Clayton Bellamy has been a trailblazer for musicians in the area, and that has continued on the provincial stage at the Country Music Alberta Awards last weekend when he became the first winner of the Roots Artist of the Year and Album of the Year.
Bellamy was one of the virtual performers at the show which aired on Sunday.
“It was a real honour,” Bellamy told Lakeland Connect on Connected Mornings.
“It was really amazing work that Country Music Alberta Association has done in the past few years, and just to be a part of the awards. The virtual awards were great. They did it all COVID safe and they had people coming in and out at different times for the performances,” he said.
“It was awesome to be nominated and to take home the trophy is always great.”
Bellamy described a subtle shift in his sound over the past couple of years. Along with Bellamy’s work with the Roadhammers, his new group The Congregation has a blues-rock sound.
Although public health restrictions and the pandemic have shutdown the performance industry, Bellamy said it’s allowed him the chance to sit back and create. He described writing five days a week, and connecting virtually with artists, to complete tracks despite not being in the studio at the same time.
“There’s always a kind of stigma, especially in Nashville, with the online writing. ‘You don’t do that, that’s not a thing that you do, you’ve got to be in the room.’ I’ve always been a proponent of the opposite, and love doing online writing,” said Bellamy.
He teased an upcoming single release coming in weeks.
“In typical Roadhammers style, it will be loud and fun. The song is called The Boys are Back at it and it’s gonna come out at the beginning of April. This weekend actually we’re going to Edmonton to shoot the new video. It’s almost like we’re feeling like we’re back to work, filming videos, doing press, so it’s exciting,” said Bellamy.
“I’ve always been a rock and roll guy in the Roadhammers, that’s always been there as part of my thing. But the roots category sort of engulfs all of that stuff, the stuff that’s a little bit on the fringes of what contemporary country would be,” said Bellamy.
Years ago, Bellamy made the decision to move back home from Nashville, and he has no regrets.
“It’s been great. I have no regrets coming back to Bonnyville. This is where my roots are, my family is here and I worried at first leaving the scene of Nashville and that kind of environment that my work would suffer. But I felt like I did the move for the right reasons and I’ve been blessed. I’ve been busier than I’ve ever been and my projects are doing well. I have no regrets or complaints.”