Renegade Station musicians at the ACMAs. (Contributed photo).

Stettler band Renegade Station and Nice Horse win big at ACMAs

Awards ceremony was held Sunday at Red Deer’s Sheraton hotel

Winning Best Single at the Alberta Country Music Awards on Sunday felt like Stettler country band Renegade Station had come full circle.

Vocalist Luanne Carl remembers first performing the hurtin’ love song Who’s Gonna Love Me Tonight? at the last year’s ACMA ceremony.

This past weekend, the same Renegade Station song about a break-up (written by Jaida Dreyer, Brandon Scott and Tommy Ray) took home the Best Single trophy at the 2019 AMCAs.

Also in the winner’s circle was Rocky Mountain House native Brandi Sidoryk’s band Nice Horse, which won two awards — for Group of the Year and Video of the Year (for the song Mansplainin’).

The comical tune, co-written by Sidoryk, takes some wry shots at men who talk down to women: “Let me stop you right there. You “honey” me again and I swear…I built this truck from the axle up, I know every darn part under there..”

“We are so happy to say that last night we were given not one but TWO of our very first Association of Country Music in Alberta awards!” Nice Horse band members posted on Facebook. “Thank you to everyone who puts up with our horses—t and believes in us.”

Renegade Station’s Carl was thrilled her band got a fourth nod from the provincial country music association. The group, formerly known as Domino, previously won Group of the Year in 2015 and 2016 and also won Fan’s Choice in 2015.

“You hope every song you release is going to be a hit, but you never know…” said Carl, who believes Who’s Gonna Love Me Tonight? “showcased our harmonies and vocal range perfectly, and it took off right away,” getting radio play from coast to coast.

“We were so excited! We hoped the song would be recognized because it did so well.”

The Stettler group was formed 15 years ago as a cover band, but became a serious force five years ago when members (including Russ Carl, Kent Nixon and Scott McKnight) hired a management company and began recording original tunes.

Carl said Renegade Station has now performed in every province except Newfoundland and Manitoba. The group is touring the East Coast this spring, after first playing on Feb. 15 as the torch arrives in Red Deer at the opening of the Canada Winter Games.

That will also be a huge honour, she added.

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