Gord Bamford is country through and through. In the way he lives his life and in the way he writes his songs, Gord brings a unique out-look to his music in which his heartfelt sincerity can instantly be heard. Whether in front of 35,000 screaming fans opening for Tim McGraw at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton Alberta, or playing a quiet small town hall for 150 people, Gord is right at home! Epiphone recently spoke to Gord about his musical influences, Epiphone guitars and a new tour with Reba McIntyre.
It’s always interesting to hear where artists have come from and how their passion for music started. What was it that motivated you to become a musician?
I was very involved in sports growing up and really played music just for the joy of it.
Were you young when the “bug” bit you?
Yes, I started singing at a very young age and eventually entered a singing contest on a bet from a friend right out of high school.
How did that go?
I ended up winning it, and after that I started getting more serious about a music career. Since then I've learned a lot of lessons and lost a lot of money along the way, but I've had the chance to meet and work with a great group of people, which has resulted in my success story. It is very much a grass roots approach to all aspects of what I do.
Are there any artists that inspired you along the way?
Garth Brooks was my biggest influence, although I spent many hours listening to Merle Haggard, Alan Jackson, and Johnny Cash. I just really love what Garth stands for as an artist and since I have had the chance to spend a bit of time with him, his story seems to be a lot like the path I have taken, which is pretty cool. Now I can only hope to have half of the success he has had. How he carries himself is what impresses me the most.
How did you arrive at guitar as your main instrument?
Well the process was very simple really. I didn't pick up a guitar until I was about 17 and when I did, I had to learn how to play on my own.
No, not in the beginning. I never took lessons other than learning basic chords and different rhythm patterns from the guys in my band. But now I am taking lessons and trying to really perfect my playing.
It’s funny how many good players start out playing by ear and then go back later to get some theory and technique down.
Well, I have the luxury of having a great band so I can tend to get lazy with my playing. (Laughs) But guitar playing has become a very important part of my live show and is critical to the song-writing process.
Speaking of guitars, we are thrilled to have you as part of the Epiphone family. The Epi Les Paul Custom PRO looked and sounded great on your Canadian Country Music Awards Show performance last month.
Yes, I will have that guitar on the road with me and I have some custom Epiphone acoustic guitars. I really like the way they play and sound. It’s awesome to think that I will have my own custom Epiphone guitars.
Way to dominate the CCMA show. Five wins!
Well, it’s pretty amazing and rewarding for not just myself but for everyone involved on my team. I have never really been one to measure success on awards and really never will, but it sure helps along the way on certain levels. I remember winning the Top New Male Talent award in 2008 and since then have been able to collect a total of 16 awards along the way.
It’s definitely a sign that you are on the right track!
It feels good to look at the way you continue to progress and grow as an artist and it also keeps you on your toes, always raising the bar.
You must be pretty excited about your upcoming dates with Reba McIntyre.
I really consider myself to be very fortunate. I have had many opportunities to play in front of some of my childhood heroes, and people I aspire to be like. But there may not be a bigger honor in my career than being on tour with Reba. I had the chance to play a couple shows earlier this summer with her and then was asked to play the rest of the tour. She is as classy as you could ever imagine and is sure someone to look up to and learn from. It’s a definite highlight of my career to date. That’s for sure.
For more information and a complete list of tour dates, please visit www.gordbamford.com.