Canada’s Jason McCoy Goes Global
By Todd Sterling
© 2006 CMA Close Up News Service / Country Music Association, Inc.
Photographer: Richard Beland
For the second consecutive year a Canadian performer has won the CMA Global Country Artist Award. Ontario native Jason McCoy is this year’s recipient, following a 2005 win by fellow Canuck Paul Brandt.
“I’m honored to be nominated with such world class talent and humbled to have won,” McCoy said.
A triple threat – guitarist, singer and songwriter – McCoy has built a loyal audience in his home country over the past decade. Sins, Lies & Angels, the 36-year-old’s most recent studio album released in 2003 (and fourth over all), was a creative masterstroke that included the Top 10 hit “Still,” a haunting number that won a Society of Composers and Authors (SOCAN) Award for domestic radio performance in 2004.
“I was really proud of Sins, Lies And Angels,” McCoy said. “There were certain things that I wanted to prove to myself that I could do, and I got the chance to really succeed at certain things in the studio. Something like “Still,” I wanted to get the classic Roy Orbison meets Mavericks type sound out of my head and on to tape.”
A Greatest Hits package, released in late 2005, brought the first 10 years of McCoy’s career to a close. The fifteen track disc included all of the singer-songwriter’s hits, as well as one new song, the banjo flecked “I’m Not Running Anymore.” Another song on the album, “She Ain’t Missin’ Missin’ Me,” recently landed in the No. 1 slot on CMT Canada.
McCoy’s music has always had a traditional edge, but it wasn’t until his 2000 release Honky Tonk Sonatas that a more hard Country sound began to emerge. “Ten Million Teardrops,” a Buck Owens meets Dwight Yoakam Bakersfield blast, and the Carl Perkins-like rockabilly romp “Bury My Heart,” found McCoy digging deep in the creative dirt to get to the musical diamonds.
Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard and George Jones were part of a steady musical diet for McCoy during his formative years. “We didn’t have Blues Clues when I was growing up,” McCoy said. An early performance featured an 11-year-old McCoy singing Jones’ ode to hard living, “If Drinking Don’t Kill Me (Her Memory Will).” “I wanted to do ‘Wild and Blue’ by John Anderson, but my dad thought the subject matter was a little beyond my age. So I said, ‘I’ll pick one by George Jones,’ and he was like, ‘Oh boy.’”
Besides his solo success, McCoy is riding high with The Road Hammers, a southern-fried Country-rock band the singer formed in late 2004. With material geared toward long-haul truck drivers and highway dwellers of all stripes, McCoy and his partners, guitarist/vocalist Clayton Bellamy and bassist/vocalist Chris Byrne, released a self-titled album in 2005. The Road Hammers has already achieved Gold status in Canada and is well on its way to Platinum.
“Everybody likes the ultimate driving album, and that’s what we tried to create,” McCoy said. “The U.S. market is definitely embracing it, and we’ve had several labels get excited about it. We’re being embraced by the truck stops, and we’ve got our own line of jeans and shirts. It’s kind of ridiculous, but they’re already getting on it.”
From the bluesy groove of “I’m a Road Hammer” to a soulfully brushed cover of Lowell George’s “Willin,’” to catchy covers of trucking classics such as Jerry Reed’s “East Bound and Down” and Del Reeves’ “Girl on the Billboard,” The Road Hammers is the perfect mix of Country and rock.
Since his 1995 self-titled debut, McCoy has consistently grown as both an artist and a songwriter, but it’s his foray into the production end that may keep him in the game after his days as a recording artist are over. McCoy’s production skills have graced his own recordings in the past, but with The Road Hammers he truly comes into his own as a producer.
“I’ve gotten more into the producing side of it,” McCoy said. “I just find a real desire to be there right from the get-go and make it all happen as opposed to just (showing up to) sing.”
The Road Hammers has afforded McCoy the opportunity to take his creativity to a whole new level and send his career into overdrive.
For this self-confessed “highway slammer,” winning the CMA Global Country Artist Award is only the beginning. Catch his performance at CMA Music Festival on Sunday, June 11 during the Wide World of Country Show at the Greased Lightning® Daytime Stages.
On the Web: www.jasonmccoy.com; www.theroadhammers.com
Jace Everett, Aileen Flanagan and Jason McCoy will perform at the 2006 CMA Music Festival which takes place Thursday through Sunday, June 8-11, in Downtown Nashville, Tenn.
Tickets are available now and can be ordered several ways: call 1-800-CMA-FEST (262-3378); visit www.CMAfest.com to download an order form to fax or mail; visit www.Ticketmaster.com to buy online or charge-by-phone at (615) 255-9600.
Four-day ticket package categories correspond to a different level of reserved seating at The Coliseum. Children 3 years and younger are admitted free. Four-day ticket packages include the Nightly Concerts at The Coliseum; Daily Concerts the Greased Lightning® Daytime Stages; daily admittance to the Wrangler® Fan Fair® (Exhibit Hall) featuring the Acoustic Corner; Family Zone; Crisco® Country Favorites Corner; Fun Zone; Sports Zone; CMA Music Festival After HourT; free in-town shuttles; the CMA Music Festival Program Book; CMA Music Festival lapel pin; and more. Prices do not include applicable handling fees. Ticket prices are subject to change without notice. All sales are final and non-refundable.
2006 CMA MUSIC FESTIVAL FOUR-DAY TICKET PACKAGE PRICES
LEVEL Full Price 14 and younger
Gold Circle (Floor) SOLD OUT N/A
Floor Level SOLD OUT SOLD OUT
Lower Level $135 $95
Club Level $125 $86
ON SALE NOW are a limited number of tickets to the individual Nightly Concerts at The Coliseum for only $30 each (plus applicable handling fees). To purchase tickets visit www.ticketmaster.com; (615) 255-9600; or 1-800-CMA-FEST (262-3378).
Individual tickets for the Daily Concerts on the Greased Lightning® Daytime Stages at Riverfront Park can be purchased on the day of show at the Riverfront Park gate for $14, with children ages 6 and younger admitted for FREE with a paying adult. The Daily Concerts are also included in the four-day ticket packages.