BY MARK WEBER
There’s an exciting and unmistakable momentum to local singer/songwriter/guitarist Jamie Woodfin’s career.
“I’m really excited to see where it’s all going,” he said during a recent chat. Most recently, he was nominated for an Association of Country Music in Alberta Award in the Male Vocalist of the Year and 2016 ACMA Rising Star categories. He also performed his tremendous latest single Moonlight Left at the ceremonies which were held last month in Red Deer.
“We were really excited about the nominations when we found out,” he explained. “You don’t really know what to expect when those are coming out, and personally I don’t even know how they sort those out to begin with. But when we landed in the grouping, I was really excited about it – and then it transforms as they do a voting process – and I kept making the cut.
“It’s also an exciting weekend to get to see what’s been happening and to reconnect with a lot of our colleagues that are in the industry. A lot of the time I don’t get to see a lot of their shows because we are often playing at the same time. So we get to reconnect and make some new plans of what we’d like to do, maybe some collaborations in the future.”
Originally from Ponoka, he now calls Red Deer home.
And over the past few years, word has been spreading about his exceptional musical talent as showcased through several singles including the groundbreaking Just Feels Right, We Go Together, Letting Me Go and his most recent cut – the compelling sensibilities of the aforementioned Moonlight Left.
Woodfin indeed finds the country music community to be most welcoming.
“The cool thing with country is that the egos are kind of left behind for the most part,” he said, adding that country artists typically make it a point to engage with their audiences as best they can, too. “We got to do Fan Fest at the Bower Mall (over the ACMA weekend) and to me, that’s one of the most exciting parts – to get out in front of fans, meet people, shake some hands and get some pictures with people and answer questions they may have about a given song.
“To me, that’s my happy place – doing that kind of stuff.”
As to his musical journey, Woodfin is enjoying every step. As the singles are released, he’s also finding out more and more who he is as an artist in terms of style and performance.
“I think with what we are doing now, you start to really find your groove and your step. As we transition from single to single, and the more we get involved in the recording process, the more we find our niche of what kind of sound we are going for,” he said. “I think when you are starting out as an artist, you are trying to develop your own sound and not sound like other artists – you are trying to find your groove.”
To that end, today’s singles-driven market has proven to be a great way of continually offering fans something new.
“If you do an album, once you’ve released it, you have a fairly small time-frame before your fans are going to be saying ‘What’s next?’ I feel like this way, you can put more out there in front of them when you are doing singles and EPs,” he added.
Looking back, he has long been drawn to making and performing music.
He first picked up guitar when he was about 13. A penchant for the drums and a powerful singing voice soon surfaced as well. Woodfin was also only 14 or 15-years-old when he started writing his own music.
Through high school, he played in a band called The Dirties that were refining their own unique punk/rock sound.
It took a little bit of getting used to when it came to performing, but Woodfin soon found himself comfortable onstage.
During his years with The Dirties, the band produced an EP featuring songs that were written by the group. They played consistently across Central Alberta as well.
These days, it’s about balancing the demands of his full-time work with his growing music career. Part of that includes finding time to discover the inspiration to continually pen new material as well.
“For me, I’m a big people person. There is nothing I love more than getting to go out, play shows and meet people, an getting to hear their stories – many of which have been so inspiring for us. I think that as well, I’m always inspired by hearing music from my other colleagues in the industry. I hear new songs all of the time, and I think wow, what they did there was so great – the arrangement on that song was so well done.
“I also think we draw from a lot of areas. Sometimes you have to get away from all of the noise and just enjoy regular life to be inspired a bit,” he added with a laugh. “When we get into the spring and summer months, I like to hop on the motorcycle and get out a bit and clear my head. I find that’s important to do something where you try to really break the regular patterns of everyday.”
Watch for more new music from Woodfin this spring.
Check out Jamie Woodfin on facebook, twitter and Instagram.