How They Met: Bluesman Steve Strongman and his wife Meredith
Juno Award-winning musician Steve Strongman tells us the love story behind his marriage to his wife Meredith
Steve and Meredith Strongman were together for 10 years before they got engaged
Juno Award–winning musician and bluesman Steve Strongman met the love of his life, Meredith, while performing at a bar in Kitchener. Strongman has gone on to become a top Canadian blues musician and has opened for guitar legends like Johnny Winter, B. B. King and Buddy Guy. His new album, No Time Like Now, is releasing on March 10.
How they met
It sounds like a cliché, but it’s true: I was playing a show in a bar, and Meredith was a server. She had just finished university, and I had a weekly show at the same bar, so I had my eye on her for several weeks. I had told Meredith to come out sometime and see me play when she didn’t have to work so we could talk. So she did and gave me her phone number. I’m not sure exactly why, but I didn’t call her right away. Then the next time I saw her, she really let me have it for not calling her after I had shown interest. I knew right away she was a serious person, and I loved that!
The first date
This will totally date us, but we went to see Pulp Fiction (1994!) and have been together ever since.
We had been together for 10 years. We were now living in Hamilton. I had come up with a fake trip because I wanted to propose at the very same place that I had met her (which was in Kitchener). I had the ring in my pocket, and on the way to my proposal location, she said to me, “Are you ever going to ask me to marry you or what?” I couldn’t believe she asked me that right then. It turned out that the bar at which we had met burned down a few years earlier, and there was just a parking lot there. I pulled in, got out of the car and asked her to get out. She had no idea why we were stopping at the place the bar used to be at. And, yes, I did get down on one knee — in the snow, in a parking lot.
We were married July 10, 2004, at our close friends’ house, outside Hamilton on their beautiful farm. We had an amazing reception with a live band (of course!) in their barn. We went to Albufeira, Portugal, for our honeymoon. It was fantastic.
Yes, we have two beautiful daughters: Ella, 11 years old, and Scarlett, eight years old.
Balancing careers and marriage
“Balance” is the key word for sure. Being a musician gives me the freedom of doing things with my family that people in traditional jobs aren’t able to do. When I’m at home, I make sure to prioritize my family. When I’m away, I can’t be present, so it can be very difficult at times, and everyone has to make sacrifices to make things work. My wife is a high school teacher, so she has more of a traditional job in terms of time demands. However, we have such incredible support from our extended family, and it makes all the difference in the world. We are very fortunate.
Secret of success
I don’t think I can point to one specific thing as a secret for our success. Rather it’s a combination of several things that are built on honesty and trust. We both love and respect each other, and we know that each other is always doing their absolute best.
Life after retirement
Do musicians ever retire? I don’t think so. Having said that, I look forward to my wife being able to come on the road with me and spending lots of time together relaxing and taking our time.