Gord Bamford a smalltown storyteller

JORDIE DWYER - Sun Media

, Last Updated: 1:56 AM ET

One of the acts that broke in the Shell Theatre when it opened its doors will grace the stage once again. Gord Bamford returns to Fort Saskatchewan tomorrow on a tour promoting his third and latest CD - Honkytonks And Heartaches - that was released in September. Although born in Australia, the 31-year-old has called Lacombe home since he was five and loves the smaller town venues, which make up the majority of the stops on this latest tour.

Bamford, like all smalltown Alberta boys, didn't start out wanting to be a country music star. He wanted to be one of the big money-making athletes he saw on television.

"That all changed after I went to my first Garth Brooks concert. After that, I started writing and singing and everyone just encouraged me to keep doing it," he says.

That eventually led to Bamford winning a radio talent contest in 1995 and then his debut single Forever Starts Today was released a year later. His first album - a mostly cover tune-filled one called God's Green Earth - came five years later, but didn't do as well as he had expected and left the business a bit discouraged.

However, Bamford decided a few years later that he wasn't finished yet and went to the heart of country music, Nashville, to hone his craft.

That was 2003 and Bamford has since co-written two more albums plus worked and performed with several huge stars of country music including Tim McGraw, Kenny Rogers, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Don Williams and Terri Clark.

To be a success, Bamford believes it's all in the songs and that seems to have worked this time around, with his new album's first single - Blame It On That Red Dress - hitting the top 10 on the country charts as well as the song's video reaching the top spot on CMT's Top 20 back in November.

"I would probably consider myself more mainstream, a today's country kind of artist," he says. "I believe country music is about real life and it tells a story. I write songs that seem to hit home with people, connect with them, and people can tell right away that the song is from personal experience, whether it's mine or was told to me.

"I think that's why it's so great, because there are situations where you can reach out, make someone feel good and know you're doing something right."

Another important aspect of his career is making sure the smalltown fan isn't left out, which is why he enjoys playing in the smaller venues.

"We are playing a number of small places on this tour and it just allows me to connect with fans on a different level," Bamford says.

"The fans get a chance to see what you really are like and I believe you develop a great fan base this way. I don't consider myself a star. I'm just like anyone else, this is just the way I am.

"I enjoy waking up and performing, touring and writing. Some people don't have the luxury of liking what they do. I have been very fortunate to do a job that I love."

Gord Bamford will be performing with special guest Krista Scoggins tomorrow night in the Dow Centennial Centre's Shell Theatre in Fort Saskatchewan, 8700 84 St. Tickets are $26.50 for adults and $24 for students and seniors through Ticketmaster by calling 451-8000 or going online to www.ticketmaster.ca.


Videos

Photos