Listening to Glenn Sutter (‘sue-ter’), either solo or with his band Rivertime, is like catching up with an old friend. After getting bogged down with the stress and complexities of daily life, you suddenly feel a sense of contentment and are reminded of what’s truly important. With his uplifting brand of folk-rock, Sutter’s honest, smart, and emotional songs have been hitting home and attracting music lovers for over a decade.
Based in Regina, Saskatchewan, Sutter frequently writes about nature, love, and the human condition. His affection for nature stems from his childhood, where he spent much of his time outdoors playing in, on and around the Souris River in southwest Manitoba. He pursued his interest in nature at university, which eventually led to a PhD in biology and his current role as Curator of Human Ecology at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum.
When asked how his position at RSM influences his music, Sutter says, “I’m sure it does. I get a lot of musical ideas around the things I focus on at work, including climate change, water concerns, social disparities, and other sustainability issues, but I always avoid heavy-handed commentary.” Instead, he simplifies what he observes to more personal, yet universal levels. He says, “I also don’t use my music to teach or preach. I’m more interested in reflecting on the world around me and expressing emotions.”
A lifelong musician from a musical family, Sutter first started tinkering with the piano at the age of four. Classically trained through Brandon University, he would go on to spend several years performing in blues bands and playing solo folk shows before taking a hiatus to focus on his career and raise a family. His first foray as a performing songwriter was in 2006, leading to his debut album All You Need in 2008, produced by WCMA award winner David j Taylor.
In 2010, Sutter released Seeds, a collaborative live album with Brett Dolter (B.D. Willoughby, Library Voices). That year, his song “Weight of the World” garnered national attention when it was selected as the official Saskatchewan song on David Suzuki’s Playlist for the Planet on CBC Radio3, joining the ranks of notable artists like Danny Michel, Dehli 2 Dublin, and Paper Lions. In 2011, Sutter struck while the iron was hot and released his second solo album Sweet Happiness, once again produced by David j Taylor. He then shifted his focus to touring, writing and building his band, releasing his third solo album Let the Dog Run in 2015, produced by Mark Schmidt at Blue Door Studios and Northern Town Music.
With his 2019 release In Rivertime, which he recorded at Soutsound Studio and co-produced with Orion Paradis, Sutter offers another folk-rock gem chock full of honesty, hope, and optimism. The songs strike a gentle balance between worldly concerns and self-reflection, picking up on the talented musicians in his band. "There's something special about these guys," Sutter explains, "so I wanted to capture their creative energy and unique chemistry." He also notes that as someone who deals with social and environmental issues in my day job, he finds a measure of comfort when he gets to spend time near a river, lake, even a small creek. "With this album," he says, "I wanted to take people on a journey and provide experiences that help them reflect and feel recharged in this crazy, trumpian world."