Duane Steele was one of the most visible and accessible stars at Country Music Week, held last month in Calgary.
And there was good reason the Hines Creek native was at every function.
He has lost both his record deal with Mercury Records and his Nashville publishing deal.
"All I know is they (Mercury) are not interested in working together," Steele tells the Sun.
The last single release from This is the Life is Right From the Start -- and Steele hopes the video will debut tomorrow, the same day he plays Outlaws.
He is taking a positive look at this turn of events.
"Publishing deals come and go all the time, so I'm very optimistic.
"And I got some pretty positive feedback from CCMA week and I was also just in Toronto," says Steele.
Throughout the interview, the personable singer -- who has two CDs under his belt, This is the Life and P.O. Box 423 -- keeps saying "if I get to do another record."
So does that mean he's not really that confident?
"No, I'm very optimistic!" he answers.
"I will record another album somewhere down the road, be it on a major label or independent.
"I just don't want to sound too cocky.
"(Losing a record deal) shakes you up and kicks you in the butt and maybe I needed that. It's kind of a good feeling. It's like starting fresh and new."
For motivation to start over again, Steele needs to look no further than his friend and Two Names On An Overpass duet partner Lisa Brokop, who is coming on strong with a new record deal.
"Her album is fantastic. She sounds like a real woman now and there is this I've-lived-this (tone) in her voice now.
"It's very inspirational," he says.
Touring Canada in support of his first two albums has also given him some experience he can use on his next project.
"Touring has been wonderful the last few years. And I was heading in the right direction ... exploring new keys with my voice.
"I found my pocket for my voice and I want to explore that further if I get to do another album.
"I love the recording process and I'd like to record a fresh new Duane Steele."
He's also penned some new tunes, one of which fans may hear at the Outlaws show.
The song is appropriately called I'll Be Alright.