During Steve's 2nd CD, he hooked up with producer Buddy Cannon who was good friends with Hank Cochran, who wrote, "I Fall To Pieces" for Patsy Cline, "Make the Word Go Away" for Eddie Arnold, "Ocean Front Property" for George Strait, and hundreds of others. Steve wrote 6 songs with Hank and Buddy and learned plenty about songwriting. He also wrote with Jim Weatherly who wrote, "Midnight Train to Georgia" for Gladys Knight and the Pipps. But perhaps Steve's biggest influence came when he met John Bettis, a pop writer who wrote such major classics as, "Slow Hand" for the Pointer Sisters, "Top of the World" for the Carpenters, "Crazy for You" for Madonna, and "Human Nature" for
Michael Jackson. Kolander and Bettis became instant friends and for two years, Steve would drive from Atlanta to Nashville to write on Friday's and Saturdays. It was a huge learning experience for Steve. He still remembers the day he brought John a few songs he had been working on during the week and John put his pen and pad down and told Steve, "You got it. You don't need me anymore. I'm glad to continue writing, but you are a full-fledged writer. Your words and your melodies are getting extremely original and smart." Kolander could only reply, "You're lying."
And then Steve met an unexpected musician who was interested in working with him. His name is Peter Moore, an African American producer who has played on many a record including most recently, Tony Rich of LeFace Records, an R&B artist based out of Atlanta, Georgia. Together, Kolander and Moore created an original sound that mixes the roots of country with the soul of R&B. Kolander has decided to call it Cowboy Soul. Welcome to 2003.