Country music has always had its dominant, proudly indie Canadian record companies supporting it.
Years back RCA, MCA and CBS had a strong presence in the game. Today Sony and Universal remain strong players, but it's Ron Kitchener's Open Road Recordings and Mike Denney's MDM Recordings that are leading the race with 19 and 16 CCMA nominations apiece this year.
Here's the wrap for 'Kitch's' Open Road Recordings:
Canada’s most celebrated country music record label and management company, Open Road Recordings (ORR)/RGK Entertainment Group (RGK) has once again proven its ability to foster some of the nation’s greatest talent. Leading the pack with 19 Canadian Country Music Association Award nominations, ORR’s roster will be looking for wins in categories such as Album of the Year, Male Artist of the Year, Group or Duo of the Year, Single of the Year and Songwriter(s) of the Year, among others.
The #1 Canadian country song on iTunes, Dean Brody’s “Bring Down the House” has been coined the summer anthem of 2015. Add to this the fact that he and his 5th studio album, Gypsy Road, led yesterday’s CCMA Award nominations and it’s clear that Brody is on top of his game. Earning seven nominations — Fans’ Choice, Album of the Year, Male Artist of the Year, Single of the Year, Songwriter(s) of the Year, Album Design of the Year, and Video of the Year – there’s no question that Gypsy Road has delivered the next level of Brody – one that will continue to dominate through Country Music Week as he heads out on the extensive Road Trip Tour (hitting 22 markets) in late September.
Named one of the first artists to perform on the live show at the 2015 CCMA Awards, Tim Hicks has much to celebrate this year. Garnering three artist nominations (Album of the Year, Male Artist of the Year and Interactive Artist of the Year) and two industry nominations for his most recent album, 5:01 (Album Design of the Year and Producer of the Year - Jeff Coplan), Hicks continues to cement his place as one of country music’s most dynamic breakout artists of the decade. With his everyman voice and fan-fuelled stadium sized anthems, Hicks plans to keep hits coming with the recent release of brand new single “Young, Alive and In Love” (#YAIL), and the announcement of a special edition of 5:01 (5:01+) available September 4th. Adding to the excitement this fall is the hint of a major headline tour soon to be announced.
The brother duo, High Valley, has had an incredible year. With their sophomore album earning high praise, the band continues to prove that small town roots are the perfect foundation for country music success. Earning three 2015 CCMA Award nominations (Album of the Year, Group or Duo of the Year and Interactive Artist of the Year), the band will be shooting a CMT documentary in their hometown of La Crete, AB later this month and continue to celebrate the success of their current single, “She’s With Me.”
With a new project in the works, an upcoming performance at Boots & Hearts and four hit singles from their most recent album Wheels, The Road Hammers continue to tear things up with this year’s nomination. Preparing to celebrate in Halifax, the already multiple award-winning trio has been nominated in the Group or Duo of the Year category.
Rightfully earning a 2015 CCMA Award nomination in the Rising Star category, Open Road Recordings’ newest family member, Madeline Merlo has been making waves all summer. Recently wrapped filming for a full-length feature film entitled Country Crush (slated for release Spring 2016) and releasing “Honey Jack,” a brand new single this week, Merlo will be hitting the road this fall with label mate Dean Brody and Paul Brandt on select dates this fall.
And the wrap for MDM Recordings:
2015 marks another outstanding year for MDM Recordings and its artists, with a total of 16 2015 CCMA nominations, across 15 categories.
Substantiating her claim to the modern day Shania Twain status, Jess Moskaluke (currently CCMA Female Artist of the Year) continues her success streak with 2015 CCMA Female Artist of the Year, Album of the Year and Single of the Year nominations.
Much of MDM Recordings' success and leadership is also reflected in president Mike Denney's consecutive nomination in the CCMA Record Company Person of the Year category. Denny is the current holder of this award.
Says Denney, "I am extremely proud of our artists and support staff today. I try to instill in our people the idea that passion, hard work, and treating people with respect is better than any award or nomination, but it is really nice to have our industry peers recognize our roster and support staff. Congrats to all of the nominees!"
Here is a full list of 2015 CCMA Nominations for MDM Recordings:
FEMALE ARTIST OF THE YEAR
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Light Up The Night - Jess Moskaluke
SINGLE OF THE YEAR
"Cheap Wine and Cigarettes" - Jess Moskaluke
SONGWRITER(S) OF THE YEAR
Never Didn't Love You
(Written By: Walt Aldridge, Michael Pyle, Bobby Wills, Performed By: Bobby Wills)
ROOTS ARTIST OF THE YEAR
All Star Band – DRUMS
All Star Band – FIDDLE
All Star Band – GUITAR
All Star Band - SPECIAL INSTRUMENT
Dave Barber (Banjo)
ALBUM DESIGN OF THE YEAR
(Design Team: Brandon Heard/Sheila Hash (Mediavandals) Photography: John Fucile/SmackDab Media, Artist: Chad Brownlee)
MANAGEMENT COMPANY OF THE YEAR
MDM Recordings Inc.
MUSIC PUBLISHING COMPANY OF THE YEAR
CCS Rights Management
RECORD COMPANY OF THE YEAR
MDM Recordings Inc.
RECORD COMPANY PERSON OF THE YEAR
Mike Denney – MDM Recordings Inc.
VIDEO DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR
(Video: Undressed, Artist: Bobby Wills)