform at events like the Pictou Lobster Carnival and New Glasgow Jubilee.
“I was so supported over the years. I owe a lot to Pictou County.”
Since he left, Bowers has had songs featured on an episode of CBC’s Heartland, and the independent film Roaming. He’s also received nominations for Folk Recording, Songwriter and Producer of the Year from the 2008 Music Nova Scotia Awards along with a JUNO Showcase and an East Coast Music Award nomination for Folk Recording of the Year.
This particular record has been five years in the making due to multiple moves and the birth of Bowers daughter.
“It’s a little autobiographical of a record – becoming a father and an uncle," he said in an interview with The News.
A few of the songs were also inspired by time he spent working in a youth music studio.
“I like to think that my writing is evolving as I get older. The content is evolving because I have these new experiences to write about.”
He admits it is a bit of a challenge as a parent to find time for writing and when he does it’s often squeezed between naps and bottle feedings.
"I feel a sense of I’m making more time and trying to find inspiration in things rather than waiting for inspiration to hit me.”
Looking at the final product though, he said he’s happy with how it’s turned out.
“I’m very proud of this record,” he said. “I had 16 musician friends who helped out.”
Because it was hard to get all the musicians he needed in one place for each of the recording, he said many of the parts were recorded separately and pieced together making it a “Frankenstein of an album.”
The final product features backing vocals from Juno award winning songwriter Meaghan Smith on several songs, along with appearances by Bowers long-time collaborators Dave Gunning, Jason Silverberg, and Kev Corbett.
While he was able to make it all work long distance for the parts he had to, he said the last few songs were done in studio.
“It was nice finishing off the record in the studio with the band in one room.”
Cover art for the CD was created by his friend and well-known artist Lauren Crazybull.
“I owe a lot to my friends. I feel like we built something really special.”
For the release, however, Bowers will be flying solo.
“I’m excited and nervous about performing. It’s going to be me and my guitar.”
He just hopes that people in Pictou County remember him and come out to show their support.
Tickets for the event can be purchased at the DeCoste Centre or online at www.decostecentre.ca/tickets. Those who buy tickets, will get a free copy of his album.