Carving out his compelling niche in country music, Innisfail-based singer Reed Salmon also has a heart for helping animals in need of urgent rescue and care.
To that end, Salmon will be performing at the Ties & Tails Gala on Feb. 24 — in support of the Alix-based Saving Grace Animal Society.
As a non-profit focused on the rescue, rehabilitation, and re-homing of animals in need throughout Central Alberta and beyond, SGAS relies on the donations of supporters to help pay for monthly medical bills for animals in its care.
Meanwhile, highlights of the evening, to be held at the Lacombe Memorial Centre, include presentations about 2023 accomplishments, a dinner, drinks, raffles, silent auctions, a 50/50, and more.
For Salmon, it’s an ideal venture as it combines two of his greatest passions.
“From the very beginning when I started taking music seriously, I planned that if my music were to gain traction and I was to gain any kind of following, I would use my voice for animals,” he said.
“Originally, I was thinking I don’t want to see this because it makes me sad. But then I’m thinking if we don’t bring light to it, nothing will ever change.”
A Sylvan Lake gig a few years back brought in about $1,700 to donate to Saving Grace, and it made Salmon all the more committed to the cause.
Several have been held since, and more recently, he organized a huge gathering of donated straw to help keep vulnerable dogs warm during the severe cold snap last month.
“At least we could get out there and fill their dog houses with straw, or build make-shift shelters for them with the straw. That’s common with farm animals, but it works for dogs, too,” he said.
The outpouring of support on all fronts was amazing, he said.
“We raised $9,000 and we hauled, in total, 700 bales to Sunchild and O’Chiese just west of Rocky and 1,000 bales to Maskwacis. By the end of it, I had about four trucks with trailers going and a bunch of volunteers,” he said.
As to his artistic ventures, Salmon’s interest in music stretches back to his youth, but he didn’t begin to explore it in depth until just a few years ago.
“I had a girlfriend through high school. We started dating when I was 15, and we broke up when I was 19. It shattered me, it was terrible. When that happened, I was living alone. I pulled my guitar out, and started writing sad songs, and re-teaching myself how to play,” he explained.
“So if it wasn’t for the heartbreak, I don’t know if I ever would have done it again. I might have, but that is what kick-started the whole thing again.”
It wasn’t long before his creativity soared to new heights, and he started to gain confidence in his singing and songwriting abilities, too.
“Fast-forward to 2021, when I recorded my first song which was Evil Eyes. It went around Central Alberta, and it was shared a lot. Then I released Sweet Home Alberta in 2021 as well, which is a parody — a remix of Sweet Home Alabama.”
He was a bit wary of releasing it but ultimately did. And it made a significant stir in a very good way.
His most recent tune, the polished and finely produced If We Are Being Honest, continues to define his remarkable style and vocal strengths, which seamlessly match the country genre.
Interestingly, as much as he’s at home in country music, he was a ‘rock kid’ in his younger days.
But his family’s love for cowboy culture proved an influence over the years, and ultimately he just really connects with the style.
These days, he’s enjoying the journey — working on more singles to release in the coming months and relishing the opportunities to share his talent and connect with audiences.
“One of the best compliments I’ve ever gotten is when someone says they can feel the emotion when I sing.”
For Ties & Tails Gala ticket information, visit www.savinggracecanada.com/events.