Stephen Fearing was born in 1963 in Vancouver, British Columbia and grew up in Dublin, Ireland where his schoolmates included future members of U2. In 1981, he moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota and immersed himself in the music scene, learning the fundamentals of song writing and performing, while washing dishes to stay alive.
By 1984 he was back in Vancouver, determined to become a professional musician. In the years since, he’s been named as one of the finest songwriters in Canada. He built a national – and international – audience for his music, doing it old school through countless performances at intimate venues and on the concert stages of festivals and theatres across Canada, the US, and the UK, with appearances at major events like the Reading Festival and WOMAD, to name just a few.
Fearing has released ten albums as a solo artist, featuring musical guests including: Bruce Cockburn, Margo Timmons, Richard Thompson, Shawn Colvin, Sarah McLachlan, and Suzie Vinnick. As co-founder of Blackie and the Rodeo Kings he has released nine albums, and two albums as half of the duo Fearing & White.
Like the guests on his albums, the many awards and nominations* that have come his way over the years speak to the respect he has earned among his peers, presenters, and critics.
With a life of many relocations and countless months on the road performing, Fearing is a gifted storyteller and true musical nomad with the ability to captivate audiences of all sizes and attitudes. “Getting on stage is the fun part, especially when the adrenaline kicks in,” he says, with a broad smile. “People want to relax and be taken on a journey. I sketch out my shows so they deliver on that.”
When not working behind the microphone, Fearing spends time producing records including Suzie Vinnick’s JUNO Award-nominated album Happy Here. “With producing, I really enjoy collaborating with other artists. It’s a blast and, as a bonus, gives me a chance to learn and expand my skill set.”
The JUNO Award-winner also shares his knowledge and experience with fellow musicians through songwriting workshops (often scheduled in conjunction with festival appearances). “The classes dovetail nicely with performing,” he said. “My students are from all walks of life and I enjoy helping to coax them out of their comfort zones to create songs they might not have otherwise developed.”
“A master of the finely-turned phrase and the perfectly-pitched line.” – Maverick Magazine