Sylvan Lake’s The Boom Chucka Boys are joining Gord Bamford to make up a solid Central Alberta contingent of nominees for the Canadian Country Music Association Awards.
“Holy Smokes!” The Boom Chucka Boys exclaim on their website, before expressing their gratitude for being nominated for the Canadian Country Music Association’s Group/Duo Of The Year.
Other nominees in the category are all from Ontario: Autumn Hill, Small Town Pistols, Western Swing Authority and The Road Hammers (although the latter includes Albertan Clayton Bellamy).
“We were pretty shocked,” to get the national nod, said the local group’s guitarist Joel Rathjen.
“We feel honoured that our peers and fans figured we belong in that category. … It’s humbling.”
The Boom Chucka Boys also consists of vocalist Ryan Langlois, bassist Teddy Roy Michaylow and drummer Ben Shillabeer, who replaced Dave Grobe after he recently left the band.
Rathjen surmised the Boys received more attention after putting out a well-received self-titled album with the top-40 hit, Find My Peace of Mind, and performing at various high-profile festivals, including the Calgary Stampede and Big Valley Jamboree.
“People have seen us live on the CCMA scene. … We want to just keep getting better and more entertaining.”
The group is next booked to perform at Toronto’s CNE (Canadian National Exhibition).
The up-and-coming country band also appears with Bobby Wills and Tim Hicks in a segment of Live at the Edison, which is a nominated by the CCMA for video performance of the year.
Lacombe’s Bamford is, of course, a CCMA’s perennial favourite.
This year, he received seven nominations, including fans’ choice, single of the year, songwriter and male artist of the year.
“I am amazed every time our team receives a nomination.
:It’s a testament to our grassroots, blue-collar, down-home work ethic,” said Bamford in a release.
“For me, the fan’s choice nomination is the most exciting nod. (It) allows our fans to show their appreciation of our music.
“They are the ones who have been with me during my entire career, and they continue to support me in everything I do.”
Bamford’s sixth and most current album, Country Junkie, garnered him his first No. 1 single, When Your Lips are So Close.
Bamford, who’s signed with Sony Music, wrote 13 of the 14 songs and co-produced the album with legendary Nashville-based songwriter Byron Hill. The pair also co-produced the debut album by The Boom Chucka Boys, who were recently signed with Royalty Records, which is distributed by Sony Music.
Bamford is also producing the Sylvan Lake band’s new album, which is expected to be out early in 2015, with the first single to be released this fall.
The CCMA awards ceremony will be held on Sept. 7 in Edmonton.