It isn’t like Gord Bamford is looking to be away from his young family even more than the 130-some days a year he already spends touring.
But the Lacombe-based country singer is now positioned to reach an even larger market — anybody mention the U.S.? — by recently signing with Sony Music Entertainment Canada.
Bamford said he started exploring major recording labels after feeling he’s gone about as far as he can as an independent artist. “We needed a bit of machinery behind us to help us out. . . .
“I’ve been very lucky with the success I’ve had,” added Bamford, who admitted it’s amazing to reflect upon how much ground he was able to cover with his own team of supporters over the last few years.
Bamford, 35, put out four critically acclaimed and popular records, a series of hit singles, including My Daughter’s Father, which was the No. 1 spun Canadian song on radio in 2011, and he won a slew of Canadian Country Music Awards for his efforts.
But in the midst of working on his fifth album, Is It Friday Yet?, Bamford decided he could sure use some big-league promotional help.
Marketing and branding “is what these guys do best,” said the singer, referring to Sony, which made the top of his list after he explored major recording labels.
Bamford said was impressed with the company’s officials and liked their approach, which seemed more of a partnership than just paying for a service. “We came to an agreement that fits both parties. . . .
“It’s every artist’s dream to play music and do what they love for a living. I have been searching for a major label home (with) the same vision and goals as myself. One that really believes in the music I make,” said Bamford, who’s “ecstatic and proud” to be signed to Sony.
Sony was also pumped to add Bamford to its list of major artists.
Mentioning the singer’s burgeoning career and his charitable foundation, Sony Music Entertainment Canada president Shane Carter said, “We are thrilled to have him call (the company) home.”
Their first order of business will be promoting Is It Friday Yet?, which will be out on March 6, as well as Bamford’s first single, the album’s title track. The performer said he’s already getting positive feedback from radio stations.
The new CD includes some humourous tunes, as well as ballads — such as Leaning on a Lonesome Song, which Bamford considers among the greatest songs he’s written. “This contains some of the best stuff I’ve done.”
So how does he feel about potentially having some cross-over success in the U.S.?
Bamford admitted Sony will be exploring other markets, including the massive one south of the border, in promoting him. But he said making a dent in the U.S. is not his immediate priority.
“It’s not something I’m going to say ‘No’ to, but I’m so busy in Canada right now . . . I’ve got a family and already tour 130 to 140 days a year. How much do you need in life?”
Bamford is heading to Mexico for a week to shoot a video, then will be taking his wife and three kids to Hawaii for what looks like their only vacation in 2012.
His national tour in support of the new album starts in February and goes to the spring. Then summer festival season begins and there’s a new Christmas album to put out.
Bamford said his new songs tend to keep him going on a tour — as do some of the older favourites he still sings for audiences. “I haven’t gotten sick of them yet, hopefully no one else has either!”