Bamford nominated for trio of CCMA awards

Gord Bamford performs at M.E. Global Athletic Park last year as part of Lacombe’s Canada 150 celebrations. Bamford is nominated for three CCMA awards this year, including Male Artists of the Year, Record Producer of the Year and Apple Music Fans’ Choice award. Ashli Barrett / Lacombe Globe

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Lacombe’s own Gord Bamford will once again be up for a number of Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) awards.

Nominated for Male Artist of the Year, Record Producer of the Year and Apple Music Fans’ Choice awards, he’ll head to Hamilton this September, hoping to add to his already large award count.

“It’s exciting to be nominated again and be a part of the awards,” Bamford said, speaking to the Globe  while traveling through the mountains this past week. “You’re always hoping for them, but you never know. I’ve been pretty fortunate to win as many as I have over the years.”

Bamford’s first CCMA award win was eight years ago, when he was named Top New Talent of the Year. He’s won a total of 24 CCMA awards, and picked up well over 50 nominations, in addition to having 23 Top 10 singles.

While he says there isn’t necessarily pressure to stay on top, there is a desire to continue to be relevant and compete with up-and-coming artists trying to get to where he is, not to mention stay on top of the charts.

His eighth and latest album, Neon Smoke, however, is affording him the ability to do just that.

The debut single Livin’ on Summertime,  which was released last year broke the Top 10 on the Canadian Country music charts. Ain’t it Grand , which was a collaboration with Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo, followed. Dive Bar is his most from the album, and is receiving a fair bit of airtime not only on radio stations across the country but streaming services as well.

“We’re actually enjoying our most successful record yet,” he said. “It kind of feels like I’m just getting started.”

Part of that had to do with his return from Nashville to the Lacombe area. In March, he signed with B.C.-based Invictus Entertainment, and his family just finished building a home at Buffalo Lake just east of Lacombe.

“We enjoyed Nashville, but it just wasn’t home for us,” he said. “We’re lucky – we got to go and experience a bunch of stuff and then return to our grassroots.”

Making that move was important, he says, not only for his family, but in continuing to stay true to who he is, and what he does, which has been key in creating music that resonates with fans.

As such, out of the three nominations he has received, the Fans’ Choice is perhaps the one he’d most like to win. Bamford has been nominated seven times for the coveted award, but thus far it has eluded his grasp.

“People don’t understand it takes a long time to build a loyal fanbase. We’re there now, but it’s taken a lot of hard work,” he said. “Fans’ Choice is a big one for me this year.”

The 2018 CCMA Awards will take place in Hamilton, Ont. on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018 and will air live on CBC.