Though barely a month old in the U.S., Carolyn Dawn Johnson ’s album, Room With a View, accounted for one of five awards captured by the Nashville-based singer-songwriter Monday night (Sept. 10) at the Canadian Country Music Awards.
Johnson, who grew up on a farm in tiny Deadwood, Alberta, was named female artist of the year. She also took the rising star award, and her current Top 10 hit, “Complicated,” was named single and song of the year. Johnson performed the song during the telecast. Released August 7 in the States, Room With a View, was named album of the year. Johnson had 10 nominations in six categories, a record.
Telecast by CMT in the U.S. and the CBC in Canada, the awards were handed out at the Pengrowth Saddledome in Calgary. The ceremony capped Canadian Country Music Week, Sept. 7-10.
Fellow Albertan Terri Clark earned the coveted fans’ choice award, and her “No Fear” was named video of the year, outpolling two Johnson entries -– “Complicated” and “Georgia.” The clip featured Special Olympics athletes. In one of the show’s emotional highlights, Clark performed “No Fear,” and a group of athletes joined her on stage at the end of the song.
Jason McCoy, whose Honky Tonk Sonatas album includes a duet with Gary Allan and a cover of a song by Buddy and Julie Miller, was named male artist of the year. McCoy’s band was named back-up band of the year.
Lisa Brokop , who once had deals in the U.S. with now-defunct Patriot and Columbia, was named independent female artist of the year. Her “Something Undeniable” was named independent song of the year.
The Wilkinsons , winners of four awards last year, hosted the telecast and performed a new song, “Paper Doll.” Still a voter favorite, the Nashville-based trio were named group or duo of the year.
Cape Breton fiddle favorite Natalie MacMaster captured an award in a newly created category, roots artist or group of the year, and MacMaster was named fiddler in the all star band. MacMaster and bluegrass ace Ricky Skaggs , backed by Skaggs’ Kentucky Thunder band, opened the telecast with a brisk duet.
Faith Hill ’s Breathe was named top-selling album, and Gordon Lightfoot and Gary Buck joined the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame. Ian Tyson, Ron Sexsmith and Anne Murray paid tribute to Lightfoot by performing his songs. Lightfoot came to the stage to acknowledge his induction. “It’s kind of hard to categorize songwriters,” he said, before expressing his appreciation to the country music organization.
Chely Wright , who is not a Canadian, performed her current hit, “Never Love You Enough.” Paul Brandt showed his nationalistic pride with a song titled “Canadian Man.” At the end, he reversed his jacket to show a maple leaf on the back.