In many ways, 2018 was my most challenging year to date. I had to take a long hiatus throughout the winter preparing for the impending release of Driving In The Dark, and let me tell you, executing an album release cycle and managing the team involved to the level I was expecting nearly broke me completely. In my humble opinion, the hard work definitely paid off. This blog is to celebrate some high points and recap my favourite moments throughout 2018. Crack a cold one and listen to me humble brag, wouldja?
Officially signing on with JAM Music Mgmt was a definite high point of 2018. Working with Jess has been and continues to be a pleasure. She values my dedication to a plan, and keeps me on track to execute that plan. She was the first to buy in and help me strategize the album release and has believed in the music since day one.
Building the Team
We were fortunate to be able to build the team we wanted for the album release cycle and I couldn’t be happier with the results:
Daniel Cooper, Lucky Bird Media (US Publicity)
Jason Schneider, Jason Schneider Media (CDN Publicity)
Rick Fenton, Gypsy Soul Records (US Radio)
**A huge thank you to CJSW for continuously rolling out their album mail-out campaign which makes it so much easier for independent artists to reach Canadian college radio**
Rebecca Szymkow, Paquin Artists Agency (Bookings) - we were really stoked on this one. She is a fucking gem to work with and has been so supportive and enthusiastic since our first meeting in February 2018. PAA is among the most reputable agencies in the country and are some of the best folks out there. Honoured to be on their roster.
The New Band
Folks, if you haven’t heard the new band then let me tell you, you are in for a treat. See the previous blog entry to meet each member individually and check their stats.
CBC: Top 20 Charting Success / Top 100Canadian Songs of 2018
Getting airplay for Rose Coloured Frames on the infamous CBC Radio was a big win for us. I was honoured to sit on the Top 20 chart for 8 consecutive weeks, and just recently was announced No. 54 on the Top 100 Canadian Songs of 2018.
Driving In The Dark Release Shows
Lethbridge - SOLD OUT: a beautiful show in the studio that we recorded in, The Rebeltone Ranch. All of my love to Leeroy Stagger and his family for their unending support.
Calgary - SOLD OUT: the hometown hero show at Festival Hall with CKUA Radio and Calgary Folk Fest co-producing which made it that much more special. Thanks to all who came out!
Edmonton - SOLD OUT: this was a big victory for us, because I’d been spending so much time in Edmonton and was really worried about the overall turnout. We stuffed that room with buds and had the party of a lifetime.
Radio and Charting Success
CKUA: 3 weeks consecutive at No. 1, No. 2 overall on the Top 30 Essential Albums of 2018, No. 2 overall Top 100 Albums of 2018
CBC: 8 weeks consecutive on the Top 20, No. 54 overall on the Top 100 Canadian Songs of 2018
CJSW: 5 weeks consecutive as No. 1 on the Folk/Roots/Blues chart, 2 weeks consecutive as No. 3 overall
Beyond: consecutively charting among the top 30 at over 50 stations nationwide.
Driving In The Dark Summer Tour
From micro-breweries to massive festivals, no venue was too big or small for us this summer. We were so honoured to play so many fantastic tour dates all over BC, AB, SK and even a short stint in Toronto. It’s really hard to pick out specifics because we had such an amazing time all over, but definitely a couple of highlights were meeting my new best bud Sarah Shook and showing her how Canadians can party just as hard as anyone, and this photo right here, where Lee Ann Womack is looking right at me, and she’s not mad about it.
AmericanaFest, Nashville TN / BreakOut West, Kelowna BC
The whole dang band flew down to Nashville to play a couple of sets for the AmericanaFest Conference in Nashville, and boy what a time we had. Between the hot chicken, the American Spirits and gas station beers, we saw some of the best live music imaginable and left full of inspiration.
And within no time at all, we ripped out to Kelowna for another showcase slot in Kelowna, BC. Some very cool stuff came out of these showcases, more on that later this year.
I know I’m forgetting thousands of moments, increments of time passed in the van with my best friends. The last year was a toughie personally, but professionally I’ve never felt so supported. My hometown rallied behind this release in a big way, and that encouragement carried into every show we played, every stage we hit. I am beyond thankful for 2018 and in some ways, totally shitting my pants for how 2019 could possibly be any better. But I’ll tell ya, we have some pretty incredible shit lined up. So don’t think I’m stopping yet.
Love to you and yours, enjoy the rest of January and your downtime. Let’s get cracking.