Thu, Oct 17, 2013.
The timing is perfect for Alberta country star Gord Bamford's visit to N.B. His sixth album, Country Junkie, hit the #1 spot on the charts this week, following the success of its first single, When Your Lips Are So Close. It's been quite a fall for Bamford, who grabbed five Canadian Country Music Association Awards in September, honouring his 2012 album Is It Friday Yet? and its hit single, Leaning On A Lonesome Song. Bamford gave the premier of ..Lips... on the TV broadcast, and seems to be rolling into a career peak. He's also about to start a series of shows with country royalty, opening for Reba McEntire. It's safe to say Bamford has become Canada's #1 country star.
His new album continues on the winning path Bamford has walked since the start of his career. He writes pretty much everything he sings (just one cover out of 14 here), and he continues to team with producer Byron Hill, also his main co-writer. Together, they cover the bases well, with more modern hits tempered by old-school country, heartthrob ballads like the lead single mixed with party tunes. There's a significant amount of beer consumed on the album, all responsibly of course, on numbers such as That's How We Party, and Saturday's Beer, which they are already polishing off on Thursday. As for his commitment to the music, you get that on the title track, a guitar boogie number featuring vet Joe Diffie, a celebration of the good time feeling found in pedal steel, fiddle, Haggard and Jones. Bamford grabbed five singles off his last album, and this one seems like every cut has hit potential.
Fans have two chances to catch Bamford in the province, including tonight as a headliner at the Capitol Exhibition Centre in Fredericton. Friday he'll start the Reba tour, at Harbour Station in Saint John, and continue on for a couple of more Maritime dates, Saturday in Summerside and Sunday in Halifax.
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Bob Mersereau has been covering music, and the East Coast Music Scene since 1985 for CBC. He's a veteran scene-maker at the ECMA's, knows where the best shows and right parties are happening, and more importantly, has survived to tell the tales. His weekly East Coast music column is heard on Shift on Radio 1 in New Brunswick each Wednesday at 4'45. He's also the author of two national best-selling books, The Top 100 Canadian Albums (2007) and The Top 100 Canadian Singles (2010).