Five Questions With… Steve Poltz

The prolific Halifax-raised, Nashville-based folk songsmith has just released his 13th album. In typically witty fashion, he reflects here on his Presidential bid, singing naked, devolution, and playing cards with Abe Lincoln.

Five Questions With… Steve Poltz

By Jason Schneider

A Canadian by birth and a San Diego resident for most of his career, a recent move to Nashville, Tennessee sparked Steve Poltz to reconsider working with a label again after 20 years. It was in the heart of Music City where Poltz quickly found a circle of like-minded musical friends that led to the creation of his new album Shine On, available now through Red House Records/Compass Records Group.

So, the man who once proclaimed “I am San Diego!” eventually became settled in Nashville, aided in no small measure by fellow veteran singer/songwriter Will Kimbrough who produced Shine On at his home studio. Evoking themes of hope, love, contemplation, celebration of Wednesday, pharmacists, and the fact that windows sometimes have conversations with each other, Shine On represents Poltz at his most inspired and insightful.


Throughout over three decades in music, the Halifax-born Poltz has done it all and more. Of course, he co-wrote Jewel’s multi-platinum “You Were Meant For Me,” but that was after he made his bones as the frontman for underground legends The Rugburns, who criss-crossed the continent on marathon tours and still pop up once in a while for the rare reunion gig.

In the 20 years since his full-length solo debut, One Left Shoe, Poltz has released 12 more solo albums, the most recent before Shine On being 2015’s Folk Singer. He survived a stroke in 2016 and resumed his 280-date per year performing schedule as soon as he was able.

It was a testament to his reputation as someone who truly makes music to try to bring some light to the darkness that permeates so much of day-to-day life. Poltz’s next run of Canadian tour dates throughout the summer kicks off with two shows at Toronto’s Dakota Tavern on May 8 and 9, and for more details go to



What makes Shine On different from your past work?

I sang all of the songs naked. Usually I wear clothes, but this time was different because all my clothes were dirty and they stunk and I’d just taken a shower. So the album feels a bit more stripped down if you will. I bare my soul so to speak. 

How would you describe your artistic evolution so far?

It’s been sort of backward. I started as a human, but I’m becoming an ape. Call me Cornelius.

What's been the biggest change in your life over the past year?

I started to run for president, but then they told me I couldn’t because I was born in Canada. I had already invested all of my paper route money, so I’m kinda bummed because now I have no nest egg and a bunch of t-shirts with my name on them. 

What are your fondest musical memories as you were growing up?

Playing poker with Abe Lincoln during the Civil War during a brief respite from the fighting. We sang Stephen Foster lullabies until the sun came up. 

What song by another artist do you wish you had written?


“My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion.

What's something you'd like added or changed on your Wikipedia page?

Steve Poltz is a robot. 

Taylor Swift performs during night two of "Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour" at Estádio Olímpico Nilton Santos on November 19, 2023 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
TAS2023/Getty Images

Taylor Swift performs during night two of "Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour" at Estádio Olímpico Nilton Santos on November 19, 2023 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


Taylor Swift Celebrating Birthday By Bringing Expanded Eras Tour Movie to On-Demand

The movie will feature three extra songs.

Taylor Swift is celebrating her upcoming 34th birthday by giving Swifties the greatest gift of all. “Hi! Well, so, basically I have a birthday coming up and I was thinking a fun way to celebrate the year we’ve had together would be to make The Eras Tour Concert Film available for you to watch at home!” Swift announced on her social on Monday morning (Nov. 27) of the surprise news that the record-setting film will be available on-demand next month.

The news got even better when Swift added that the already three-hour-plus concert film will be available in an expanded version including performances of “Wildest Dreams,” “The Archer” and “Long Live.” The movie will be available to rent on-demand in the U.S., Canada and additional countries that will be announced soon.

This article was originally published by Billboard U.S.

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