Small town country musician Drew Gregory has been nominated for more YYC Music Awards than ever before.
Gregory has been nominated for Male Artist of the Year, Country Recording of the Year for the song “Good Place to Start,” and the People’s Choice, the Single of the Year, and Songwriter of the Year all for the song “Know Good.”
“It was great to be nominated. I was a little surprised we were nominated for so many this year,” Gregory said.
“To be nominated among so many other names within other genres was really cool. There were tons of great country let alone tons of great music in all genres coming out from musicians around the Calgary area,” he added.
The Inspiration behind “Good Place to Start,” and “Know Good” stemmed from a very different place for Gregory.
“Good Place to Start” originated when Gregory was in Nashville a few weeks after the 2017 Las Vegas shooting.
“The songwriting community was feeling that I wanted to write something about it,” Gregory said.
He added, the song began very angry and then developed into being a song about love and hope.
“It’s partly political without being too political. If everybody showed a little more love then the world would be a better place,” Gregory said.
“We liked the song so much it became the title track of the new album,” he added.
While the song “Know Good” is a high energy, positive song that was written on a Friday afternoon in Nashville with a group of friends.
“We wanted to write something simple, positive, and upbeat. That song did some amazing stuff for us all across Canada,” Gregory said.
Adding, “It’s always a hit when we play it live, it just has that good energy whether you know it or not. It’s got all of the sing-along parts to it. It’s easy to get into, and we’ve always had fun with one.”
For Gregory, the songwriting process and album creation first begins in Nashville.
“I try to take a couple of trips to Nashville each year. I do a lot of my songwriting there,” Gregory said.
After he has the rough acoustic versions of the songs, he takes the songs to his producers, adds the band, perfects the vocals, and then begins the marketing process.
“Then we tour a bunch, and do it all over again,” Gregory said.
“For me, it’s all about considering how many songs would fit for singles. I always like to get a couple of songs on every album that are for me, and dive into a deeper lyric that you don’t always hear on the radio,” he said.
Adding, “I try to put a little bit of everything on the album, so people’s ears don’t get tired a couple of songs in.”
One of Gregory’s favourite songs on the album, “Better in a Bar” had a rock edge added to it from the production studio.
“I always thought it was better to get out and see some friends rather than stay at home and wallow,” Gregory said.
“It came together pretty nicely, and it’s a favourite of mine on the album,” he added.
Despite his success Gregory has received with his new album “Good Place to Start,” creating a record and being forced to spend time away from his family is a constant challenge.
“The travel is always a little tough, now I’ve got young boys and a family, and I still have to be away from home to play the shows,” Gregory said.
“The biggest challenge is always being away from the family,” he added.
Although Gregory faces constant challenges while creating an album, performing high energy live shows that people will remember makes the difficult times worth it.
“I hope people leave with a big smile and still full of energy when the night is over. We definitely feed off of the energy of the crowd,” Gregory said.
“It’s a great thing when we play live. I want to keep the energy real high all throughout the show,” he added.
Currently, Gregory is preparing for upcoming live performances in Cochrane, Olds, Rocky Mountain House, Pincher Creek, and Calgary.
“I have some show’s coming up, and then I usually slow down for harvest. We farm as well, it’s pretty busy from the end of August through September,” Gregory said.
He added, “This winter I’m definitely looking at getting down to Nashville to do some writing, getting back into the studio, and putting some new music out.”