Career highlights include the Spectra Presentation – Opening for the legendary Buddy Guy at Montreal’s Metropolis Theatre; Colin James at The Montreal Spectrum; Bryan Lee on his Quebec Tour and jamming with blues legend Hubert Summlin. Canada’s Prime Minister of the Blues Dutch Mason had a young Steve once play with his band, inviting him to “Take it away, son” on the evening’s first solo. He mastered his craft while backing up many headliners on the Montreal blues scene. Smokey Wilson’s advice to Steve was simple: “You’re an honest bluesman. Don’t ever change.”
Montreal CHOM radio’s Randy Renaud called Rowe a “head-down, have-guitar-will-travel professional who derives his greatest satisfaction from songs and notes perfectly delivered”. He was right. As is Rowe’s style, every note is deliberate and each tone carries meaning.
Accolades include 15 Nominations fron the Quebec Lys Blues Awards for Best CD and Best Guitarist, and all five of his CDs have made it into the Top 20 CDs in the US Living Blues Charts, as well Toronto’s Maple Blues Mag. Highlights from Steve’s third studio recording, Front Rowe Center, include a nationwide broadcast on Rogers TV, live from the Ottawa Bluesfest in 2005.
Steve’s band is a regular event with Spectra, booked frequently at The Montreal’s International Jazz Festival as well as other related events. Festiblues de Montréal has showcased him almost every year since it’s inception. Steve’s tours have taken to Bluesfests across Canada, including Ottawa, Edmunston, Sutton, Trois Rivieres, Toronto, James Bay, Noranda, Chicoutimi, and Vancouver, to name a few.
Steve was also a “Blues Brother” in the popular YTV teen series Prank Patrol for their season premiere. Feature film releases Teddy Bear and Seven Days have also chosen numerous songs from Steve’s large original repertoire for their sound tracks. CBC’s Homerun used his music for their opening theme for 3 years. Coaching actor Christian Kane for his blues guitar-playing role in MTV’s feature Love Song, as well as recording the solo guitar parts for the film, was a huge thrill. Steve’s television premiere for Bravo Television’s Café Campus en Blues in ‘97 was his first major National exposure.
He formed his first band Skid Rowe with Bob Smith in 1981. His influences come from 1950s Chicago and 60s British blues, with a huge helping of Michael Bloomfield, all the Kings (Freddie, Albert, and B.B.), Johnny Winter and Eric Clapton. After honing his skills on blues standards, Rowe decided to start writing his own lyrics and music, releasing his first CD in 2000 entitled Driving the Blues Away. This is when he first met Sound Engineer Kevin Komada, Hotel2Tango’s Recording Studio, and Mastering Artist Andrew Heermans of Polywog Recording Company (NYC). This team can take much of the credit for the rich and pure tones of each instrument. Staying true to his roots, Steve and the band record live off the floor straight to two inch analogue tape.
Steve, acknowledged by Canada’s ITunes and International press as a “Guitar Hero”, has firmly established himself as an original Canadian Bluesman.