In a world full of beauty, mystery and uncertainty, Saskatchewan folk-rocker Glenn Sutter (sue-ter) offers up his reflective style of music as a way to escape and unite through shared humanity, joys and truths.
Whether playing solo or with his band, Glenn’s engaging stage shows and cozy house concerts feel equal parts intriguing and familiar, as though catching up with an old friend. His good-natured performances spark a gentle fire, warm and vibrant, that invites audiences to gather round and exhale.
Glenn has released five albums and numerous singles since his 2008 debut, including “Weight of the World,” which was selected as the Saskatchewan track for David Suzuki's Playlist for the Planet (CBC Radio Three and Universal Music). To promote each release, he has toured throughout western Canada and has played big stages across the prairies, including Regina’s Symphony Under the Sky, the Brandon Folk Festival and All Folk’d Up in Montmartre.
With a voice that is timeless and true, Glenn’s sound is a distinctive mix of his musical influences -- Neil Young, Greg Keelor, John Lennon, Billy Joel, John Prine, John Hiatt and Sheryl Crow, to name a few. His authentic musicality stems from a life-long passion for piano paired with an improvisational, finger-style fusion of folk and blues guitar.
The youngest of five children in a music-loving family, Glenn grew up in Souris, Manitoba, and spent a lot of time exploring the shifting dynamics of the Souris River. These early-life experiences influenced the trajectories of both his music and his career path.
He began classical piano at age four, violin soon after, and played trumpet and French horn in school band. For many years, his family did a lot of driving so he could take music lessons through Brandon University, and he still loves diving into the classics – particularly Beethoven and Mozart. As a young adult, he played in rock and blues bands, trying his hand at drums, guitar and harmonica. He also started writing songs.
After earning a master’s in zoology at the University of Manitoba, Glenn worked on global change research projects for the Royal Society of Canada in Ottawa. When his wife Joyce, also a biologist, landed a job in Regina, they moved back to the prairies, where they raised a family and Glenn completed a PhD on grassland songbirds. Currently, Glenn is curator of human ecology at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum and adjunct professor at the University of Regina. In 2016, as part of his curatorial research, he launched the Songs for Nature program, giving experienced and emerging songwriters a chance to pursue musical ideas while deepening their connections to nature.
As a singer-songwriter, Glenn’s lyrical themes are informed by his observations of Mother Nature and human nature. His 2019 album, In Rivertime (recorded and co-produced with Juno-nominated, gold-record producer Orion Paradis at Soulsound Studio), strikes an insightful balance between exploring outer and inner worlds. Each original tune weaves a compelling story of adversity and possibility – such as “Mind on Fire,” his homage to the Secret Path project by Gord Downie and Jeff Lemire, or “How It Was,” a deep-diving tribute to his father.
Currently, Glenn is booking solo shows and local gigs with his band while writing and recording a number of singles for a new album. Looking ahead, Glenn aims to pursue music full-time when he retires. He and Joyce are planning to tour around North America with a small, tear-drop trailer in tow -- Glenn creating and performing music and Joyce offering her True Nature Writing program along the way.
“My music is not meant to change the world,” he says. “I simply want to add something positive and memorable to my small part of it. Life can be stressful and full of worries, so let’s connect through a song and feel better for a while.”