I kid you not when I say that I wrote part of this blog post while on a road trip to Regina last weekend for a family function. Yes…there is photographic evidence:
I also finished writing it while in an airport and maybe even in the air and en route to Hamilton…
And I’m finishing it backstage at the CCMA Gala Awards.
There was just too much to tell you BEFORE I start bringing you stuff from the weekend! So…In a psychotic craze, I am trying to do it all. LOL! It is totally worth it. Trust me! Worth it!
Let’s give ‘er
COUNTRY MUSIC NEWS
Made In Canada, From Coast-to-Coast
George Canyon is about as Canadian as they come and has no intention of ever hiding it. Last month, he announced his Made In Canada Tour.
The multiple CCMA and Juno Award winning artist will be hitting the road on November 1st, starting in Pictou, NS (his hometown). The tour will include 12 dates and will conclude in Calgary, AB on November 17th.
Tickets went on sale on August 17th, so if this sounds like it is your cup of tea, then you may want to see if you can still snatch one of these up!
Coming Soon To A Honkytonk Near You
If you currently do not follow Gord Bamford’s socials, you really should. He’s a pretty interesting guy. This year, he has been everywhere. Austrailia, Paris. Well, it appears that he is going to be home for a little bit and he is going back to his roots.
There is a bit of a trend happening right now where artists are “coming home” to play in smaller venues. Though it may be harder to get tickets, the experience is
uncomparable. Gord is no exception. He recently announced that he will be embarking on The Honkytonk And Dive Bars Tour. It will begin in Calgary, AB on October 17th and play in 29 cities coast-to-coast, playing in local bars and honkytonks.
Tickets for this went on sale on August 30th and are very limited. If you are interested, you should probably get on it. He promises it will be a hell of a night! From persoanl experience…this will be absolutely true.
The Solo Tour You’ve Been Waiting For!
Ok. Maybe it’s the solo tour I’VE been waiting for! It is no secret that I have an undying love for Jessica Mitchell. They call her “country’s Adele”. For me, it’s more like if Adele and Melissa Etheridge had a baby…it would be Jessica Mitchell.
After going out on a large-scale tour with Johnny Reid, Jessica is going out on her first solo tour. It begins on November 14th in Calgary. I, for one, am super excited to hear this.
Since I spoke to Jessica, she released her debut LP Heart of Glass. If you have not heard it yet, shame on you. In one word, this album is “exquisite”. It is a true testament to Jessica’s skill as both a songwriter and a vocalist. Her next single from this album “Maybe It’s Me” was set to release September 5th!! Upon hearing Heart Of Glass it is easy to see why Jessica earned her CCMA Nominations this year for both Songwriter and Roots Artist Of The Year. Bravo.
If you have the opportunity to catch Jessica live, you should. She is captivating.
Perhaps We Should “Mansplain” This
Let me tell you something, 8:30 in the morning is a hell of a time for an interview. I grabbed my coffee, and Katie Rox from country-rock group, Nice Horse, grabbed hers and we were off to the races.
I really wanted to get this interview in before CCMA Week. This was an ALL FEMALE band….something pretty unheard of. They are up for CCMA Interactive Artist of the Year and it is their very first CCMA nomination. Naturally, with the big week coming up, this is where we started. I asked her what her first reaction was to hearing the news about their nomination. Katie laughed, “I didn’t realize we were still eligible for anything to be nominated for.” Someone had mentioned to her that she should watch ET Canada and she remembered that they were still eligible for Interactive Artist Of The Year. She had a difficult time watching the program because of the stress, even going for a run to calm her nerves to no avail. When she saw that they DID get the nomination, it was pure jubilation, “I did shed a bit of tears,” she admitted, “I was very overwhelmed and very excited.”
Rightfully so. This all-female country band hailing from Alberta has only been around a couple of years and consider themselves to be the quintessential “party-crashers”. “We pretty much show up invited or not!” This award for them has changed a lot. “To officially be ‘CCMA nominated Nice Horse’ will forever be that, whether we win or not. We got the nomination and that’s huge for us.”
