Local boy is hot stuff in France

Lacombe country singer Gord Bamford has only lately discovered he’s a big star in France.

Gord Bamford brings his appeal to Westerner Days at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday.

Gord Bamford brings his appeal to Westerner Days at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday.

Lacombe country singer Gord Bamford has only lately discovered he’s a big star in France.

He might have clued in last winter when organizers of a country music festival in Tours phoned, asking him to be the headliner. But “I thought they had the wrong number at first,” Bamford laughingly confessed.

Any lingering doubts about his place in the French music sphere were dispelled earlier this month when Bamford took the stage in the city west of Paris and the audience went wild.

So many cameras flashes went off, the Central Alberta singer said, “I felt like I was Garth Brooks.”

Bamford admitted it was one of the more surreal moments in his life — singing country music in English to a French-speaking crowd. “But they must have liked it — they gave me three encores. People were very appreciative. . . .

“It was really cool,” added Bamford, that French people love country music. More specifically, they love the title track from his latest album, Honkytonks and Heartaches, which was a No. 1 hit in Europe.

In Canada, Bamford is probably best known for charting a Top-10 hit with Blame It On That Red Dress. It garnered him a Juno Award nomination and its music video reached No. 1 on CMT Canada’s Chevy Top 20.

His 2004 album, Life Is Good, also produced the top 20 singles Heroes, My Heart’s a Genius, All About Her and I Would for You.

Bamford, who has opened shows for Tim McGraw, Kenny Rogers and Terri Clark, is looking forward on Saturday to opening for his ultimate hero, George Strait at the Calgary Stampede.

“It’s every country artist’s dream to open for George Strait. He’s an icon in our business and I can only aspire to follow in his footsteps,” said Bamford, who’s also performing with George Canyon at Westerner Days on Thursday and opening for Brooks and Dunn in Red Deer this fall.

The singer has something else to look forward to, on a more personal front ­— Bamford expects to become a daddy for the third time. His wife is to give birth in two weeks to a new sibling for their children Nash, 4, and Paisley, 2. “They’re really excited about it. They can’t wait,” he said.

Next month, Bamford will hold a charitable golf event to raise money for his foundation at the Lacombe Golf and Country Club. The second annual Charity Invitational Gala Golf Tournament on Aug. 6 and 7 will feature performances by Bamford with Canyon, Aaron Pritchett and Jessie Farrell. This year’s beneficiaries of a targeted $75,000 will be the Big Brothers and Big Sisters groups.

“I feel privileged to be able to give back to this organization that can make a difference in a child’s life and give them direction, just as it did for me as a child,” said Bamford.

He was five years old when he moved to Lacombe with his Canadian mother, Marilyn, whose marriage in Australia did not work out. While his mom remarried when Bamford was in his early teens, he feels a special affinity for groups that help children from single-parent families.

Bamford’s mother, who toured as a singer with an Australian country band, is credited with encouraging him to pursue a music career.

The George Canyon concert with Gord Bamford, starts in the Centrium at 8:30 p.m. (doors open at 7:30). It’s free with Westerner Days admission, which is $9 for adults, $7 for youths (age 13 to 18), $5 for seniors, $4 for children (age six to 12). Children five and under are free. Onsite parking is $6.

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

An incredible closing ceremony capped off the 2019 Canada Winter Games. (File photo by SUSAN JUDGE/2019 Canada Winter Games)
2019 Canada Winter Games Legacy Fund Society hands out $655,000

35 not-for-profit groups across Alberta to get money

Dr. Verna Yiu, president and chief executive officer of Alberta Health Services, says COVID ICU patients have increased by more than 100 per cent in the past month. (Photo by The Government of Alberta)
Record number of people in ICU: says AHS president

The head of Alberta Health Services says hospital staff are treating more… Continue reading

The Red Deer Rebels have acquired goaltender Connor Ungar from the Brandon Wheat Kings, the team announced Monday. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Red Deer Rebels acquire goaltender Connor Ungar, forward Liam Keeler in separate trades

The Red Deer Rebels have acquired goaltender Connor Ungar from the Brandon… Continue reading

Alexander Michael Talbot, 29, was found guilty of operating a vehicle while prohibited, flight from police and vehicle theft in Red Deer provincial court recently. (Advocate file photo)
Man charged following police chases in central Alberta last summer is sentenced

Alexander Michael Talbot sentenced to 22 months in prison

Red Deer musician Curtis Phagoo is glad the Alberta government is investing $2 million to help the province’s live music industry, but he would have liked the criteria to be expanded, so the money could be used as relief to cover revenue shortfalls. (Contributed photo by Cory Michaud)
Red Deer musicians welcome $2M in grants to help live music, but would have preferred relief program

The money is for future projects and can’t be used for retroactive expenses

Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Liberals silent on nature of Fortin probe or who will replace him on vaccine campaign

OTTAWA — The Liberal government is scrambling to reassure Canadians that the… Continue reading

A woman attends a vigil in front of the hospital where Joyce Echaquan died in Joliette, Que., on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Hospital staff testify today at Quebec coroner’s inquiry into death of Joyce Echaquan

TROIS-RIVIÈRES, Que. — Medical staff from a Quebec hospital where Joyce Echaquan… Continue reading

Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on February 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Ottawa looking for 2,000 new energy auditors to get home retrofit program going

OTTAWA — The federal government is looking to train 2,000 more people… Continue reading

A person waits outside a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Sunday, May 9, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Ontario opens shots to 18+, Quebec opens drive-thru, as COVID vaccine efforts expand

Quebec is opening a drive-thru vaccine clinic at its busiest airport and… Continue reading

Calgary Flames players celebrate the team's overtime win against the Vancouver Canucks during an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, May 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Lindholm OT winner gives Flames 6-5 win over Canucks despite blowing four-goal lead

VANCOUVER — In a game with little to play for besides pride,… Continue reading

In this photo taken on May 13, 2021, Russia's performer, Manizha, smiles during an interview after rehearsing at the Eurovision Song Contest at Ahoy arena in Rotterdam, Netherlands. For many, the stage and global television audience of millions is a chance to express messages of inclusion, strength and positivity. Manizha has a message of strength for women in her song whose lyrics include the lines: "Every Russian Woman. Needs to know. You're strong enough to bounce against the wall." (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
Eurovision Song Contest returns despite coronavirus pandemic

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) — Pounding beats? Check. Uplifting lyrics? Check. Huge, backlit… Continue reading

Serena Williams of the United States returns the ball to Italy's Lisa Pigato during their match at the Emilia Romagna Open tennis tournament, in Parma, Monday, May 17, 2021. Serena Williams earned her first victory in more than three months by beating 17-year-old qualifier Lisa Pigato 6-3, 6-2 in the first round of the Emilia-Romagna Open. Williams accepted a wild-card invitation for the Parma tournament after losing her opening match at the Italian Open last week. (AP Photo/Marco Vasini)
Serena Williams posts 1st victory in more than 3 months

PARMA, Italy (AP) — Serena Williams earned her first victory in more… Continue reading

In this Oct. 21, 2014 file photo, people pass an AT&T store in New York's Times Square. AT&T will combine its media operations that include CNN HBO, TNT and TBS in a $43 billion deal with Discovery, the owner of lifestyle networks including the Food Network and HGTV. The deal announced Monday, May 17, 2021, would create a separate media company as households increasingly abandon cable and satellite TV, looking instead at Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Facebook, TikTok and YouTube. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
AT&T, Discovery join media brands as cord-cutting encroaches

NEW YORK (AP) — AT&T will combine its massive media operations that… Continue reading

Most Read