GORD BAMFORD HITS HOME RUNS IN NEW HOME
He spends the spring-time evenings/ on a school yard after work/ with eleven little devils/ angels printed on their shirts/ it's ground balls, pop flies and sliding in the dirt/ if they're ever gonna get to Cooperstown/ yeah Saturdays are game days/ and they're home or they're away/ he starts every game the same way/ in the dugout as they pray/ he says do your best/ don't ever let nobody ever say that you can't ever get to Cooperstown. - Cooperstown - Gord Bamford.
When expat Gippsland country singer-songwriter Gord Bamford writes songs about baseball he scores home runs in his lakeside Canada home.
Bamford coaches baseball and hockey teams featuring his three children near their rural property at Buffalo Lake in Bashaw, Alberta.
Gord, 47, is well qualified to write from his real experience that began after his singer mum Marilyn took him and his sister Twila overseas from Traralgon when he was just five.
Although Bamford chose gridiron, baseball and hockey on his Canada arrival he watches Australian Rules football on TV when he is at home and on the road.
The singer used family connections to fuel two baseball songs Cooperstown and Ballpark Beers on his 11th album Fire It Up on his spring return tour with fellow Victorian born Andrew Swift, Tasmanian Wolfe Brothers, Natalie Pearson and Brittany Maggs.
I fly to Cooperstown ( U.S. baseball hotspot,) Bamford revealed to Tamworth Country Music Capital News and Nu Country TV from his Alberta home.
I played a lot of baseball growing up. After high school came back to Australia and played a little bit there. We live on a lake in Bashaw. 1800 people there. I'm coaching my son's baseball team and my daughters are also into baseball. I've got to get their passports up to date for their trip down under.
His children are Nash David, now 19, eldest daughter, Paisley, 17, and another daughter, Memphis Quinn, 14.
Ballpark Beers was inspired by a previous generation on his mother's lineage.
My grandpa was a baseball player, Gord explained.
He used to travel to the U.S. to play. Baseball was a big thing in the town I grew up in. I remember when I was growing up watching him put those teams together.
GORD WED WIFE KENDRA ON CANADIAN DIRT
We learn to drive, rope and ride and love life on it/ we say I do and honeymoon our bride on it/ live every day and raise our babies on Canadian dirt/ its highways and cities and water tower towns/ it's cowboys and hippies and whiskey rounds/ Jesus and mama, tattoos and home team shirts/ and its mustangs and tractors/ rusty barb wire, it's guitars and cold beers. - Canadian Dirt - Gord Bamford.
He also credits his mum Marilyn for his love of country music.
I got turned on to all that old country music when I was at high school - George Jones, Garth Brooks, Merle Haggard, Alan Jackson, George Strait and all that traditional country music, he added.
But he revealed it was his wife who inspired new song Canadian Dirt.
I got married to my wife Kendra on Canadian dirt in a little town called Lacombe in Alberta , he quipped.
Bamford, who lived in Nashville for four years from 2014-2018, also revealed he wrote several songs on his new album with peers via zoom during the pandemic.
I wrote Fire It Up over zoom, Gord revealed,
During the pandemic we wrote two albums worth of stuff after not being able to tour and market it properly and on the backburner. Some of that stuff you are hearing now was written quite a while back. It's been a long time coming. I wrote Haunted Hometown with Steve Bogard who also wrote Carrying Your Love With Me for George Strait . I also wrote Neon Smoke (title track of 2018 album) with expat Australian Phil Barton. I also wrote Dive Bar with another expat Kylie Sackley for Neon Smoke . I have also written a lot of stuff with The Wolfe Brothers .
But not his Drinkalong Song hit with the Wolfe Brothers.
Drinkalong Song was recorded by Montgomery Gentry , Gord explained.
But one of the members of Montgomery Gentry was killed in a helicopter crash. It was a terrible accident and the song never came out. I always liked it put it out there so people could hear it.
On September 8, 2017, Troy Gentry died at 50 in a devastating plane crash in Medford , New Jersey due to pilot error.
With plans to perform at a resort later that night Troy 's brother Eddie was waiting at the airport when the crash occurred.
Bamford balanced that with the inclusion of Date Her on his album.
Date Her is a tongue in cheek song, Gord joked, I didn't write that song.
ONE HEARTBEAT FROM HEAVEN
I wonder if you hear what I'm saying/ I wonder if you recognize it's me/ my heart believes there's parts that haven't faded/ that somewhere in there's the you, you used to be/ it hurts like hell to lose ya slow/ but I keep holding on to hope/ cause we're all just one heartbeat from heaven/ but I pray you're many from your last/ and I'm clinging to the memories you don't have/ you can't see the tears that I keep hiding/ if I said I wasn't broken I'd be lying / watching you go, now I know/ there's worse things than dying. - One Heartbeat From Heaven - Buddy Owens-Galen Griffin.
He also credits two Nashville peers for the evocative album finale One Heartbeat From Heaven.
It was written by a friend Buddy Owens and Galen Griffin, who I had written a lot of songs with and spent a lot of time with in Nashville, Bamford revealed.
When they wrote that song, Galen's wife was going through cancer and has since beat cancer, which is great, but that song came right from the heart of someone dealing with it. She is now in remission so it's a very happy ending there. It cuts through a lot of heart strings for people with different experiences in life - it's probably to this day the most impactful song I have had a part of from social media and places like that. It was definitely a song that impacted people wherever we play it all over the world.
Equally memorable is the Gord Bamford Charitable Foundation in Canada generated over $3 million since inception in 2008 for children's charities such as Make-A-Wish Foundation, Ronald McDonald House, Big Brothers & Big Sisters and numerous children's hospitals across Canada .
It's our 16th year - very youth driven and important for small communities. Really dialled into children's hospitals, Ronald McDonald houses and Make A Wish Foundation - it's truly heart-warming to be a part of. Certainly the most warming part of my career.
It's a sibling of sorts of his father Pastor Jock's Loaves & Fishes foundation in Brisbane.
I'll catch up with him when my band comes over there in August. Gord added.
I can't wait. We're leaving here in winter.
Bamford's tour begins in Rockhampton on August 18 and ends on September 3 in Campbelltown, NSW.
More dates may be added.