What’s #1 on CMT-Canada?

(filmed near Tofino on Vancouver Island)

No. 1 country song recorded in city

Cam Fuller, The StarPhoenix

Published: Friday, November 23, 2007

It’s a long way from Saskatoon in November to the sunny B.C. beach where Gord Bamford shot the video for his hit song Blame It On That Red Dress. But the connection is closer than it seems.

Bamford is the latest country sensation to have recorded his album at Bart McKay’s Sound Edge Productions in Saskatoon. The longtime keyboardist for Brad Johner, McKay is hotter than a red dress at the moment. He won Canadian Country Music and Western Canadian Music awards for studio of the year this fall, and counts as his clients Shane Yellowbird, the CCMA rookie of the year.

“He’s really got it going on. He seems to be getting the sound that Canadian radio is looking for,” Bamford said recently. Bamford and his band are in town on Friday for a show at the Longbranch. The joint should be jumping because Blame it On That Red Dress is No. 1 on the video and music charts.

“Yeah man, it’s been the best possible scenario,” said the Albertan, who moved with his mom to Lacombe when he was five.

Bamford’s career has been steadily rising since his 2000 debut album God’s Green Earth. He followed up with Life is Good in ’03 and his new one Honkytonks and Heartaches. Nashville has been Bamford’s version of post-secondary education. Numerous trips to Music City to work with established songwriters and producers have given Bamford an edge.

“If you don’t get down there and work with those kind of people I don’t think you can move on and develop,” says Bamford.

Blame It On That Red Dress was written by Zach Turner, who wrote Texas Sized Heartache for Joe Diffie and Watermelon Crawl for Tracy Byrd. The video is sexy, but it’s not just the females doing the work for a change. Bamford’s director included lots of shots of manly pecs and washboard abs as well. Speaking of body parts, they had to twist Bamford’s arm a bit for him to go along with all the beefcake, but he sees the sense of it.

“Let’s have a little eye candy for the girls to watch,” was the idea, says Bamford.

He’s not prepared to give all the credit for the video’s success to the, ahem, special effects.

“It all begins with a great song and if you don’t have a great song you’re not going to get radio support.”

Bamford has already gone farther than he ever thought he would. And now he’s got a taste for more.

“You always want to get better in your career.”

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