"Only a handful of song writers have created a body of work that constitutes a portrait of our country. Stan Rogers did that. So did Gordon Lightfoot. And so does Bob Bossin." - Stuart Mclean
For 40 years, Bob Bossin has turned Canada's people into stories, and her stories into songs. The founder of the legendary Canadian folk group, Stringband (and the purveyor of 9000 bottles of Bossin's Home Remedy for Nuclear War) is, according to The Edmonton Journal, a "quintessentially Canadian" performer with, according to Utah Phillips, "the ear of a poet, a painter's eye and the wit of a true common sense philosopher."
Over the years, Bob has left a musical trail of (as Peter Gzowski once put it), "wonderful songs that linger in a lot of people's memories." Songs like Ya Wanna Marry Me?, The Maple Leaf Dog, Dief Will Be the Chief Again, Tugboats, The Secret of Life According to Satchel Paige, Show Us the Length, and That Silly French Song. Songs that have been sung by, among others, Valdy, Ian Tyson and Pete Seeger, who has called Bob "funny, informative and inspiring at the same time."
Bob has performed all over the world and recorded a dozen albums. His CD, Gabriola V0R1X0 was hailed as "one of the best Canadian folk music CDs ever." (Northern Journey) A dozen years later, The Roses on Annie’s Table was released to equally glowing reviews. “This is what Lou Reed might have written if he lived on Gabriola Island,” said CBC’s Jeff Goodes.
Bob’s music video, Sulphur Passage, directed by documentary-maker Nettie Wild, won a half dozen international awards and helped save BC’s Clayoquot Sound. And Canadian folk music fans are delighted to have the best of Bob’s work with Stringband collected in the CD box set, The Indispensable Stringband.
When Bob is not writing music, he is writing something else. His essays and journalism have appeared in most major Canadian newspapers and magazines. In 2003, he was nominated for a National Magazine Award. In 2007, his short story, Latkes, won 2nd prize in the Antigonish Review’s literary competition. His musical play, Bossin's Home Remedy for Nuclear War had some 200 performances in Canada, the US, Australia and New Zealand. His book, Settling Clayoquot (about the early years of settlement on the west coast of Vancouver Island), sold 10,000 copies. Bob even wrote poetry (published by House of Anansi Press, among others), but was tempted away by the bright lights and big bucks of Canadian folk music.
At this writing, Bob has been working on Davy the Punk, the book and the one-man musical for the last half-dozen years. The book is scheduled to be published in the spring of 2014. The show is just beginning to be performed.
Bob lives on Gabriola Island BC, with his son Davy and his partner, fabric artist Sima Elizabeth Shefrin. He is, temporarily, without a dog.