This week, my guest is singer/songwriter Steve Poltz and I’m guessing that you’ve heard his music at least once — he co-wrote Jewel’s “You Were Meant For Me,” which of course, got a boatload of radio airplay when it was released in the mid-’90s and it continues to get played on radio stations all over the place to this day.
Steve first landed on my radar in the early ‘90s when he was a member of the San Diego-based band The Rugburns, who got some minor radio play in some markets with their single “Hitchhiker Joe.”
Cleveland was a big market for the Rugburns and they got a lot of airplay here. I honestly wasn’t a huge fan of “Hitchhiker Joe” and I don’t know that I would have gone to see the Rugburns, who frequently played shows here in the area. Thankfully, I had a friend who was a big fan and he told me, “You’ve got to go see these guys.” They were doing a residency at the Euclid Tavern and I went to the show and watched over two hours of music from Steve and the Rugburns and they were still going strong and starting a third set at the time that we decided to go home that night.
They would later play direct support at a radio festival here in Cleveland for the Ramones. opening two shows and if you ever had the chance to see the Rugburns, it’s not surprising to learn that they were able to hold their own in that tough opening slot. We talk about that during this interview.
Steve’s most recent album, The Accident, was released in 2014 and at that time, he called it “a loud rock record, hearkening back to my Rugburns days.” He’s about to release a new album, called Folk Singer, which he will have on sale at his upcoming tour dates and he told us that he’ll be putting it up for sale at his website soon as well.
The tour dates, including a show here in Cleveland on February 10th at the Music Box Supper Club, feature Steve paired with fellow ‘90s troubadour Grant-Lee Phillips. The tour began this past week and runs through mid-February. You can find the rundown on tour dates at Steve’s website.
Visit the Lost Together website for an archive of all of the episodes that we’ve done so far, plus show notes for each episode and there’s a variety of ways that you can listen there, including links to our RSS and iTunes feeds. We’re on Twitter and Facebook as well.
Lost Together with Matt Wardlaw, Episode 8: Steve Poltz
Steve Poltz photo courtesy of Fleming Artists.