It’s true on first listen Canadian Gord Bamford’s voice hits you with such rich harmonic content, tethered with the North American lilt that you are transported back to the days of classic country – the time when country music messiah Merle Haggard ruled the radio waves. Bamford performs songs from his new album and Canadian Country Music album of the Year Tin Roof, as part of the This Crazy Life concert at Twin Towns this Friday. Tiffany Mitchell posed some questions to Gord during his current Australian tour.
You have won many Canadian Country Music Awards – which one meant the most to you?
I have been so fortunate over the years, it’s hard to say. Male Artist of the Year is always a big one, but so is songwriter and album. I guess they are all great in their own way. I received the Humanitarian of the Year Award in 2010 and that was very special to me.
(This Award recognizes an individual(s) and/or event(s) that have made an outstanding contribution of time and energy in the support of humanitarian causes through country music in Canada)
Would you describe your music as classic country or mixed with a little rock? If so who are your influencers in arriving with this style of country music?
If I was to describe my music it would be a mix of George Strait, Eric Church, Black Shelton and Merle Haggard. It’s pretty much straight down the middle Country Music with radio friendly production.
You now live in Tennessee the country music state of the world. Your Nashville producer Byron Hill produced your last few albums – as a Canadian how important is it to live and record in the heart of country music land?
Byron has been a great mentor to me with songwriting and recording – however the Tin Roof album was co-produced by myself and Phil O’Donnell. My albums are recorded in both Nashville and Canada. Living in Nashville as a songwriter I feel it is quite important, but as an artist I feel you can base your home really anywhere.
If you could collaborate with any Australian country music artist – who would it be?
Well it would’ve been great to collaborate with the late great Slim Dusty I reckon and it would be cool to do something with Lee Kernaghan. I have listened to Lee’s music for many years now, back as far as the Three Chain Road stuff.
Is country music in Canada, similar in Australia where it is one huge family and everyone knows and supports one another?
Yes, it’s quite amazing actually. The Canadian market houses a very large country music scene and the fans and people are similar to the Aussie fans.
A note in one of your bios said your mother was a singer who toured with an Australian country band. Tell me about your mother who encouraged you to pursue a career in music.
Ha Ha – I’m not sure how accurate that really is! I know both my Mum and Dad used to get up and sing a lot in the pubs in Australia and enjoyed it! I remember Merle Haggard being played in the house. My Mum has never once held back and has always been in full support of whatever path I wanted to take in life since we left Australia at the age of five.
What is on the horizon tour wise after your Australian tour?
Well, I head back to Nashville to see my family for a short period of time. We have about twelve shows in Canada left to play this year, up until the 10th of December. We are currently making plans to return to Australia in the near future and continue to be part of the country scene here – it’s a priority for me and I am so pleased to be back in the country I was born. The Aussie people have welcomed me with open arms and I am very happy to be here.