Gord Bamford didn’t disappoint as he made his first visit to Vernon Thursday night.
The Canadian country artist (Australian-born) played his heart out for the crowd at the intimate Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre. Along with award-winning performance, Bamford had hearts swooning as he gave his guitar picks to a little Armstrong girl and then brought a Vernon boy up on stage (watch video here).
Ryder Barth, 10, caught Bamford’s attention with his sign: “This is my first concert Mr. Bamford,” prompting the artist to bring the young Vernon country fan on stage and autograph his sign.
“It was such a great concert,” said Ryder’s mom Tammie Krehbiel.
Little Mikayla Gravelle, donning a Country Junkie sweater, also caught Bamford’s eye as she stood next to the stage for a picture and the artist proceeded to squat down and hand over his guitar pick.
“She is eight, plays guitar, and loves country music,” said dad Chad Gravelle. “And loves the guitar pics that Mr. Bamford gave her.”
He even granted some back row, balcony guests a front row seat.
Fans were also instructed to break Performing Arts Centre protocol and film Bamford’s song Unreal, which he wrote for his wife – whom he is trying to get out of the doghouse with after forgetting their anniversary.
The only thing Bamford couldn’t deliver was a request to play his 2002 ballad All About Her.
“It is one of my favourites, reminds me of listening to my grandparents records when I was young,” said Chad. “I have been a fan for a long time. It’s a great song.”
He also promoted his Boots on the Beach Jan. 22, 2017 concert in Mexico by tricking fans into checking under their seats for a non-existent winning ticket.
Equally entertaining was Vernon’s own Jesse Mast, who grew up in Salmon Arm.
Mast wowed the crowd, and stole some hearts, as he played his singles Runnin and Bad Blood along with a number of cover songs.