The Canadian Country Music Association released its list of award nominees two weeks ago and it sent area media into a tizzy.
You could practically see media crowing and flapping their arms over Brett Kissel’s seven major nominations including Male Artist of the Year, Album of the Year and Interactive Artist of the Year. Not bad for a 24-year-old Sherwood Park boy who moved to Nashville last year.
Also high on the nominee list was Lacombe’s Gord Bamford with four major nominations while East Coast sensation Dean Brody received six nods.
But with familiar kitchen table names such as Paul Brandt, George Canyon, Deric Ruttan, Dallas Smith and Tim Hicks, the awards reflect the diversity of Canadian country artists.
What was missing from the media blitz was a mention of the industry awards held on Saturday, Sept. 6, the evening prior to the nationally televised star-studded CCMA award ceremony.
The industry awards salute support players, a segment of incredibly talented musicians that are usually loading instruments and amplifiers while stars sign autographs.
Morinville in particular has a strong connection to this year’s celebrations. A drummer of national renown and CCMA winner Chad Melchert is once more in the running for All Star Band Award.
His neighbour down the street, Travis Switzer, also the 2014 CCMA winner is once again nominated for the All Star Band Bass award.
Tyler Vollrath, nephew of Morinville fiddle champion Calvin Vollrath, is up for two industry awards – the All Star Band Fiddle Award and the All Star Band Special Instrument Award for his deftness on the mandolin.
Former St. Albert resident Matthew Atkins, now living in Mexico for part of the year, has nabbed a nomination in the All Star Band – Drums category.
And Matt McKay, formerly an anchor of St. Albert’s Aaron Goodvin Band is also nominated for All Star Band Guitar Award.
Although the industry awards are not televised, the 2014 CCMA Awards will be broadcast on CBC-TV at 8 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 7.