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Last week week I had the opportunity to be part of a concert by Christian singer/song writer Steve Bell. Everyone that attended was deeply moved by the event.

Steve Bell learned to play guitar in Drumheller penitentiary. He was only 8 years at the time and the son of the prison chaplain. From his home page we learn that:

Steve first learned to play guitar in a medium-security penitentiary in Alberta! Steve picks up the story; “My father was the chaplain at Drumheller Prison. Some of the inmates were great guitar pickers in the Chet Atkins style. They asked my dad if they could have jam sessions in the chapel on Saturday afternoons, and he arranged for the guards to stay away so they had a place to play that wasn’t shrouded by relentless, penal authority. They’d sit in a circle and have these wonderful bluegrass jams. Once, my dad let me sit and watch and I was absolutely enthralled. When the inmates realized I wanted to play they invited me to grab a guitar and sit in. They treated me like a real peer, so not only did they teach me guitar, but this was the first circle of adult men to not treat me like a kid.” Looking back, Steve notes that, “One reason I tour the world now is because some of Canada’s most unwanted men invested in me when I was eight years old!”

Click here to here Steve tell the story of how he learned to play guitar.

One of the guys from our Friends of Dismas group had done time in Drumheller when Steve’s dad was the chaplain. My friend had a chance to talk with Steve that night and Steve played the song called Drumheller Circle for him which Steve wrote in honour of those guys who took him under their wings those many years ago.

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