2018 Songs & Stories

Friday June 1, 2018 Rum Runners

Hear the Songs & Stories Behind the Hits



Creating music means different things to different people. And each musical genre presents its own unique challenges and opportunities but this group of songwriters all have one thing in common - they continue to write hit after hit. Although different musical styles demand different approaches to performing and recording, a well-written song is a well-written song, whether it’s a country rave-up, an infectious pop standard or a rock anthem. Come hear the songs and stories behind the hits.

Hosted by Wendell Ferguson

Performances by:

Jason Blaine


Fun, family, friends and faith. They’re the cornerstones of life for Jason Blaine. “I like to cut up with friends and play a little too loud. My family’s really important to me. And in recent years, I’ve had a kind of spiritual awakening. Entering my 30s, I finally found balance in my life and got my priorities right. I learned you can have a little bit of fun on Saturday night and be at church on Sunday morning. That's really where I’m at." Blaine earned CCMA nominations for Male Artist, Single of the Year, Songwriter, & Producer in 2012. "Life So Far" turned out three Top 10 singles, including On a Night Like This, Cool and They Don’t Make ’Em Like That Anymore, who won Single of the Year at the Canadian Country Music Awards, and whose video hit No. 1 on CMT Canada. Despite his success, Jason remains as down to earth as they come. "At the end of the day, when the stage lights come down and I get off the plane or the tour bus and I come home, I’m just a husband and a father".

Dan Davidson


Alberta’s newest up and coming country sensation Dan Davidson exploded onto the Canadian country scene in 2016 with the release of his second single “Found” (Co-written by Clayton Bellamy of The Road Hammers). Dan became arguably the indie story of 2016 as his single “Found” rocketed up the charts and he became the #1 charting indie artist in Canada. “Found” was the #1 selling Canadian country song in Canada for several weeks in July and August 2016. It had also #16 on the charts and was the 8th highest charting Canadian song in the country. The hit single also went top 50 on the Shazam charts across all formats and hit #15 on the iTunes sales charts. On just his second release ever in country music – he has a GOLD single. The future is bright for Davidson. In only 2 years of being involved in the country music scene, he was nominated for 2 CCMA awards (Songwriter and Rising Star), his name can be seen on the charts next to some of the top artists in North America – and he has found a way to do it independently. Dan is new to the country scene, but is far from “green” in the music industry. He spent 10 years playing in the well-known Canadian indie rock band Tupelo Honey (who had several top 40 hits, top selling iTunes records and toured with bands like Bon Jovi). On the advice of a couple of long time friends (who happen to be top selling Canadian country artists), Dan decided to start focusing on his new country project. Dan’s sound came together as he started writing and working on music with Toronto producer Jeff Dalziel (Washboard Union, Andrew Hyatt, Autumn Hill, Brett Kissel) and the two spent the better part of a year developing an EP that’s characteristic of Dan’s love of “good time” music. Dan’s 2nd release Barn Burner (another co-write with Clayton Bellamy) was released in late 2016 and also broke the top 40 and pushed Dan over the edge to be recognized as the Canadian Country Spotlight Featured Artist of 2016/2017. The song was accompanied by an over-the-top music video shot in Tokyo, Japan. In 2017, Dan won 4 ACMA awards at his first time participating in the event. He took home “Song Of The Year”, “Single Of The Year”, “Video Of The Year”, and “Rising Star”. Recently, Dan has been recognized as a 2-time CCMA Award nominee alongside acts like Dean Brody, Brett Kissel, and other top artists. He also won for MORE ACMA’s in 2018 for “Single Of The Year”, “Song Of The Year”, “Male Artist Of The Year”, and “Fans Choice”. Dan has shared the stage with Jon Pardi, Brett Kissel, Tim Hicks, Chad Brownlee, Gord Bamford, Corb Lund, The Road Hammers and so many more. You can catch him on tour in 2018 supporting Brett Kissel on his nearly sold out “We Were That Song” tour.

Ryan Langdon


At a strapping and athletic 6’3”, 240 lbs., Ryan Langdon is kind of hard to miss. But when you hear the first few notes of his brand new Slaight Music single “Leave Me Right,” you’ll notice there’s something else about this Niagara Falls, Ontario-based country singer that’s hard to miss… His booming baritone. It’s as engrained in his DNA as is his ability to sing country music. “It’s funny,” admits Langdon, 29. “I sang as a kid and loved all the genres, but I always had that country sound. Even when I did other types of material, friends would say, ‘Man, I don’t know if you’re trying, but you sound like a country singer.’ It was just my voice.” And that rich and resonant tone is just one of the first things that strikes you about “Leave Me Right,” a memorable debut produced by Jeff “Diesel” Dalziel (Brett Kissel, Dan Davidson, The Washboard Union) and co-written by the acclaimed Jessica Mitchell (“Workin’ On Whiskey,”) multiple CCMA Award winner Patricia Conroy and Dave Thomson (Lady Antebellum.) It knocked Ryan Langdon out the moment he heard the demo. “It’s such a cool song because it’s very close to my personality,” says Langdon. “If you’re in a relationship and it’s not going as planned and you can feel the other person is losing interest, it’s very relatable. “The song says, ‘If you’re not interested, you may as well let me know now and just leave me right – don’t drag me along for three or four years. Just get it over with.’ It’s hip.” More recently, at the behest of Slaight Music, Langdon has spent some time in Nashville writing with “Leave Me Right” co-writers Jessica Mitchell, Patricia Conroy and Dave Thomson. Since he’s usually written alone, the collaborative process has given him some good insight. “If you draw a blank, someone else can pick up the slack,” he notes.