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Gord Bamford is all country

Canadian Country Music Award winner Gord Bamford is paying Fort St. John a visit this week. As part of a small-town provincial tour, Bamford is looking forward to the two-night engagement on Oct. 14 and 15.

Canadian Country Music Award winner Gord Bamford is paying Fort St. John a visit this week.

As part of a small-town provincial tour, Bamford is looking forward to the two-night engagement on Oct. 14 and 15.

"It's very intimate, you get a chance to go out, sign autographs and after the show I get to meet everybody and spend time with them and at the same time they get to see what I'm all about. It's a lot easier to do that with three or four hundred people in a room than there is with five or six thousand, that part of it's really neat for me," said Bamford in a phone interview.

"I grew up in a small town andwe wanted to play the small communities, we wanted to be able to come to them so they didn't have to drive an hour and half to come see us play, we wanted to just come into their town and it's working really great. We've played a whole bunch of small communities this year and it's going to be good to get out in BC and play some more."

Bamford grew up on a farm near Lacombe, Alta. and hadn't given much thought to a music career as a youngster.

"I just played music because I enjoyed it, I was never really looking at a career in it. I started playing when I was a young kid, but I got into country music when I was in high school, and a buddy of mine I was going to school with - that was back in the Garth Brooks days, he was really big then, we we're kinda Garth Brooks wannabes I guess - and we were playing lunch hour concerts and all sorts of stuff like that, and people would just encourage me to keep going with it," he said.

After finishing school, Bamford continued to play music, but still didn't give it much thought career-wise. After he won a few talent shows and met the right people, he said he's now doing what he loves.

Bamford was recently the recipient of several CCMA awards, including CMT Video of the Year, Album of the Year all for the song Day Job, and the 2010 Male Artist of the Year.

Bamford said he was shocked to learn he'd won.

"I didn't expect to win any of them to be honest with you, it's still pretty surreal to think about it right now," he said. "We're an independent company so we do everything in house and we got a really great team of people, so it was good for everybody involved, it was really rewarding."

He was also honoured for his charity work by winning the CCMA Humanitarian of the Year award.

"Yeah that was really cool, that came as a surprise, I didn't know I was getting that, it was pretty neat," Bamford said.

After being asked by several organizations to perform and help out, Bamford decided that he wanted his own charitable organization, and created the Bamford Foundation to help underprivileged children and kids in single parent families.

"My mom and dad divorced when I was three years oldso it was partly a bit of that, life experiences and stuff that I'd been through and involved in and I wanted to be sure that the money we were raising went back to organizations that did stuff for me along the way," he said.

Bamford said he feels like he's found his niche in the country music scene. Likening his music to Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson and George Strait - he considers himself as a more traditional country artist as opposed to a pop country singer, but believes there's definitely room for both.

"I think I've found my sound, like if somebody turns on the radio and they hear Gord Bamford, they know right away that it's Gord Bamford. That here a lot of our struggle has been, it's tough to find your own identity and have your own niche, but I think we've been able to do that, I think that's a big reason why we're having success and besides the fact that most of the songs I sing and writer are songs that everybody can relate to and I try to do that when I'm writing songs, I try to make sure that I don't write selfish songs. I'm not writing songs for me, I'm writing something universal that everyone can relate to," he said.

Bamford performs with opening act Chirs Brownlee at the Lido Theatre on Oct. 14 and 15 at 7 p.m. both nights.