Summer 2012 - Great Canadian Showcase, Gongerfest

Hey everyone!

So sorry for being MIA. This summer has been quite hectic so it’s been hard to find the time and figure out exactly what i’m going to tell you guys about - which is a good and bad thing i guess.

I guess to start off, I’ll tell you guys about a competition I entered this summer called the Great Canadian Showcase.  I entered along with 80 other local bands and acoustic acts. They had people perform every Friday at the Cabin here in Ottawa.  After each Friday they would choose the top 1 or 2 performances to move on to the final round on Canada day. To be honest, I went in there without the highest of hopes because I knew bands like the Chris Evan’s Band, the Art Vandelays and many other great full bands were in there and I was just an acoustic act.  But thankfully, I was chosen to make it to the finals and went on Canada Day to perform as the last act and had an absolute blast.  There were people up and dancing and cheering.  It was so much fun.  Then about 15 minutes later they announced the winners and turns out I won the grand prize!  I received $17000 worth of gigs in downtown Ottawa and a couple hundred dollars worth of recording with a great local producer Eric Eggleston at his studio. Unreal eh?!   

From the competition, I landed a weekly gig every Friday at the Cabin which I’m absolutely loving.  The staff at this bar are absolutely off the charts- probably some of the most entertaining people I’ve ever met. I have so much getting to know them and sharing a couple (sometimes more than a couple) drinks with them.  It’s always a night filled with many laughs.  Each week I look forward to Fridays not for the time off work or the parties like most people, but for the fact that I get to go to “work” and be with such fun people and play for great crowds.  I’ve been so lucky to have so many people stopping by to listen and purchasing CDs and press kits.

Also from the competition, I am booked with my really good friends in the Chris Evan’s band to play bars like Pier 21.  I can’t even begin to tell you how excited i am to get to play shows with a band, and even better yet, a band full of boys that I love to be with.  These guys are insanely talented and we always have a blast together.  I’ll be updating my “Shows” page with all the dates that you can come check us out.  

This past weekend at Cabin was actually one of the most exciting times there.  Started out Friday playing what i thought was a normal Friday night gig, but it gave me so many opportunities that i’m so grateful for.  I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of Gongshow Gear, but if you know anything about hockey, i’m sure you do.  It’s a clothing line that started right here in Ottawa and you can now see so many NHL players wearing their stuff.  Anyways, they were having their 10th anniversary party called Gongerfest at Cabin on the Saturday and one of the Gongshow boys, Troy, happened to stop by my show on the Friday. Turns out he really enjoyed what he saw and asked me to play at their event!  I was SO insanely excited to play at this event, not only because Gongshow is such a big thing, but a great country music artist by the name of Aaron Pritchett was going to be performing that night and would most likely hear my play at some point.  I couldn’t believe they asked me to play!  You should have seen me and the manager of Cabin jumping up and down with excitement.  

So the Saturday started off wonderfully.  The Gongshow boys hooked me up with some awesome shirts and a even a cowboy hat :).  I played while everyone stopped by the patio to shop and listen.  During my second set though, Mr. Pritchett happened to be walking by for his sound check and stopped by to listen for a while!  I was trying so hard to read his face while i played to see if he enjoyed it haha.  After I was finished my set he came up to talk to me!  Brought me to his green room and we talked about the industry and he gave me some great advice.  He’s such a down-to-earth and friendly guy.  It was so easy to ask him questions and learn about the industry through his experiences.  I then got to go watch his sound check, jumped on stage for some pictures with him too :)  Gave him and his opening act Rory Gardiner, my cd/press kit to listen to as well.   His concert later that night was unreal!  It was impossible to stop dancing.  He was perfect for Gongerfest.  That whole night was just awesome - blurry at times haha but awesome.  The Gongshow boys at the Cabin definitely know how to throw a kick-ass party, that’s for sure!

Now that I’ve been playing more frequently, I’ve found so many opportunities have come up.  I’ve been talking to different producers about recording and managers from all different sorts of bars have approached me about playing at their venues.  I will actually be playing every Thursday night from 5-9 at the Royal Oak downtown and then quickly move my things over to Cabin to play at the one and only country night in downtown Ottawa at 1030.  My voice is going to hate me after, but i can’t express how happy I am that so many people want me to play at their bars/restaurants.  

On a more personal note, this summer has been super hectic because I moved not once, but twice!  I moved out of my parents place to a house with two of my best friends.  Then just this week, we all went our separate ways for school/travel and I decided I was going to move into a place of my own. So now i’m living right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of downtown Ottawa in the market.  Close to all the bars where I’ll be playing.  I love it!  Obviously, this means that my Nashville move has been put on hold for a little bit but for good reason I believe.  I dont think it’d be the best idea to leave just as things are starting to pick up for me here in Ottawa.  My name is getting around and CDs are selling and gigs are picking up. If things calm down, I’ll pack up my bags and hit the road to music city though. 

So that’s been my musical life over the past little while.  I will make sure to keep you updated with things on a regular basis!   

Talk soon!!