Red Deer country-rocker Jamie Woodfin is having a mind-blowing summer.
Just last week the 34-year-old was shooting the breeze over a cigar and glasses of Jack Daniels with Toby Keith — whom he opened for at a Fort McMurray stadium show.
“That was huge! He’s a country superstar. It doesn’t get much bigger than that,” said Woodfin, who heard all about Keith’s exploits with Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard, as well as his hair-raising adventures performing for overseas troops.
“It was my biggest show to date, and Toby Keith and his band treated us so well.”
This week, the local artist performs before a hometown crowd at the Centrium on Friday night with Tom Cochrane and Red Ryder and Ken Stead during Westerner Days.
It’ll be Woodfin’s first indoor arena show, and he’s “ecstatic” to be opening for Cochrane, whose songs he grew up with.
He’s also excited about the chance to make new fans at the 8 p.m. all-ages show that’s free with gate admission to the fair.
Considering Woodfin just played with Emerson Drive at the Calgary Stampede and will be back in Calgary to play at Country Thunder, a Big-Valley-Jamboree-style outdoor concert on Aug. 20, he said,
“I’ve done so much in the last six months, it’s like OK! Keep it coming! I don’t want it to stop …
“This is surreal … I never would have imagined this 10 years — or even five years — ago.”
The Ponoka born musician always knew he’d pursue music, however — even after becoming a journeyman carpenter.
Although he still holds his day job, Woodfin feels his singing career has been picking up steam ever since he moved to Red Deer in 2010 and put out his self-titled 2015 EP.
His first single, Just Feels Right, landed him on the radio and led to tours with Brett Kissel, Corb Lund, Gord Bamford and Bobby Wills.
In 2016, Woodfin was nominated for two Alberta Country Music Awards, and was a Top-12 finalist in Project Wild, getting mentored by vocal coaches from The Voice TV show, as well as radio programmers.
Woodfin was raised in a musical home. His dad had been in a band that played dance halls all over Saskatchewan and Alberta in the late-’60s, early-1970s, and Woodfin recalled his father’s drum kit was always left out for him to play.
The now-married artist has come a long way since performing in his first punk-rock group n junior high.
He’s weighing whether he should put out his first full-length country-rock album in the fall.
It could be made up of new material, as well some singles already releasing to iTunes and Spotify.
Woodfin said these might well include his latest, You Were That Night, now being played on Sirius XM, CBC Radio and country stations across Canada.
“I live for music … I just want to do it all the time.”