SASKATOON — Canadian country music is in love with Brett Kissel and his video “I Didn’t Fall In Love With Your Hair.”
Kissel was named male artist of the year and won the trophy for video of the year for “I Didn’t Fall In Love With Your Hair” at the Canadian Country Music Association Awards.
“I think that Canadian country music is the best that it’s ever been, and again, I say this because I’m a fan first and foremost,” Kissel said Sunday before the show in Saskatoon.
“I’ve always loved Canadian country music, but every year in the past say two decades, you always have your few standouts. Now, it’s 2017, nobody stands out because everybody is amazing.”
Kissel also won interactive artist of the year and country music program or special of the year at a gala Saturday night — bringing his total to four trophies at the CCMA Awards this year.
Dallas Smith won single of the year for his hit “Autograph” and album of the year for “Side Effects.” Smith also won the award for top selling Canadian album of the year for “Side Effects” at the Saturday gala.
Newcomer Meghan Patrick won female artist of the year and was named rising star.
Patrick said she was always singing as a kid, but it was an audition for a school musical when she was about 11 years old that clinched her love for music.
“So I started taking singing lessons around that time and, as soon as I started doing that, I just can’t really remember ever wanting to do anything else,” Patrick said backstage.
The trio The Road Hammers was named group of the year — much to their surprise.
“I don’t think anyone of us was expecting this win tonight with so many great groups out there, in this category,” The Road Hammer’s Clayton Bellamy said backstage.
“It’s been, I think, a tougher category, better than it’s ever been,” Bellamy said. “So for us, after 13 years as a band, to be standing up here as a group of year, I think we were all rubber-legged and flabbergasted when they called our name.”
Bellamy said the secret to staying together for 13 years is “being able to fight as brothers, but no one can fight with us.”
His bandmate, Jason McCoy, said his son was at the show, playing a video game on the iPhone, when the win was announced.
“I was caught off guard. We honestly didn’t expect this, but does it ever get to be old hat? No it doesn’t,” said McCoy.
Eight awards were presented during the Sunday night show, including the Apple Music Fans’ Choice Award, which was won by Dean Brody.
Country music favourite Gord Bamford performed with Blue Rodeo frontman Jim Cuddy.
On his way into the show, Cuddy said the level of talent in Canadian country music is very high.
“I think that Canadian country music has felt like a second cousin for a while and now they’re kind of on top. Their festivals are the biggest, they’re all selling records, there’s huge fan support, so it’s nice to see that genre get their turn,” said Cuddy.
Some of the other awards presented Saturday night, included the Washboard Union winning roots group of the year and Brody took home the trophy for top selling Canadian single of the year for his hit “Bush Party.”
Paul Brandt, who was attending the awards for his 23rd time, was also inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame.
Canadian country music has never been better, he said.
“Canadian country music is making ripples and waves around the entire world right now and it’s exciting to be a part of it,” said Brandt.
“To be still making music, for me, it’s kind of cool … I have the opportunity to do what I love and to be a part of what’s happening in Canadian country music today.”