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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

FILE - In this Aug. 11, 2019, file photo, an iPhone displays the Facebook app in New Orleans. Facebook says it’s going all in to block the spread of bogus vaccine claims. In practice, that means the social network plans to ban a new bunch of false claims in addition to the old bunch of false claims about vaccines or COVID-19 that it has already banned. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File)
Facebook says it will pay $1B over 3 years to news industry

Facebook says it will choose which publishers it will support

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
NDP will not trigger election as long as pandemic continues: Singh

NDP and Liberals both promised some kind of pharmacare program

Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy Vice-Admiral Art McDonald is seen during an interview with The Canadian Press in Ottawa, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan says Admiral Art McDonald has voluntarily stepped down as Chief of Defence Staff due to an investigation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Admiral Art McDonald steps aside as defence chief amid investigation

Lt.-Gen. Wayne Eyre appointed acting chief of the defence staff

Meteor spotted over Edmonton, Alta., on Feb. 22, 2021 by several, who took to social media to share their surveillance camera captures. (@KixxAxe/Twitter)
VIDEO: Fireball meteor streaks across sky, spotted by early-morning risers in Alberta, B.C.

Videos of the quick streak of light flashing across the sky before 6:30 a.m. MST

Mike Ammeter (Photo by Rebecca Hadfield)
Sylvan Lake man elected chair of Canadian Canola Growers Association

Mike Ammeter is a local farmer located near the Town of Sylvan Lake

FILE - The Paramount Pictures gate is pictured on Aug. 23, 2016, in Los Angeles. The studio is joining other major Hollywood studios in slashing the traditional 90-day theatrical window. ViacomCBS on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, announced that the studio’s films, including “Mission: Impossible 7” and “A Quiet Place Part II,” will go to its fledgling streaming service, Paramount+, after 45 days in theaters. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
‘Mission: Impossible 7’ will hit Paramount+ even sooner

90-day theatrical window reduced to 45 days

Team Canada skip Kerri Einarson yells to her sweepers at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary, Alta., Friday, Feb. 19, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Defending champion Einarson stays unbeaten in Tournament of Hearts

Players suggest a spectator-free debut made it less intimidating

Tiger Woods hits out of a bunker on the 17th hole on his way to winning the Canadian Open Championship at Glen Abbey in Oakville, Ont. on Sunday Sept.10, 2000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘The Tiger I know is a survivor and a fighter,’ Bill Paul weighs in on Tiger Woods

Woods was hospitalized after a single-vehicle crash near Los Angeles on Tuesday

Calgary Flames goaltender David Rittich (33) makes a save on Toronto Maple Leafs left wing Jimmy Vesey (26) as Flames' Christopher Tanev (8) and Joakim Nordstrom (20) defend during first-period NHL action in Toronto on Wednesday, February 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘Misunderstood’ Nylander ties game late, scores winner as Leafs beat Flames 2-1 in OT

‘Misunderstood’ Nylander ties game late, scores winner as Leafs beat Flames 2-1 in OT

Team Canada skip Kerri Einarson yells to her sweepers at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary, Alta., Friday, Feb. 19, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Young Quebec team in the hunt to join Einarson, Homan in Hearts’ championship round

Young Quebec team in the hunt to join Einarson, Homan in Hearts’ championship round

A crane is used to lift a vehicle following a rollover accident involving golfer Tiger Woods, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., a suburb of Los Angeles. Woods suffered leg injuries in the one-car accident and was undergoing surgery, authorities and his manager said. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Golf without Woods? Battered leg brings it closer to reality

Golf without Woods? Battered leg brings it closer to reality

Most Read