CHUCK KUEPFER, Staff Reporter
Maryhill’s Commercial Tavern marks the end of the road for Jamie Warren and Duane Steele.
The veteran musicians who kicked off an Ontario tour last month, will play a singer/songwriter show at the Maryhill venue on Sunday, Nov. 25.
Both artists have made their marks on the Canadian country music scene.
Steele hails from Alberta, while Warren was born and raised in southwestern Ontario and now calls Kitchener home — although he doesn’t play here often. For the past three years, Warren has performed locally at a benefit concert in support of KidsAbility at the St. Jacobs Country Playhouse alongside other country artists. This year’s concert featured Terri Clark, Gord Bamford and Jason McCoy.
“That’s sort of been my one local show, even though I only play about four songs,” said Warren. “I haven’t played a full set of my own music in the Kitchener area for almost three years.”
Warren’s career, which began to take gain momentum after landing on the Canadian country music charts in the mid-eighties, crossed paths with Steele almost two decades ago.
“We got to know each other when we were both on Mercury,” said Warren. “I got signed to PolyGram in Nashville and we both came out on Mercury in Canada. That was 1995. Duane was signed in 1996. We’ve been friends that whole time and we’ve done touring in the past with Shawn Hogan…and we’d co-write together as well.”
They have also had songs on each others records.
“We’re also basically the same age and we have a lot in common — and I’m a fan of his music,” said Warren. “Plus he’s a fun guy to hang with. We have a good time when we’re on the road.”
The Maryhill show will be split into two sets. Both artists will draw from their own material during the first set. After an intermission, they’ll perform together.
Along with music, there promises to be some entertaining dialogue.
“It’s stories and songs,” said Warren. “You’ll get an opportunity to hear some music but also the stories behind them. The fun part too is this will be the last show of our tour, so we should have a lot of stories at that point, even just from this run.”
Warren called this tour more “grassroots” than previous times on the road. The artists are handling all the details that go into putting on the shows, and those duties coupled with performing have translated into a lack of sleep.
But Warren wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I like it on the road. For the most part it’s a lot of fun, and this is what we do. I never take my job for granted. I’ve got a pretty cool job and in today’s recession and marketplace, I know people are trying to keep their jobs, and believe it or not so are we.”
Warren and Steele’s Sunday show at the Commercial Tavern begins at 3 p.m.
Tickets are $15 and available by calling 519-648-3644.