Road Hammers lead country noms
TORONTO (CP) – Traditional, trucker-loving country rock is poised to take centre stage at next month’s Country Music Association awards with Jason McCoy’s Road Hammers and Paul Brandt leading the pack of nominees at six nods apiece.
On the strength of the group’s debut self-titled record, the Road Hammers are up for best group, rising star and album, and their hit song I’m a Road Hammer is contending for best single, video and song of the year.
“This started off as a side-project . . . it’s exploded beyond any of our wildest dreams,” said frontman McCoy, a singer-songwriter who splits his time between Nashville and his hometown of Minesing, Ont. “This is a big nod to the truckers, the people who make their living on the roads.”
Calgary-born Brandt, who will once again host the awards show, faces off against the rambunctious trio in all the same categories except best group and rising star. He’s also nominated in the fan’s choice category as well as best male artist, where he’s up against McCoy, George Canyon, Aaron Pritchett and Deric Ruttan.
Brandt made a huge splash in the country world last year with his remake of Convoy, the 1975 country classic about high fuel costs and border tolls.
The show will be held Sept. 12 at Calgary’s Pengrowth Saddledome and broadcast live on CBC.
With Alberta celebrating its centennial, Brandt promised country music fans an “amazing” show, “probably the best year that we’ve ever had.”
He said he’s even put in a few calls to his famous friends and is pushing to include a Big Rig somehow.
“Anytime I can incorporate a truck, I’m there,” said Brandt, who recently moved back to Calgary from Nashville.
Canyon rose to prominence after finishing second in Nashville Star, a country talent search in the U.S. Among the New Glasgow, N.S., singer’s five nominations are song of the year for My Name, co-written with Cape Breton’s Gordie Sampson.
Singer-songwriter Caroyln Dawn Johnson of Westlock, Alta., was nominated in four categories, as were roots-country outfits Corb Lund Band of Edmonton and Poverty Plainsmen of Tilston, Man.
Pritchett, Lisa Brokop, Gord Bamford and Terri Clark received three nods each.
Country superstars Keith Urban, Shania Twain, Toby Keith, Gretchen Wilson and Tim McGraw will duke it out in the top-selling album category.
Bamford, Lisa Hewitt, Johnny Reid and Amanda Wilkinson are nominated in the coveted rising star category along with the Road Hammers.
The award bash will wrap up a week-long country music festival featuring showcase performances by up-comers and an autograph session at the Calgary Zoo.
Awards are voted on by members of the Canadian Country Music Association, with the exception of the top-selling album category and the fan’s choice award.
Some of the nominees for the 2005 Canadian Country Music Association awards, to be handed out Sept. 12 in Calgary:
Fans’ choice: Paul Brandt, George Canyon, Terri Clark, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Jason McCoy.
Single: Convoy, Paul Brandt; Die of a Broken Heart, Carolyn Dawn Johnson; I’m a Road Hammer, the Road Hammers; My Name, George Canyon; Sister Golden Hair, the Poverty Plainsmen.
Album: Hey, Do You Know Me, Lisa Brokop; Lap of Luxury, the Poverty Plainsmen; One Good Friend, George Canyon; The Road Hammers, the Road Hammers; This Time Around, Paul Brandt.
Song: Dress Rehearsal (written by Carolyn Dawn Johnson and Troy Verges; recorded by Carolyn Dawn Johnson); Hey, Do You Know Me (written by Lisa Brokop and Kim McLean; recorded by Lisa Brokop); Home (written by Paul Brandt; recorded by Paul Brandt); I’m a Road Hammer (written by Denny Carr and Jason McCoy; recorded by the Road Hammers); My Name (written by George Canyon and Gordie Sampson; recorded by George Canyon).
Video: Convoy, Paul Brandt; Girls Lie Too, Terri Clark; I’m a Road Hammer, the Road Hammers; John Roland Wood, Aaron Pritchett; Roughest Neck Around, Corb Lund Band.
Top-selling album: Be Here, Keith Urban; Greatest Hits, Shania Twain; Greatest Hits 2, Toby Keith; Here for the Party, Gretchen Wilson; Live Like You Were Dying, Tim McGraw.
Female artist: Lisa Brokop, Terri Clark, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Shania Twain, Amanda Wilkinson.
Male artist: Paul Brandt, George Canyon, Jason McCoy, Aaron Pritchett, Deric Ruttan.
Group of duo: Corb Lund Band, Doc Walker, Emerson Drive, the Poverty Plainsmen, the Road Hammers.
Roots artist or group: Corb Lund Band, the Cruzeros, Kathleen Edwards, the Good Brothers, Ian Tyson.
Rising star: Gord Bamford, Lisa Hewitt, Johnny Reid, the Road Hammers, Amanda Wilkinson.
Road Hammers lead country noms