Steven Page, formerly of Barenaked Ladies, is now a successful solo artist (among other things) and he’s making his return to Nashville. He’ll play City Winery on Sept. 29 and this is his first time to perform in Music City since leaving BNL.
The Canadian musician has been looking for a way to get back to Nashville for years and this tour was the perfect excuse. Although it’s a “solo show,” it’s not just Page on stage.
“It’s a trio which makes it sound, on paper, like it’s going to be something super mellow or sophisticated,” he says. “It is kind of [but] it’s not really that. What I love about it is it’s got the energy of the full band show. It’s still got lots of humor and that kind of thing that people might remember from my time in BNL. We play everything from stuff from the first BNL album to the most recent solo album.”
His most recent solo album is 2018’s Discipline: Heal Thyself, Pt. II. That’s, obviously, the second part of a two-part album. When Page started working on the first one, he intended for it to be just one lengthy record.
“It’s the second part of two records, which started as one really long… double album. I realized that was far too much to demand an audience digest at once or get to know or whatever. So I put the first one out and in the two years in between, before I got ready to finish off the second record, of course, things changed. Some songs dropped off, I wrote a whole bunch of new ones and the second one became a completely different record. I think it feels the most confident.”
Since leaving BNL a decade ago, Page’s confidence as a musician has grown in a number of ways. He hit the ground running after leaving the band, hustling to get spots at Canadian folk festivals and eventually recording his first solo album.
“It was trial by fire but it was really successful and made me realize I knew how to do it. Trying to make albums on my own was a great feeling to realize that all the things I’d learned over the 20 years of making records with Barenaked Ladies, I knew how to do it. I walked in feeling like I was perhaps a novice and I realized that I wasn’t.”
His confidence on stage has also grown. For the last year, Page has been on his longest solo tour and it sounds like he’s learned a lot.
“I have the greatest sense of gratitude for my ability to go out and make a living as a musician. I’ve been able to go out and do this for over 30 years. I realize that the audience doesn’t owe me anything but I owe them a lot,” he admits. “Every night, whether it’s 2,000 people or 50 people, those people made arrangements to get there and they fixed their schedules to make it happen. They come in with all the different memories that they have of the old songs and, to watch them and hear them sing those back to me, they don’t feel like they’re mine anymore… I realize that for most of the audience, coming to one of my shows feels like catching up with an old friend. I couldn’t ask for better.”
Catch up with this old friend on Sept. 29 at City Winery. Tickets start at $25 and are on sale now.
As for the rest of the year, Page will finish his tour before kickstarting a big 2020. Next year, the musical that he’s written will open in Canada, he’ll perform with symphony orchestras and (hopefully) will release a new record. Stay updated on all of Page’s endeavors by giving his Facebook a thumbs up.