Langley country music star Dallas Smith with his youngest, daughter Everyn, who was born last fall. (Dallas Smith/Special to Langley Advance Times)

VIDEO: Langley country star in the running for another JUNO

Dallas Smith was a contender for country album of the year

Langley’s own Dallas Smith was once again up for a JUNO Award.

During the nationally broadcast ceremonies this weekend, the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) celebrated the 50th anniversary of the JUNOs, Canada’s biggest night in music.

Among them, Smith received a nomination for country album of the year for Timeless. But he ultimately lost to Tenille Townes for her album The Lemonade Stand.

Smith, who took home Canadian Country Music Award’s entertainer of the year in 2020, released his Timeless album late last summer, in what he described as “uncertain times.”

When Smith released his 2016 studio album Side Effects, it came with a bevy of singles, touring and critical success.

Now he’s returned with Timeless, another singles-filled effort following 2019’s EP, The Fall.

“I honestly just looked at that chunk of music as something individually,” Smith said on the cusp of the album’s release.

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“It just kind of took shape over time,” he said of this album. “As far as a record and listening to it front to back, I knew what was missing and how I wanted this chapter to be represented,” added the Multiple JUNO and CCMA Award winning artist who pivots between his love of country and his hard rock roots with a band called Default (which enjoyed a resurrection tour in 2018).

Representing that chapter in terms of recording, however, during COVID-19 quarantine was another new adventure that Smith enjoyed.

“I had to quickly learn how to run and operate Pro Tools and be my own engineer in my bedroom here,” he said.

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“Once we realized what needed to be done, we got some equipment and the proper gear, the vocal chain. It was fairly easy and it was an interesting process for me. I wasn’t at the mercy of the producer’s mood and going back and forth with him. If I wasn’t feeling it I wasn’t feeling it and I’d go back later on. It was casual and enjoyable.”

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Default-cum-Canadian country star thought it would “be a fairly enjoyable listen for fans,” and the award nomination this weekend speaks to the success of those efforts.

While there are a few “out of the box” tunes like the ’50s sounding doo wop of Damn Son, Timeless has party-starters such as Some Things Never Change featuring HARDY and Friends Don’t Let Friends Drink Alone with Dean Brody and MacKenzie Porter.

Meanwhile the album’s title track is a mid-tempo nugget that Smith felt grateful for. But he knew it wasn’t a song acclaimed songwriters (Tyler Hubbard, Brett Eldredge, David Garcia and Josh Miller) would simply drop in his lap.

“There are some pretty big named writers on that song,” he noted. “You build up a little bit of trust with those guys and the production team we got. They are not going to give those songs away if they think that you’re going to mess it up.

“That was one of those ones that just came along and was sent to us and that just fit with what we’re doing so well. It was one of those ‘no-brainer’ ones where you just look up to the heavens and go, ‘Man, I can’t believe I’m in a position where I get to sing a song like that’.”

Both new and experienced artists were celebrated for their excellence and took home some of JUNO weekend’s most prized awards.

In addition to Smith, there were many other notable musicians recognized.

Following his three major wins announced Friday night at the 2021 JUNO opening night awards, The Weeknd also won artist of the year and album of the year, taking home an total of five JUNO Awards this year. This brings his overall total to 15 JUNOs, making The Weeknd the sixth most awarded artist in JUNO history.

Global superstar Justin Bieber walked away with the award for pop album of the year for his record-breaking album Changes and graced viewers with a knockout performance of his hit “Somebody.”

Shawn Mendes took home the coveted JUNO fan choice. For the first time this year, Canadians were given the option to vote on TikTok as the official voting platform. This marks the third time Mendes has won JUNO fan choice, bringing his total JUNO count to an impressive 11 awards.

One of Canada’s most buzzworthy talents, R&B singer Savannah Ré, took home traditional R&B/soul recording of the year, Canada’s Black Music Business Collective for her single “Solid,” and emerging soulful singer-songwriter JP Saxe was awarded breakthrough artist of the year. Saxe also performed his song “Like That,” and was then joined by multi-platinum recording artist and songwriter Julia Michaels with a beautiful performance of the hit song “If The World Was Ending.”

Complete list of JUNO Award winners online.

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