Sunday, September 30, 2018 - 7:00 pm
with special guest Wesley Stace (aka John Wesley Harding)
Steven Page will tell you that the themes explored in Page One are those of love, loss, and new beginnings. These are universally felt, and no less so for Page. Page One marks his first solo release since leaving the highly-successful band he co-founded, wrote and performed with for more than 20 years, Barenaked Ladies.
Page One is not Page's contribution to the they-said, he-said discourse over how the last chapter of that book should be read, it is the latest in an established and continuing exploration of his craft as songwriter and performer. It represents not a version of yesterday but rather a vision of today and tomorrow. Leave your bags at the door, wipe your feet, and come in for a listen.
"It feels great. It's not as difficult as I thought it could be, being out of my comfort zone," says Page. "As soon as I'd left BNL, I told my agent to put me on as many folk festivals as possible, so no one could assume I'd slip into the clichéd role of the eccentric hermit. I'm much more the eccentric extrovert!" Page One is new—yet vintage—Steven Page. "I'd like to think I'm still delivering that thing that has connected with audiences for so long. I enjoy the process of being artistic, of taking chances and not knowing what might come next. Some listeners might have expected a brooding, woe-is-me album from me but, while there is some reflection, this is not a collection of diary entries. It's been very liberating to make this solo record, as there's been no ‘conflict' with other projects. That in itself has been a true pleasure."
Steven Page's distinctive voice is among the most instantly recognizable in Canadian music and Page One is immediately familiar but undeniably fresh as he captains the ship in the album's opener, "A New Shore". To navigate this sea, Page assembled a stellar crew, beginning with co-writing the songs with Stephen Duffy and Craig Northey (The Odds). The album is co-produced by Page and John Fields the two playing most instruments, along with guests Pete Thomas (Elvis Costello) Esthero Glen Phillips (Toad the Wet Sprocket) Kevin Fox Prince's NPG brass section, The Hornheads Bryden, Jesse and Jay Baird (Feist) and the late Will Owsley in one of his last recordings.
"I'm excited by the album and to be performing it live as well. The band is just so good, with the Baird brothers, Kevin Fox and Karen Graves. Although I've performed outside of BNL in several guises, with this it has a different kind of resonance because previously I might have been playing a part in someone else's project. This time, I'm in charge. Luckily, I haven't had to crack the whip much, but that's because everyone has a lot of taste."
Page's first solo sailing was 2005's The Vanity Project, co-written with Stephen Duffy. Earlier this year, he released A Singer Must Die, a collaboration with the Toronto chamber music group Art of Time Ensemble. He has also scored three plays for the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in the last 5 years. Over his 10-album career with Barenaked Ladies, Steven Page has been blessed with myriad international awards and nominations while in the process selling over 12 million albums. Page One is not only his most recent work, it is the most distilled expression of Steven Page.