I had the chance to talk to multiple CCMA Award winner & Sony Music recording artist Gord Bamford about his current swing through Manitoba and Ontario on the Country Junkie Tour and what 2015/16 have in store.
Sound Check: Gord, welcome back to Ontario and thanks for taking the time out of your hectic schedule today to chat. Lets kick things off with your string of shows in Manitoba and Ontario can you maybe tell us a bit about the mini tour?
Gord Bamford: Just a small little run we put together for the start of this year. They are all doing very well, we are excited to be here. Always a great market to come and play in, its great on the back end of this record, and we will be gearing up for a big one next year. But were happy with the way this ones going.
Sound Check: Current single at Radio & CMT Canada is Groovin’ with You which was shot in Ontario can you tell us a bit about that experience?
Gord: Ya, we did that one and the last one actually were shot in Ontario. But Groovin With You was a lot of fun we had a great location with a whole bunch of extras that came out. It was kind of a chilly and rainy day. The guys did a really good job of it, it was one of the better experience ones cause I really don’t like doing them a lot (says with a chuckle) but it was a good day.
Sound Check: You mentioned the tail end of this album (Country Junkie) earlier, wondering what your up to for new material for a new album?
Gord: Well we got a US deal now so the next couple months we will be launching our first single in the US and we got a whole bunch of new material about 19 or 20 songs cut and we will narrow it down over the next few months we will have a new single out later this year in Canada likely September and then we will also have a big tour announcement and the new Album. Really excited about it. Written a bunch of stuff and had a bunch of great stuff pitched. ‘ always kind of nerve wracking when you’re putting a new project together cause you always want to out-do yourself and I think we have been able to accomplish that on this one. But we will have to get out there and wait and see.
Sound Check: In previous records you worked closely with Byron Hill does Bryon play the same role in the upcoming record?
Gord: Byron is a great guy and has been a great mentor to me but we actually changed producers on this project and worked with a guy by the name of Phil O’Donnell. Canadian guy that moved to Nashville he has done a lot with Craig Morgan and also worked with George Strait and Blake Shelton as well. We just decided we needed a little different approach on this record. It’s always good to have a different set of ears but it’s also incredibly difficult to make a change after 7 records and 16 years of great friendships. Which are still there so it’s a bit of a different change for us, that’s for sure.
Sound Check: So you said a 16 year relationship, to think it was 20 years ago when you first won that talent contest, I am sure it’s hard to believe that It’s been that long for you.
Gord: Ya, definitely makes you feel older. It sure wasn’t an overnight success. But its great to see how its all come together and how its evolved over time. It takes a long time and you have to work hard and put together with a great team of people but its been really good.
Sound Check: Over the last say 5-10 years how do you think you have changed as a songwriter?
Gord: You always work to get better as a song writer and I continue to learn all the time. I feel I have a pretty good grasp on it now. I have a great group of people that I get to write with. There is some stuff from Byron on here, Phil and Buddy Owens a guy I write with a lot. I am signed to Ole so some of those writers were involved in it. Just getting the chance to write with some different people. It’s a lot of the same style that we would do. I also went outside and think there are 4 outside songs that we picked for this record and if they make it, it would be a first for me. I am always about getting the best songs, doesn’t matter if it’s written by me or gets picked, I think best song wins.
Sound Check: Do you find over the years you have been given more opportunities for those songs to be pick from?
Gord: As your career blossoms and grows you defiantly get more of the A list type of material sent your way. That’s just the way it works. We had some great stuff sent to us to listen to for this current project.
Sound Check: We are coming into festival season and lots of big announcements one being you will be at Havelock this summer. Anything else you can tell us?
Gord: We got a couple, were kind of staying pretty idle this year. We are gearing up for our first real big headlining tour across Canada so we are trying to stay out of markets that we are going to be doing that in and we are busy in the States. So not a whole lot going for us this summer other than a couple Festival dates but that’s about it.
Sound Check: You have worked as a producer on the Boom Chucka Boys current album can you tell us about that experience?
Gord: Ya, great bunch of guys with lots of energy and they bring something to country music that I don’t think a lot of people are doing. I was involved in producing this current project of theirs which is a lot more mainstream radio. I think their first single has done well for them so their off to the races. We have them out with us to try and get them people to see them. They are really good live and you gotta put the miles in and get out and play all the shows you can and create a fan base and they are doing a good job of that.
Sound Check: Thoughts on Social Media?
Gord: I think it’s evolved in the business and think it’s a necessity for us I can see it help. But for me in my mind it’s about getting that connection off the stage. I think social media helps you make more people aware of what you’re doing. But it’s that connection one on one or off the stage which is still key to what I do. I think you have to be real on Twitter and stuff like that. Fans don’t want to know who you think you want to be they want to know who you really are. So you have to really know how to use the social media systems you have and that’s what we try and do.
Sound Check: So, being a father of 2 myself I just really want to commend you on your charity efforts. What you do is such an amazing thing and touches so many. Thank you for everything you do.
Gord: Well thanks a lot, it’s really important to us. I just came from a Children’s Hospital here in Hamilton, it’s a great part of what I get to do and what I can help out with. I have 3 children of our own so it’s a very important thing for me.
Sound Check: How did you get involved in this type of charity?
Gord: Well we have had personal experiences with our youngest daughter for one. And secondly when you have children as you do they become the most important things in your life at least it is for your life changes and you look at things a little different. When you have an opportunity to raise money and put it back into our country and our people. It’s kind of a no brainer for us.
Sound Check: Gord, thanks again for all the charity work and thanks for taking the time to chat today. Best of luck on the remainder of the shows. Looking forward to the new music.
For more info on Gord Bamford you can visit his social media outlets below.
Gord Bamford Website
Gord Bamford on Twitter
Gord Bamfrod on Facebook
Sony Music Canada Website
If your in Orillia (Saturday Night), London (Sunday) or Kingston (Tuesday) you can still get tickets for one of the Gords stops in Ontario at his website! Don’t miss the Country Junkie as he prepares for his next album! We can’t wait Gord!
If anyone is headed to the show on Saturday Night @ CasinoRama. Be sure to drop me a line, love to say hi to all our readers.
Corey Kelly / @CoreyKelly76