I’ll let my first article for the CMAO newsletter serve as an introduction. I host an online radio show called In The Country. Broadcasting since March of 2009 from Ontario, the show airs live twice weekly – with plenty of podcasts available if you’ve missed any! I’ve interviewed hundreds of the biggest names and rising stars in Country music from Canada and around the world. And of course, many of those guests have been Ontario Country artists. I love having the opportunity for longer form interviews (30 to 60 minutes) to allow the artists to share stories and insight into what drives them to make music. One of the main answers seems to be: they have no choice. The music found them and never let go. I’m sure most of you reading this can relate to that.
The show covers artists’ influences – and, of course, songwriting. It’s such a fascinating subject – part craft, part inspiration. It’s amazing how that song that a writer or two poured their heart and soul into goes on to resonate with listeners and offer comfort or provide inspiration. Or maybe it’s a song that just makes you wanna dance and sing along! I hope that songwriters will learn something from these conversations and that music fans will enjoy a glimpse into how their favourite songs are written.
How long have I been a Country fan? That goes way back. I’ve listened my whole life – and watched – and read. It is the music I passionately consume and enjoy. I love the history and am always excited by new artists and new songs that come along.
Ontario is the home of many of the best Country artists that Canada has to offer. And more of them are just beginning to make their mark. How incredible it is that the CMAO is there to help them take the right steps – and to educate and support them.
I attended the CMAO awards show last year in Markham, Ontario. It was an amazing evening filled with the latest and greatest artists. The night couldn’t have run smoother or sounded better. Ontario can claim Charlie Major, Michelle Wright, Small Town Pistols, Jason Blaine, Deric Ruttan…how could I even start a list that just goes on and on? If you didn’t attend last year, make plans for May 26, 2014 where the awards will once again be held at the Markham Theatre.
Along the way, I’ve pursued songwriting. I write lyrics. I’m a co-writer on a couple of radio singles from Ontario artists: Colin Amey’s If I Didn’t Call It Love and, more recently, Western Avenue’s Highway Headin’ Out Of Town.