Juno nominee Dallas Smith opens pre-Cup concert

Justin Crann
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When he was just a boy, Dallas Smith was introduced to country music through his mother, fostering an appreciation for the genre through the work of Reba McEntire and Garth Brooks.

Juno-nominated country singer Dallas Smith, who broke into the industry as the frontman for Canadian rockers Default, spoke with the Times-Herald following his set at the Moose Jaw Ford Curling Centre Friday.

"My mom played tons of country when I was a kid, so I always had that influence," the Juno-nominated country singer told the Times-Herald Friday, following a short set at the Moose Jaw Ford Curling Centre preceding the Juno Cup.

"(Playing country music) was kind of a dream in the back of my head that became more and more of a reality as I went on," he added.

Smith, who broke into the music industry in the early 2000s as the frontman of Canadian post-grunge rock band Default, had been watching the evolution of country music and the resurgence in popularity behind big names like Keith Urban and Rascall Flatts.

"It was about that time that I started thinking, 'Hey, this is really cool,' and started paying attention to country radio again," he said. "It really grabbed my attention."

Smith ran the idea of recording a country album past producer Joey Moi, a personal friend who shared his interest in the genre, "over a few beers ... and decided to take a jump."

The result of that leap was Smith's debut solo album, aptly titled Jumped Right In, released in May 2012 to favourable reviews. The album has since garnered a Juno nomination for Country Album of the Year.

"To make a switch like that, and to have everybody behind the record at radio and CMT and across the country — to be nominated for a Juno for best country record — I never would have dreamt that'd be the case coming out of the gate," said Smith. "I'm just blown away by everybody and how much they love the record."

But, he added, he's not letting the recognition of this album or past successes go to his head.

"That ain't me. ... It's not how I was built, not how I was raised," he asserted. "The music business is funny. ... I've seen the guys get the big heads, and with the ups and downs in this business, it'll kick you in the ass and humble you."

With another country album coming down the pipes — Smith said he's aiming for an early 2014 release — the singer said he is enjoying what he's doing.

"You've got to always pay attention to that, and not take yourself too seriously," he said. "Don't take the job too seriously, and just have fun with it."

Organizations: Moose Jaw Ford Curling Centre

Geographic location: Country Album, CMT

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