We started talking about their latest album There Goes The Neighborhood, which, incidentally, is fantastic. If you’re looking for a boot stompin’ good time, go pick it up! The whole project really picked up traction when member Brandi Sidoryk decided to go on a writing trip to Hawaii. Katie was taking a bit of a break from music, but Brandi invited her and gal pals Krista Wodelet and Tara McLeod along for the ride and Nice Horse was born. “We spent the days at the beach and drinking mai tais and writing completely uninhibited and I think that was the best part. We didn’t think anybody would ever hear them, so it didn’t matter what we wrote
They loved what they were writing and we’re enjoying themselves to boot. They really felt like they were on to something. They came home with an arsenal with some awesome tunes and made a demo. They originally started shipping it around to people they knew in the industry as something to do to get some gigs. You know…something to do during Stampede. The feedback was phenomenal! Better than they expected. “They said you should drop everything else you’re doing and focus on this because you are on to something great here.”
From CCMA performances to shows with Tom Cochrane to being the CMT Fresh Face Feature Artist, these girls are on fire and I don’t think they’d have it any other way. Their latest single “Mansplainin’ proves that these girls are strong enough to tow the line on their own. Written while recording the album, the girls would come in and regale their producer Jeff of tales of things that had happened to them, “He couldn’t believe the things that would be said to us and he just kept saying ‘you have to write a song about this.'” Jeff brought on Tarea Green (from the former Autumn Hill) and history was made.”
It was time to discuss the inevitable…being girls. This has really been the year of the woman. Have there been any noticeable changes in the industry? According to Katie, there still is a long road ahead but people are definitely making an effort. Women are moving more and more in to the forefront and Nice Horse is helping to make that happen, “People do openly talk to us about it because WE openly talk about.” The “For Girl” initiative and seeing and being a part of all female showcases prove to them that strides are being made.
While they are an all-girl band, they didn’t set out to be a beacon of feminism. Katie explains, “You’re right. We didn’t set out to be a feminine anthem band. We are truly just friends who happen to all be women who started a band. We didn’t even know at the time that we would be the only self-contained all-girl country band.” They were shocked when they realized this! “We realized we had an opportunity to stand for something.”
What is really exciting about one if these young ladies is that they make great music that’s not “angry chick music.” They are just out to have a good time. Being female is just a part of their brand, “Ideally we’re writing good songs and being a good band, regardless of our gender.” They want to write great songs, not great songs “for a girl”. They want to be recognized as good musicians – not good musicians “for a girl” (after seeing them live this weekend…..THEY ARE).
So here I am talking to a member of an all-female band, there is the obvious question of if you had to add a man to the band, who would you choose? “Oh my god! That’s a hard choice!!!” Katie started. She was, however able to narrow it down to 3 top choices: Butch Walker, Jaren Johnston of The Cadillac Three and Dierks Bentley. Thinking about it now, I don’t think any of them would look really great in daisy dukes…
CCMA Week has been busy for the girls, playing showcases and the Warner Showcase at the CCMA Fan Village. I asked Katie what her favourite part of the week is, “To me it’s almost like summer camp. You see all these musicians you get to know because you toured together and played one show together, really hit it off and then you don’t get to see each other because everybody’s off touring. I find that’s the one opportunity when everyone gets together.”
To end our call I had one last question. I asked her to choose a song that describes her personality. I shouldn’t be surprised when Katie replied, “Girl’s Just Want To Have Fun”.
While the girls didn’t win their category last night, don’t count them out just yet. This is just the beginning for this group of talented, vivacious, young women. Be sure to check out their socials:
IF you have not have the pleasure of hearing these gorgeous gals (who incidentally….are amazingly sweet and SUPER fun to be around), let me leave you with Mansplainin’ by Nice Horse: