CALGARY: Edmonton-based country band The Dungarees struck Alberta gold on Saturday night by winning The Project WILD: Country Artist Development contest. This comes with a prize of $100,953. Second Place of $75K went to Sykamore, from Carseland, while Ken Stead from Edmonton took home $50K. A $5K Development award was given to each Top 12 band to assist their career development.
This was the inaugural Project WILD: Country Artist Development, promoted by Calgary's WILD 953.
A press release notes, "Each band's prize goes towards their ongoing musical career, helping to fulfill the dreams of these hard-working musicians. Cumulatively, the program brings nearly three-quarters-of-a-million dollars to the infrastructure of the music industry in Alberta every year, giving our artists an edge in today's scene. Funds for Project WILD are administered through Alberta Music.
Project WILD will run for two more years in Alberta, providing opportunity and some boots-on experience for the province's up-and-coming country music stars."
For more information on the program, check out projectWILDcountry.com
The Dungarees comprise bassist/vocalist James Murdoch, guitarist/vocalist Robb Angus, guitarist/vocalist Kiron Jhass, steel player Darrek Anderson and drummer Ben Shillabeer. Their band bio states that, "The Dungarees have a definitive musical mandate: Take the undeniable lyrical styling, twangy Telecaster and steel guitar that they love from classic country and inject it with harmony, modern intensity and pop sensibility."
The Dungarees have performed at marquee festivals including the Boots and Hearts Music Festival, the Calgary Stampede, Big Valley Jamboree, Country Thunder, Dauphin CountryFest and SunFest. They've also played arenas as opening act for such stars as Blake Shelton, Reba McEntire, Miranda Lambert and Dwight Yoakam.
The band’s lead single, “Ain’t Through Being Happy Yet,” received rotation and feature plays on commercial country radio across Canada. Produced by The Road Hammers’ Clayton Bellamy, the sophomore single, "I'm Down," came out in August this year..
The Dungarees won the Country Artist of the Year category at the 2015 Edmonton Music Awards, and both Darrek Anderson and Ben Shillabeer received All-Star Band nominations at the Canadian Country Music Awards. The band was most recently nominated for "Group of The Year" at the 2015 Alberta Country Music Awards, and was shortlisted for numerous 2016 Canadian Country Music Awards.