Did you always want to pursue a career in country music?
Actually, my first choice was to be a punter in the CFL or NFL.
You’ve had significant success at the JUNOs and the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) Awards. What particular award has meant the most to you?
I've been fortunate to have won two JUNOs and 13 CCMAs, but what I'm most proud of is the Young Canadian Songwriter Awards. That's what started it all for me. I didn't know I could be an entertainer but loved to write music. To be able to have done both is a dream come true.
Tell me about your musical influences.
I was inspired by the Beach Boys, Gordon Lightfoot and Nirvana. We didn't have a country station in Jaffray, B.C. where I grew up. So I listened to everything, not realizing that there were genres until I was 14.
This is a milestone year for our country as we celebrate Canada 150. What’s your favourite thing about being Canadian?
Our tolerance for diversity, and our land. I've had the opportunity to travel extensively throughout the years and the two things I'm most proud of when returning to Canada is our collective desire for peace and our vast expanse of wilderness. We're very fortunate to be able to call ourselves Canadian.
You are doing 13 shows across Canada as part of the CP Canada 150 Celebration train, what are you most looking forward to?
Seeing communities that are off the beaten track and playing for people I wouldn't normally see. Our touring schedule is typically focused on big cities. I can't wait.
What parts of the country are you looking forward to seeing from this unique vantage point?
Definitely the Rocky Mountains. I've frequently travelled our highways, but haven't seen the hard-to-reach areas our pioneers forged their way through.
If you could perform on stage with any two artists, alive or dead, who would they be?
Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison.
The CP railroad runs through Jaffray. Are there any fond memories of the railroad from when you were growing up?
The railroad was a major part of our community. Tracks travelled right through our town, just metres from the general store. I probably saw, even waved to at least one train a day.
What do you like doing in your spare time?
Fly-fishing, writing, walking through the forest. Pretty boring stuff for some I guess, but because of my hectic work life, being immersed in the woods wilderness or wandering around the countryside give me great perspective on things.
If you could have a super power what would it be?
Teleportation or flight. It's a toss-up.