On a sunny Friday evening we entered Casino New Brunswick for a triple bill of country music by Tristan Horncastle, Joe Nichols, and Gord Bamford. The near sold out crowd ready for a great night of song, stories, and musical entertainment.
First on the bill was New Brunswick’s own Tristan horncastle whom I had to admit I knew little about. His debut album now just shy of two year’s old, the Fredericton musician handled the opener slot with precision and some really good country music. He played closely with his band and got the crowd into the groove for the night’s two bigger acts.
Nominated for the 2015 CCMA Rising Star award and relishing the success of his first single “A Little Bit of Alright” this performer is well worth the pric of admission.
After a brief intermission and stage change it was time for act two of the night in singer and musician Joe Nichols. It was the first time seeing Nichols and I wasn’t sure what to expect from a performer that’s hit’s were mainly medium tempo fare.
A pleasant surprise was that he was very entertaining in a way that only an experienced perfomer can be, working the full stage from side to side, interacting with the crowd, and telling stories. Many that read my articles know that ‘interacting’ is important to me in a live performance, that hearing from an artist, their stories behind their songs and such is what make a performance great. Now ‘interactive’ can be taken too far by some and when they run up to the stage and start asking Nichols questions no one can hear, Nichols turns to the crowd chuckling “I’m just trying to do a show here”. Playing hit songs like “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off” and “Yeah” mixed with a few new ones from an upcoming album, along with a countrified twist on “Baby Got Back” by sir-mix-a-lot it, it made for a very entertaining set.
If you’ve never been to a Gord Bamford show you’ve missed out on a great night of entertainment. This is the third time that I’ve seen the 2015 CCMA Male Artist of the year and I’ve enjoyed every one, probably won’t be the last either. Bamford is far from the modern glitz and polish of modern country like the Aldean’s and Underwood’s and is more akin to the Strait’s and Haggerd’s, landing somewhere in between. The Australian born singer came to Canada when he was five years old with his mother who always encouraged him to chase after a career in music. At 19, he entered a radio contest and won, and his journey began.
Bamford is backed up by an experienced and well rounded band that suprised a lot of people with a classic rock medley of bands like Pink Floyd and songs like ‘Eye of the Tiger’ (sung extremely well by bassist Lisa Dodd) that had the crowd cheering hungrily. But the near sold out, and very diverse crowd, was here to hear Bamford roll through all his hits like “When Your Lips Are So Close”, “Heard You In A Song”, and “Day Job”. Gord Bamford walking on stage looks like a country singer, boots, jeans and button up shirt all the way up to the black cowboy hat. He sings without flash or flare, entertains with his lyrics, stories, and the music surrounding him and puts on a great night of entertainment.
Thanks to Gord Bamford, Joe Nichols, Tristan Horncastle, Casino NB, and PPR for another great night of musical entertainment at the Molson Canadian Centre.