Exclusive: An Interview With Roots & Country Artist Don Amero

By: Kat Harlton

Don Amero is taking a leap into country music with his sixth (and recently released) album, Evolution. Themed around change and the challenges that all of us face with trying to find balance in our lives, it features a blend of Amero’s signature roots stamp with rock-tinged country. Amero says the musical transition to the country genre was a natural one for him, “Because I started off in sort of the roots and folk scene, it was a natural evolution of me, I didn’t force my hand by showing up in the country music scene. It was a progression, my last album had some country songs on it, it just felt like this is where I’m supposed to be. Four of the nine songs were received from some incredible writers out of Nashville, which was a first for me. So it was a new part of the evolution, and understanding that there are some great songs out there that I didn’t write, that need a home.”

Co-produced by Bart McKay and Murray Pulver, Evolution dwells heavily on the value of finding your place in the world and making peace with it. “For me I often go back to when I was a kid and look at all the turmoil, strife, pain and violence, and the thing is, I don’t want to paint the north of Winnipeg as this big terrible place, but I saw a lot of brokeness as well. I said to myself as a young kid that I don’t have to be defined by these things. I kind of saw my life like a map, and where do I want to end up on this map. For me it was to be successful and smart and healthy, and if I want to be those things than I have to drive towards that. I knew that it would take me away from where I was. I didn’t necessarily know how, but I knew that gang life and becoming a drug dealer wasn’t going to get me there.”

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A three-time JUNO nominee, Amero credits his earliest music role models as his parents, but continues to find inspiration from other genres and artists “My first experience with music was my dad, who was a great bluegrass/country singer and guitar player. My mom’s a great singer, and so my first major influence was my parents. For me, my first real love of music was Garth Brooks, and my desert island album is John Mayer’s Continuum, to me that is one of the best albums in the past 20 years. I also love Keith Urban as a performer, and as a writer, and of course I love Ed Sheeran.”

To catch Don Amero near you, or find out more visit: https://donamero.ca

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