Canadian Country Music Honors Five St. Albert-Linked Artists

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The Canadian Country Music Association will roll out the red carpet from Friday November 26th to Monday November 29th in London, Ontario for the 39th CCMA Awards.

Once again, it’s time to celebrate the singers, musicians, videographers, designers and industry people who create Canada’s unique cocktail of country music.

The Canadian Country Music Association will roll out the red carpet from Friday, November 26 to Monday, November 29 in London, Ontario. for the 39th CCMA Awards. The grand ceremony takes place at an indoor, in-person party at Budweiser Gardens in London, Ont., on Monday.

Leading the pack for artist awards are The Reklaws, a brother-sister duo from Cambridge, Ont., with six nominations. Behind them, with five nominations each, are recording artists Dallas Smith of Langley, BC, and Alberta artists Brett Kissel and Lindsay Ell.

This year’s nominations also include a handful of St. Albert-related artists. What is significant about local artists is the distribution among the various disciplines of country music.

Once a St. Albert resident leading a band called Fast Lane, singer-songwriter Aaron Goodvin now lives in Nashville. The CCMA winner and two-time Juno nominee is nominated in three CCMA categories this year, including Songwriter of the Year for Single Every time you take your time.

The Musicians’ Awards, celebrated separately from the Artists’ Awards, are jam-packed with three St. Albert musicians vying for Drummer of the Year. They are Matthew Atkins, who now lives in Vancouver; Ben Bradley, former Goodvin’s Fast Lane drummer; and Greg Williamson, who continues to settle in St. Albert. This is Williamson’s third appointment to the CCMA.

Williamson first made a name for himself as a house drummer for Tupelo Honey, performing with major bands such as Bon Jovi, Bif Naked, Theory of a Deadman, Billy Talent, Sam Roberts. He was also the drummer for Econoline Crush for seven years. When rock band Tupelo Honey quietly disbanded and singer Dan Davidson managed to transition into country music, he took Williamson with him.

“It’s good to win, but being nominated is like a victory. It’s good to be recognized. But being a player isn’t just about drumming,” Williamson said.

He has a passion for constantly developing his art and his current portfolio includes country artists such as Brett Kissel, Clayton Bellamy, Shawn Austin, JoJo Mason, Jaywalker, Devin Cooper and Andrew Hyatt.

“The transition to country was not a big step forward. It wasn’t over the top style wise,” said Williamson, who also plays rockabilly, blues and industrial metal, along with many other styles.

Despite his versatility in switching between styles, he said it has never been harder to lead a dedicated and successful music career.

“It’s partly because people are obsessed with technology and don’t want to see live bands. But there’s still a market for people who like live music and it’s about winning over those who don’t.

The latest St. Albert nominee is Travis Nesbitt, who received a nod for Video Director of the Year. His nominated work includes two videos for Dan Davidson – No last call and Role models; road hammers The boys are back; and Tim and the Glory Boys Without prayer.

This is Nesbitt’s fourth nomination and as he jokes, “I’m always the bridesmaid, never the bride.”

He first achieved notoriety nearly 25 years ago as the lead singer of the rock band Social Code. After the band broke up, he transferred his creativity to design and video production.

Like Williamson, Nesbitt takes a humble approach to the nomination.

“With this, I feel included in the musical community. The CCMA nomination is cool, but more importantly, it makes me feel like I’m part of the music industry I’ve spent my life in. It’s awesome. It feels good,” Nesbitt said.

The professional videographer uses different techniques to tell the stories of the songs. While making Davidson’s videos, Nesbitt pushes his quirky imagination into the stratosphere.

“I don’t let the lyrics dictate the video. I go there for the humor. I try not to think about it too much.

However, when Nesbitt filmed The Road Hammer’s The boys are back, he executed a more structured approach. For this rock-country group that easily fills stadiums, it relied on motorcycles, music, stadium lights and fog.

And for the pop-country singers Tim and the Glory Boys song Without prayerNesbitt traveled to their ranch in Abbotsford, British Columbia, and “made an upgraded version of their lives.”

Tickets for CCMA events are available online at budweisergardens.com.

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