Happy Friday, gang! A week from today I will be on my flight to the CMAO’s! I received my media accreditation this week and I am ready to roll. I cannot wait to share this experience with you guys.
I want to give a HUGE shout out to my sister this week. Garth Brooks hasn’t been here in 20 years and I didn’t get the opportunity to see him. Well, this time I will!! She got me a ticket for my birthday! I can’t believe it! Thanks Court! Love you!
Let’s see what’s happening:
You’ve Got a Friend:
Tonight, Clay Walker along with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Joel and Victoria Osteen of the Lakewood Church, will be holding a concert for the Greater Houston Storm Relief Fund. The event will also feature locally and nationally known artists and celebrities and leaders in the community. In a recent press release, Walker was quoted as saying, “Houston has been home to me for most of my life. It is an honour to help those in need by joining together to heal hearts and repair the structures that shelter so many families who make up the rich fabric of our community.” The fund provides support and financial assistance to the residents of Houston who were affected by the recent floods. Mayor Turner said of the event, “It is our privilege to come together and help our fellow Houstonians recover. I thank all of the wonderful people who have made this opportunity to help others in [the biggest] way possible.” If you wish to help, visit houstonrecovers.org to see how to donate.
Host With the Most:
As many of you know, the CMA Festival in Nashville is quickly approaching (June 9-12). One of the unofficial kick-off events is the Music City Gives Back Concert on June 7. This free event in downtown Nashville will be hosted by Rodney Atkins who will team up with headliner Dustin Lynch, Craig Campbell, Lanco and Canaan Smith. In a recent press release, Atkins said, “This is hands-down one of my favourite events to do every year,” he continued, “I’m grateful to all of the artists who are coming out to play with us this year – we’re going to have a good time.” Performances will begin at 6pm but the day begins at 10am with an autograph signing with some of the artists. The day is full of activities which includes, of course, day drinking and playing corn hole (had to look it up – it is like a bean bag toss). If you are in Nashville for CMA Fest, be sure to check it out.
I was at the Craven Country Jamboree last summer. While I was laying in my tent after the main stage show, I could hear Jason Blaine in the background. It was awesome to be sung to sleep by such a talented artist. So naturally, when the opportunity came up for me to do ANY type of interview with him, I jumped at the chance!
If you look at the Bio page on Jason’s website it reads “Fun, family, friends and faith. They’re the cornerstone of life for Jason Blaine.” I thought about his music and it’s lyrics and decided that this was a fair assessment of who he is as an artist.
Originally from Pembroke, Ontario, he first picked up the guitar at 8 and joined his dad’s band at 16. His hard work paid off because Jason was the Project Discovery winner sponsored by CMT in 2002. Since then he has been nominated for numerous awards including CCMA Single of the Year for “They Don’t Make ‘Em Like That Anymore” in 2012. He was the recipient of that award.
With Lyrics like “Find a cup, fill it up” and “I wanna hold you close, wanna show you what love’s about”, it is clear to see that Jason is a fun-loving romantic. He always makes sure that there is a song for his wife and children on each of his albums. In recent years, Jason has also re-discovered his spiritual side, saying that he “found balance”, proving that you can go out on Saturday night and still make it to church on Sunday morning.
Blaine currently lives in Nashville with his wife and children but next weekend, he will be in Markham, Ontario to attend the CMAO Awards. I am very fortunate that he took a few minutes to answer some questions for me:
Q: You are the leader for CMAO Award nominations. How has the CMAO contributed to your career?
A: It’s an honour to have 6 nominations this year, for sure. The CMAO is passionate about Canadian country music and has created a great opportunity to recognise the work of artists, producers, musicians, songwriters, and country radio and the impact that they have made nationally, all stemming from Ontario! I’m very proud to be associated with that.
Q: If you could play on stage with anyone (dead or alive), who would it be and why?
A: Vince Gill. I have so much respect for him as an artist, musician, singer and songwriter. It just doesn’t get any better for me. If I can choose a Canadian artist as well, I’d say Bryan Adams, for all the same reasons.
Q: You are involved in several charities including holding a golf tournament. How do you decide which charities you want to support?
A: I was looking for a way to use my music to give back to my hometown a few years ago and make a positive impact on the community. I have a wonderful committee of amazing volunteers and together we lend our support to causes most in need within the community and where we feel we can be most effective each year.
Q: How do you balance career and family life?
A: I just try to be present when I’m with my family. I think that is important for anyone trying to balance work & family. The reality is, we all have work to do but it’s about how we spend the time we have together, that’s what counts.
Q: How do you unwind after a show?
A: We usually have a few drinks and laughs on the bus after the show. One of my favourite things about touring is just hanging out with the people I work with.
Q: What is the strangest request you have ever received from a fan?
A: One time a fan pulled off their artificial leg and handed it to me and asked me to sign it. Really not that strange but it did catch me by surprise.
Q: What’s the last photo you took on your phone?
A: A picture of a beautiful sunrise from the BMI Songwriters Festival in Key West.
Please visit Jason’s website (http://www.jasonblaine.ca), follow him on Twitter (@jasonblaine) and for heaven sakes, go and like his Facebook page! For your listening pleasure, I leave you with “Country Side” by Jason Blaine: