Canadian singer/songwriter Stephen Fearing draws on numerous musical influences including contemporary acoustic, traditional folk, Celtic, country, blues, gospel and jazz. Although born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Fearing spent much of his youth in Dublin and near Cork in Ireland. He was influenced by the British pop charts, from Abba to the Sex Pistols, and Irish music also seeped into his consciousness.
Fearing went on to develop the genre-crossing band Blackie & the Rodeo Kings with Toronto guitarist and producer Colin Linden and Tom Wilson, a singer/songwriter with the rock band Junkhouse. Linden and Fearing decided to record the songs of Wille P. Bennett, one of CanadaÆs greatest unsung musical talents, and the resulting album, High Or HurtinÆ, which was released in 1996, received critical acclaim across Canada and was nominated as Best Roots & Traditional Group recording for the 1997 JUNO Awards. FearingÆs double album, Kings of Love, was released in Canada in 1999.