Jumping into the music scene with both cowboy-booted feet in 2009, Kevin found himself in Nashville within a year in recording sessions with some of the best musicians in North America.
With a career as a Paramedic in his small hometown of Kentville, NS, Kevin has dedicated his life to helping others while always carrying a tremendous passion for music. Life’s journey has brought Kevin to a place in time where music is now taking the front seat. On June 28th at 8:30 pm at Queens Place Emera Centre in Liverpool Kevin will be opening for Tom Cochrane & Red Rider.
We headed down to Kevin’s to interview him and hear all about his plans this year!
James: “When those sirens are gone” tell us about that song?
Kevin: started a couple years ago when I wrote a song with a friend of mine Doug Folkins in Vancouver. I just wanted to do something different, wanted to relate a song to my job. When I got ahold of him, I got him to think about it for a few days, then he called me on skype and asked me some questions. By the end of it, we threw all the answers together and that’s how the song came about. I didn’t really expect anything to happen with it, I did it for a few friends that were suffering from PTSD. The file was too big to send to them which was a good thing because I would have never put it on facebook. Everyone started watching it there, and things kind of went crazy and I got to release it nationally on Canada AM and go to Nashville to record it. Recently we did a video for it that is doing really well right now.
James: How was your trip to New York?
Kevin: AWESOME, AWESOME. It was really good, I find now that social media got a hold of the song and the video it’s broadening where I’m going as far as performing. I just don’t perform anymore, I go and see the first responder’s and talk to them about mental health injuries that happen on the job. They think it’s great that you can have the best of both worlds, we can go there and discuss my 20 + years as paramedic firefighter and perform a concert for them that night. I’m in New York, I’m a keynote speaker in Texas, I’m playing a show in Winnipeg, I’m in Saskatoon and Nashville this year. So it’s really opened up for me to travel and get the word on my music and my career.
James: Tell us about your experience of being part of the Tema Conference.
Kevin: That organization is excellent. They basically raise funds for their organization and for any first responder have issues with calls, anxieties or depression or anything is to call their number and the Tema Conter Foundation will help pay for counselling. They are very busy, it’s all in confidence we don’t know who uses it unless they contact me for assistance on how to get ahold of them but it’s a very good organization that way because medics are sort of the type A personalities that want to have that tough exterior but sometimes things happen, you get on calls you just can’t shake. We try to raise money the best we can for that organization and the first responders.
James: How does it feel to be nominated for 4 awards at the Josie Music Awards in Nashville?
Kevin: WICKED. I didn’t know I was going to get any. Last year I had 3, there is only a few from the province that are on her show. There is only a handful of Canadians on it, so it’s kinda nice. I was really surprised to get the 4 this year, you know it’s one of those things you get the email and you’re like “Oh cool”. It is going to continue to get bigger, this is only year two. The venue is already in a bigger spot, it’s at the Nissan Stadium. It’s a really nice thing to be nominated especially in the states. Now that I’m playing there, people can talk to me more about the American side of music.
James: You’re opening for Tom Cochrane in June. How did that come about?
Kevin: Truthfully, I don’t know. I didn’t apply for it, I think someone applied on my behalf in the area. We have a really good fan base in Liverpool. Steve called me one day and said “we would like to put you on stage before Tom Cochrane”. Nobody is going to say no to that. I’m pretty excited to be there. I’m in Liverpool playing twice that week. It’s going to be awesome.
James: What are your plans for the rest of the year?
Kevin: It always starts around May that’s when things start getting busier. I already been to New York, we always do a large show in Wolfville with FDIC it’s a firefighter’s conference. It’s always packed, think because I’m a firefighter it’s nice for us to be there and to perform at that. The last couple months were busy, I have a couple weeks off right now. We start back up on the 23-24th of June which we are in Liverpool and Truro. The 28th is the Tom Cochrane Concert and then we’re doing our Canada Day Celebrations in Greenwood. It’s kinda nice, Greenwood is a military town, I think that is going to be a kind of important thing for us to play there this year and for people to be able to come up and talk to me about mental health especially where there is a military base there. I’m playing the Kempt Shore Acoustic Festival, I hear that there is nine thousand people that go there. It’s not just playing with the full band, for me it’s nice to be able to do it acoustically, scale it down and people can listen to the words of my songs.
James: Do you plan to attend the CCMA’S?
Kevin: Right now I am planning on attending. I’ve only missed one and that was last year because it was running the same week as the Josie Show. Again, it’s the same thing, It’s the week before, I’m pretty sure I’ll be doing the CCMA’S this year. Probably going from Saskatoon into Nashville for a week to do some recording and playing then the Josie Show. We made first ballot for the video and we are kind of waiting to see if we make the second, if it’s the second then we really need to push to get the votes to get the nomination.
James: Anything else you would like to include.
Kevin: I’d love people to come out and watch. There is some shows you end up with 50 people and they have a good night, then you end up with 500 and have the same kind of night. It doesn’t really matter how many are there, we just encourage people to come out to some of the shows. I promise you, you are going to have a good time, even if you don’t like me, you will still have a good time when you are there because I’ll make sure of it.
That’s sort of my motto, come out and I guarantee there will be a smile on your face at least once throughout the night.