|Steve Poltz –
Born in Canada but raised in San Diego, Poltz began his professional musical career as a member of the Rugburns, who toured throughout America during the early ’90s, nurturing a small cult audience. During his time with the Rugburns, Poltz struck up a friendship with Jewel, who was a struggling singer/songwriter in California at the time. The two began collaborating, writing a number of songs including “You Were Meant for Me,” which was included on her debut solo album, Pieces of You. Nearly a year and a half after the intial release of Pieces of You, “You Were Meant for Me” became a hit single, eventually spending well over 14 months on the American charts. The success of the single meant that labels were interested in Poltz, who had left the Rugburns by then. In 1997, he signed to Mercury Records and began recording his solo debut, One Left Shoe, which was released in March 1998. Five years later, Poltz left Island and founded his own imprint 98 Pounder Records. Chinese Vacation appeared in October 2003. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Gordie Tentrees –
At age 25, Tentrees wrote his first song and learned his first guitar chord, eventually graduating to dobro and harmonica, touring and recording. His first three albums are narratives that chronicle his difficult past – the gritty characters in his life and his relationship with the dark. His music is his own blend of folk, roots and blues sounds, and Tentrees counts Rick Fines and Fred Eaglesmith as heroes and strong influences in his songwriting.
Tentrees earned a Western Canadian Music Award Album of the Year nomination for Mercy or Sin, performed at the Best of Canada Vancouver Olympics concert, and was a finalist in the International Song Competition out of 15,000 entries in the Americana category. Competition judges included Tom Waits, Loretta Lynn and Jerry Lee Lewis. The rave reviews starting pouring in and Tentrees’ reputation as one of Canada’s hardest touring musicians began.