compiled by Robert Dunstan
Steve Poltz is a Novia Scotia-born, San Diego-based singer songwriter who co-wrote Jewel Kilcher’s You Were Meant For Me and also appeared in the video for the song that’s been one of the biggest successes in recent history. He is now touring the country with Jewel to promote his latest solo release, Silver Lining, an album produced by Steve Soles (a one-time member of The Alpha Band with T Bone Burnett, and also a member of Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue) with the title song being yet another Jewel/Poltz composition.
Born in Halifax, Novia Scotia, Poltz (a former Catholic alter boy and a keen baseball fan) went with his family to the US where they finally settled in San Diego in sunny California. He studied classical guitar (as a hobby), and found work as a sales-person selling plumbing supplies before suddenly deciding to go to Europe and busk. Poltz worked his way around Morocco, Barcelona and Paris but by the time he’d reached the Czech Republic, the singer was singing his own material almost exclusively.
Poltz then returned to San Diego and put together The Rugburns and toured the US several times over the next few years and firmly established himself within the San Diego music scene He was also named San Diego Artist Of The Year in 1997 and formed a songwriting partnership with Jewel Kilcher, and secured the singer one of her first regular gigs at the Innerchange Coffee House where she would later be ‘discovered’.
“Jewel and I wrote a lot of songs together before we both had record contracts and we wrote You Were Meant For Me when we were in Mexico,” Poltz said. “We were down there just surfin’ together on this nice sunny day and it was a little union of both of our thoughts. The song is definitely us, and it’s cool because when you write a song with somebody else you never know what’s going to happen.
“I Thought I Saw You Last Night is another song I wrote with Jewel,” he continued. “It’s a real special song we wrote at her house. I had a friend who was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting. Everybody has been through some sort of loss in their life, and sometimes you have that feeling every once in a while when you’re walking down a crowded street and you think you see them. It’s spooky because it’s not them, of course.”
Poltz’s solo debut, One Left Shoe, was recorded in just over two weeks in Hollywood and featured a plethora of mighty session musicians including Van Dyke Parks, Benmont Tench, Jerry Scheff, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones’ horn section, drummer Jim Keltner and Dean Parks. His latest album, Silver Lining, is out now on Mercury Records, and you can experience Steve Poltz when he supports Jewel at Thebarton Theatre on Wed Mar 3.