Country singer Dan Davidson received an early Christmas present from Alberta Music. The St. Albert singer-songwriter is on a short list to win the $10,000 Edmonton Music Prize 2017.
In a telephone interview, Davidson, who is not often at a loss for words, was unaware the shortlist was public information and paused for a few seconds to absorb the Gazette’s congratulatory remarks.
“To tell you the truth, I kind of forgot about, it” said Davidson who was clearly delighted at being included on the list.
The nomination package was submitted two months ago, he said. Following common industry practices the singer prepares a complete nomination package and it is submitted by a peer.
Alberta Music received 28 nominations that were juried by industry professionals. Ten were selected for the shortlist. The mixed bag of artists represent some of the best in rock, country, folk, soul, metal and even Persian classical music.
Scanning the names, Davidson noted that many were his friends. Also on the list are 100 Mile House, Dana Wylie, Farhad Khosravi, Jay Gilday, Nuela Charles, Royal Tusk, Slates, Striker and The Royal Foundry.
“This year’s shortlist reflects the diversity of Edmonton’s musical landscape and the range of musical talent across the genres,” said Alberta Music executive director Carly Klassen.
Three finalists will be announced in early January 2018. The first place winner receives $10,000 while the two runners-up take home $1,000 each.
Davidson has enjoyed a banner year and has a great deal of momentum riding in his favour. The recording artist won four Association of Country Music in Alberta (ACMA) awards this year and is nominated for another six in 2018.
Found, his second independently released single co-written with Clayton Bellamy, rocketed up the charts in July 2016 and stayed there for several weeks as the No. 1 selling Canadian country song in Canada.
The release was certified gold, a rarity for independent releases, and at the 2017 Canadian Country Music Awards the musical maverick was acknowledged with two nominations.
“I didn’t realize what a big deal it was. I guess there were only about two people with independent releases that reached gold. It showed that fans are perpetuating this and staying behind me. It was a really nice nod to the hard work we put in and it was extra nice for me.”
Davidson also released his debut country album Oct. 27, 2017. The six-track, Songs for Georgia, was produced by long-time collaborator Jeff Dalziel.
The icing on the cake is a 35-stop tour with Brett Kissel that starts Jan. 13, 2018 and travels into Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and British Columbia.
“I’m really excited to tour with Brett. We’ll be playing some pretty big venues – the Danforth Music Hall in Toronto and the London Music Hall – and this will give us a super big profile. This is a good opportunity to show off my personal side. And the tour lines up perfectly with the release of my next single. For me, it’s going to be great.”
Once the tour is finished, Davidson has plans to expand his boundaries and perform at a festival in France. If he wins one of the Edmonton Music prizes, he’s putting it towards promotional and tour expenses.
“It would come in really handy.”