kent

Stettler’s own Renegade Station lands several Country Music Alberta nominations

Categories included ‘Group of the Year’, ‘Horizon Single of the Year’, ‘Interactive Artist of the Year’ and ‘Fan’s Choice Award’

Stettler’s own Renegade Station has landed several nominations for the 10th annual Country Music Alberta Awards.

“About a year ago, the Alberta Country Music Association re-branded as ‘Country Music Alberta,” explained guitarist/vocalist Kent Nixon during a recent chat.

“It’s the same awards and the same format,” he said, adding that normally the awards ceremony runs the last week of January. This year, it’s been pushed back to late February.

Rounding out the band are singer/bassist Luanne Carl, guitarist Russ Carl and drummer Scott McKnight.

Nixon said that over the years, the event has grown amazingly, from the early days when it was held in a room in Red Deer’s Westerner Park.

“It’s just been building – both the Association and most especially the awards ceremony. You just can’t say enough about it.”

As to the nominations, the band landed a nod for ‘Group of the Year’, ‘Horizon Single of the Year’ for Don’t Hold Your Breath which was released to radio last spring, ‘Interactive Artist of the Year’ and the ‘Fan’s Choice Award’.

Being nominated in each category is of course a special honour, particularly the ‘Fan’s Choice Award’ and ‘Interactive Artist of the Year’.

“This is neat, because it’s primarily about social media – just interacting with your fans and doing different things for them,” Nixon explained. “Because there have been very few performance opportunities this past year, we did things like holding a ‘Quarantine Match Game’ online with all of us – especially when we couldn’t get together,” he said. “And we had some fairly incredible guests with us, too – both local and international celebrities.

“We are good friends with the Harris brothers from Storage Wars. Mark and Matt both agreed to be on the show for us,” said Nixon.

“It was pretty incredible – they are such cool guys. We also had Wendell Ferguson who is kind of a guitar god in the Canadian country music genre. He’s so funny and so incredibly talented, too! It was really, really cool. We had a really good reception for it. And it wasn’t serious either – it was fun! There hasn’t been enough fun in the last year.”

Looking back, the band came together almost accidentally as Luanne and Russ began attending and performing at a town variety show in Stettler.

There they met Nixon and McKnight and decided to create a band to play dances and parties – becoming the ‘go to’ act on the circuit. Their moniker of Renegade Station is also symbolic of the group’s approach to music.

As pointed out on their web site, the ‘Station’ part of their name is a nod to the vintage working steam train that is a tourist attraction in Stettler and which is a throwback to the region’s pioneering past.

In recent years, the band has also won back-to-back Association of Country Music in Alberta Awards as Group of the Year (2015 and 2016) as well as the ACMA (now Country Music Alberta) Fan’s Choice of the Year in 2015.

They also landed the 2018 ACMA Single of the Year for the terrifically-crafted hit Who’s Gonna Love Me Tonight. The tune also landed in the Top 50 nation-wide.

They also garnered a CCMA nomination for Songwriter of the Year for their tune 2:15 and Luanne was also nominated for CCMA Bass Player of the Year for 2016.

“We’ve got a little bit of hardware,” he added with a laugh.

Reflecting on the past year, Nixon said they were fortunate enough to have had about five ‘live’ shows.

“It’s been very difficult because one of the reasons you get into this in the first place – and it doesn’t matter if you are an actor, singer or a musician – is to get that feedback from the crowd. One of the things that we have learned this year is to try to perform, to the best of our ability, without an (in person) audience. This was a new one for us.

“You have to just give it your all even though there isn’t someone there watching you,” he said.

“On the other hand, I think we had five ‘live’ shows this year. We did a couple of days up in Fort McMurray in the casino which was just before COVID-19 hit in March. We also got to play at the Southern Alberta Music Festival in Mossleigh in August.”

Of course restrictions were in place, which made for something of a different vibe. But it was a joy to just hit the stage and connect with an audience.

In September, they also hosted a cruise-in concert in Stettler.

“It was like nothing we had done before, but it was cool at the same time. They stood up through their sun roofs, gave a yell and it was pretty awesome!”

Early in 2020, prior to COVID-19, they also performed at Ralph’s in Medicine Hat. “It’s one of the biggest country/western bars in western Canada,” he said.

“It’s a huge venue, and they just pack it all of the time.”

The final show of the year was at Edmonton’s famous Cook County Saloon in October.

As to performances over the years, the band has shared the stage with a who’s who of Canadian and international country music luminaries, from George Canyon and Carolyn Dawn Johnson, to David Lee Murphy, Emerson Drive, and Bobby Wills.

These days, there certainly has been time for reflection on the band’s journey so far and what makes being in the ‘biz’ the most fulfilling path to take.

“We are so lucky with our management group and the people that we have met over the years,” he said. “And with the different artists – we all get along really, really well.”

For Nixon, every step of the way with Renegade Station has just been a blast. And so very rewarding on so many levels as well.

“At the end of the day, it’s a cross between the feedback you get from a live performance and the actual process of making music with three of my best friends.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Volunteers participate in a work-bee at J.J. Collett Natural Area on March 27. (Photo Submitted)
J.J. Collett natural area proceeding with projects

The nature area appeared on a list of parks and nature areas that were “underutilized” by UCP

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada secured. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio
Alberta joins Ontario in lowering minimum age for AstraZeneca vaccine

More than 700,000 doses of AstraZeneca have been administered in this country

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
Alberta identifies 1,516 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday

Central zone has 1,849 active cases

A damaged unicorn statue is shown in a field outside of Delia, Alta. in this undated handout photo. It’s not often police can report that a unicorn has been found, but it was the truth Saturday when RCMP said a stolen, stainless-steel statue of the mythical beast had been located in a field not far from where he’d been taken. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Mounties get their unicorn; stolen statue of mythical beast found in Alberta field

Police are still looking for suspects, and have called in their forensics experts to help

There were six additional deaths across Alberta reported over the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 1,926 since the beginning of the pandemic. (File photo)
In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

The Rogers logo is photographed in Toronto on Monday, September 30, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tijana Martin
Rogers investigating after wireless customers complain of widespread outage

According to Down Detector, problems are being reported in most major Canadian cities

People are shown at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, April 18, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Nothing stopping provinces from offering AstraZeneca vaccine to all adults: Hajdu

Health Canada has licensed the AstraZeneca shot for use in people over the age of 18

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

A vial of some of the first 500,000 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada secured. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio
Canada’s 2nd blood clot confirmed in Alberta after AstraZeneca vaccine

The male patient, who is in his 60s, is said to be recovering

The funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip in Windsor, England, on Saturday, April 17, 2021. Philip died April 9 at the age of 99. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)
PHOTOS: Prince Philip laid to rest Saturday as sombre queen sits alone

The entire royal procession and funeral took place out of public view within the grounds of Windsor Castle

Most Read