“To be devoted”, says Webster's New World Dictionary, is "to be very loving, loyal, or faithful".
He might be too modest to admit it, but “devoted” is a good word to describe Steve Bell. Fifteen albums as a Canadian independent artist, over twenty years of crisscrossing North America (and in the last few years, the globe) offering the gifts of story and song, a twenty six year marriage to Nanci Bell, and a lifetime of chasing what it means to be a person of authentic Christian spirituality...this isn’t the story of a flawless human being, but it could fairly be called the tale of someone that knows what it means to be in pursuit of devotion.
In Steve’s words: “My life seems a relentless chasing after God who playfully (maddeningly) remains just beyond clutch. Every once in a while I stop to catch my breath and when I think to look back at where the chase has led, I realize there has been good purpose to the elusiveness. Then, I quickly spin around to pounce on the One who winks before darting once again down the street. And so it goes…”
Bell’s current album is a collection of songs written to express devotion to God. In this matter of articulating religious devotion, Bell has always managed to be both poetic and stubbornly honest. Songs about transcendence sit next to songs about sorrow; stories of healing next to stories of unrequited longing to be whole, praises next to pleas. That, you sense, is Steve Bell trying to say “This is what devotion means; pursuit rather than acquisition, a chase that is both demanding and delightful and not to be traded for anything in this world”.
Of this particular recording, Bell says, “Devotion has come to being because I wanted you to hear some of these simple, elegant worship songs. These contemplative song-prayers have so often gently led our own church community into the presence of the Holy that several of us felt we needed to offer them to the wider worshiping community.”
Bell’s career has produced multiple JUNO awards and a host of other industry accolades. Supported by Signpost Music (Bell’s own independent record label), he has sold over 300,000 units worldwide and gathered thousands of loyal fans. Larry LeBlanc (Billboard Magazine) calls Steve “a Canadian musical treasure.”
When Steve isn’t busy on the road, he resides with his wife Nanci in the fine city of Winnipeg, MB. Their oldest child, Sarah, lives with her husband Steve Giardino in Ontario. Sarah and Steve have recently become the proud parents of Luca, making Steve and Nanci the de facto proud grandparents! Steve and Nanci’s adult sons Jesse and Micah also live in Winnipeg.