November is looking to be a busy month for Steve Goldberger. Along with his Friday and Saturday night gigs at the Old Winery in Niagara on the Lake with The Old Winos and the Niagara Rhythm Section, respectively, he is also celebrating the release of his seventh solo studio album titled The Gentle Spirit and the 15th anniversary of the Niagara Rhythm Section.
For those unaware, The Old Winos and the Niagara Rhythm Section host a variety of musicians from all over Canada and act as their backing band. Their first guest was Niagara musician Mark Lalama and their rotation of artists has gone from five in their first year to over fifty throughout a given year.
“We really have some of the best players in Canada that want to come out now. It’s great. It’s so refreshing and motivating and it never gets tired,” he said. “We don’t rehearse, so you have to have big ears and keep your head up.”
A multiple Niagara Music Award winner, singer/songwriter, band leader and multi-instrumentalist, Goldberger has spent the last year creating interpretations of songs by some of his favourite songwriters, including Niagara artist Mike Lynch alongside Shania Twain, Duane Rutter, Tom Petty, Crowded House, Bruce Hornsby and Jackson Browne.
Guest appearances on the album include Cam MacInnes, Mike Glatt, Duane Rutter, Michael Schatte on guitars, Steve Wood on pedal steel, Shane Guse on fiddle and mandolin, Helen Kopec on cello, Doug Miller on flute, Jim Gay on sax, Dave Norris, Maureen Brown & Peter Griffin on drums, Penner MacKay on percussion, Laurel Minnes, Mike Lynch and Maureen Brown on vocals.
The album ranges from folk to country, reggae to rock and roll, with some pop songs, tribal rhythms and features even a Christmas song.
“I was stuck in a writers block when I made this album. Last November, my hard drive crashed at my home studio and I lost everything. So I was able to recover some of the stuff, but I pretty much had to just start from scratch all over again,” he explained.
Goldberger began his career as a musician in the 70s with the ‘new-grass’ band Black Creek. They were signed to RCA and toured through Canada, performed with Supertramp and Arlo Guthrie and won a Genie Award for their soundtrack for the film Lions for Breakfast. He then was part more than a handful of other bands, until he moved to Niagara on the Lake in 1995 and built his own recording studio The Shed and started recording and releasing his own albums in 2000. In 2015 Goldberger released Cosmic Coyboy which was the winner of Country Artist, Producer and Songwriter of the year awards at the Niagara Music Awards.
A look through Goldberger’s website highlights the hundred+ musicians he has worked with over his career, and the number will continue to grow as long as they keep on rocking every weekend down at the Old Winery.
Steve Goldberger releases his album The Gentle Spirit at the Old Winery on November 9 and celebrate 15 years of the Niagara Rhythm Section on November 17.