Morinville drummer wins CCMA award
By: Anna Borowiecki
| Posted: Wednesday, Sep 19, 2012 06:00 am
For the eighth year, Chad Melchert, 40, was nominated all-star drummer at the Canadian Country Music Awards.
This time around Lady Luck blew him a kiss and the Morinville resident was awarded the prestigious trophy at the CCMA Awards on Sept. 8 for his drum work in Gord Bamford’s band.
And it felt pretty darn good.
Bamford and his team were up for an impressive 16 nominations for the Lacombe singer-songwriter’s latest hot album release Is It Friday Yet.
Asked if he had an inkling the nomination was in the bag, Melchert replied: “I don’t know if you ever expect it. But from what I heard, people were clapping.”
In one of those ironical twists of fate, the Prince Albert, Sask.-born and raised musician was unable to accept the statuette in person.
The soft-spoken drummer was performing in support of a Jada Dryer concert.
“At the same time I was playing, I got a text message from a friend. I could see it light up “Winner wins chicken dinner.’ ”
Within the hour, old friends from high school who remembered him banging out metal also sent congratulatory texts.
St. Albert resident Mark Puffer, a decades old buddy and guitarist for Bamford’s band, praised Melchert for the long overdue prize.
“He’s so professional and organized. He treats every gig the same – it doesn’t matter if it’s a small pub gig or a concert for ten thousand. He puts the same amount of work into it.”
Melchert, who just completed a tour with Miranda Lambert, is a national top-of-the-list drummer who has developed more than technique.
“It’s his confidence,” added Puffer. “Because he’s confident people playing in front are at ease. He’s the foundation of the band and if the band doesn’t have a strong foundation, everything on top, no matter how good, won’t work. He’s so solid with the time and the feels are so right. He really learns his music well.”
For Melchert it’s just matter of experience.
“It’s less about thinking and more about feeling and that’s what great musicians do. They leave their brains at the door,” he said.
As a 13-year-old teenager, Melchert earned money playing country music at small town concerts and dances around community halls in Rosetown, Melfort and Tisdale.
“I was so young I had to get rides to my first recording session,” he chuckled.
But Melchert’s passion really kicked in when he and his brother Derek formed a longhaired, spandex-clad metal band known as Nightmare.
After a two-year stint at Red Deer College studying musical performance, he hopped on the bar and club circuit, often working six nights a weeks.
Over the years, the sought-after drummer provided support for the Dean Mitchell Band, the Brett Barrow Band and in 2008 received an invitation from Adam Gregory to relocate to Nashville. When Gregory’s record deal was kyboshed, Melchert returned to Morinville.
“The opportunity Adam’s family gave me – they took me to Nashville – was incredible. We traveled together and they are like family. Those kinds of relationships don’t end because of a record deal.”
Melchert will receive an engraved CCMA trophy in November.
“I might give it to my parents. I don’t know anyone more proud than my mom. She’d have it on the mantel in a heartbeat.”
These days, Melchert has taken to producing and recording out of his home studio Forward Motion Recording. For more information email email@example.com.