Gord Bamford is back — and celebrating Canada

The much-awarded country singer performs July 1 in Lacombe

Country singer Gord Bamford (contributed photo).

Gord Bamford will celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday — and a move back to Central Alberta for his family — with a free, outdoor “homecoming concert” in Lacombe on July 1.

“I’m quite excited to be playing again in Lacombe,” said the international country music artist, who expects to entertain a crowd of about 5,000-8,000 local fans at the outdoor show at the ME Global Athletic Park at 5644-56th Ave.

After moving to Nashville two years ago, the international country music artist has relocated his family back to the Lacombe area, where he’s in the process of building a house at Buffalo Lake.

The pull of Central Alberta was strong, explained Bamford, whose children wanted to be back with their friends. “Growing up in a small community was one of the best things that ever happened to me,” and he wanted to give his kids the same experience.

Bamford said he and his wife had only planned to be in Nashville for a couple of years. With the Canadian dollar now taking a beating, they figured it made more sense for him to fly down to Tennessee, when needed, keeping Central Alberta as a home-base for the family.

Bamford feels quite positive about his Nashville experience. Although getting played by mainstream American radio stations continues to be challenging for artists who aren’t from the U.S., and who don’t have a major record deal, Bamford said he found some success on satellite radio and Spotify.

His major fan base remains in Canada, however, where he’s a multiple Canadian Country Music Association award-winner. He’s also very popular in the country of his birth, Australia, where he tours several times a year.

On July 1, before “the biggest fireworks display Lacombe has ever had” is launched at dusk, Bamford plans to play selections from his last Tin Roof album for local fans, including the romantic single Fall in Love If You Want To.

He’ll also deliver hits from throughout his career, such as: When Your Lips are So Close, Leaning on a Lonesome, Breakfast Beer, Heard You in a Song, Is it Friday Yet? or Farm Girl Strong.

Central Alberta fans might even hear a new song or two. Bamford is recording his next, yet-untitled album, which should be out at the end of January. He’s already sent a new single from it to radio stations. Appropriately, for this time of year, it’s called Living On Summertime.

Bamford, who enjoys camping and fishing, is looking forward to getting out into the great Canadian outdoors this summer.

“I’ve always been a patriotic Canadian… I don’t know if going away from your country makes you appreciate it even more,” he said, but after touring the globe, he’s concluded “this is the best place to be in the world.”

The free Canada Day program in Lacombe begins at noon at ME Global Athletic Park with aboriginal dancers and local bands, including The Nova Scotiables. The Royal Canadian Legion Colour March, with Red Deer Legion Pipe Band, starts at about 5 p.m. A Teen Rave Dance party with DJ Walby goes from 6 p.m. The evening music program begins at 7 p.m. with Sweetgrass and Tap 9. Headliner Bamford will perform at around 9 p.m.

lmichelin@reddeeradvocate.com

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