This week's Camrose Booster newspaper will be uploaded tomorrow. Sorry for the delay and have a great day!
Hey Romeo band plans working cruise
Canadian Country Music Association award winning band Hey Romeo will be performing on a floating stage next winter.
Lead singer Stacie Roper, formerly of Hay Lakes, is excited to be on a working cruise. "When the idea was first introduced to us our reaction was why not," said Stacie. "It gives us an opportunity to have some fun and I'm very excited to be a part of a cruise. It is a wonderful way to get close to our fans."
Stacie admitted that the band is busy, so having an opportunity to go on a cruise with friends and family on a get-away was well received. "Sometimes when you do have time off to go home, you are swept up by the family demands," said Stacie. "This is a unique opportunity to play and visit with fans. Our fans are very important to us."
The Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) said that the Alberta-based trio Hey Romeo has been nominated for three CCMA Awards including Group or Duo of the Year, Fans’ Choice Award and Interactive Artist of the Year. In 2011, Hey Romeo claimed the award for Group of the Year. "It was a life and career changing moment for the band. It was the best moment of my life," added Stacie. The All-Star Band Award for Keyboard Player of the Year went to Hey Romeo keyboardist Rob Shapiro, an award he has won the last three years.
“We were in awe at being nominated for three major CCMA awards,” said Stacie. “To be nominated for the Fans' Choice Award is like a dream come true. It means the world to us because it is the fans that support us and to have them vote for us is the ultimate pay back.”
The Fans’ Choice Award voting can be done today at www.ccma.org and closes Friday, September 7. The winner will be announced at the CCMA Awards, which will be broadcast live from the Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, on Sunday, September 9. Hey Romeo will also be performing at the CCMA FanFest on Saturday, September 8, at Prairieland Park in Saskatoon.
"It is hard to talk about next winter when it is so nice out in the summer, but we hope people will seriously think about joining us," said Stacie. "This is a great way for us to get to know everyone better. When we can share our success with our fans, it makes it all worthwhile. It's an honour and a thank you at the same time."
Hey Romeo released its third studio album, Twist of Fate (Royalty Records), on June 26. The record was co-produced by Hey Romeo and Byron Hill (Gary Allan, Gord Bamford) and features 12 songs including the first single, “Jump Back In.”
The band hosted the first annual Alberta Country Music Awards at Westerner Park in Red Deer. The band has opened for huge country acts including Sugarland, Johnny Reid and Gord Bamford to make a name for itself within the Canadian country music industry.
In 2010, Hey Romeo’s sophomore album, That’s What I Am, sparked five hit singles including “Searchin’ For You,” which went Top 20 on both the Mediabase and BDS charts, and “That’s What I Am,” which peaked at number 13 on the Billboard Canada Emerging Artist chart. A year after the release of its debut album, the band took home a 2008 CCMA Award for Top New Group of the Year.
Hey Romeo has grown from a hard-touring regional success to a national sensation while earning a reputation, not only as one of Canada’s hardest working country acts, but as one of the hardest working bands in the country, period. "We made our choice to stay Canadian because music fans in Canada are the most important thing to us. We could have moved to the United States, but then you lose that identity with Canadians," said Stacie.
"We want to stay Canadian and play in Europe or other countries on tours. We played in France and our song was at the top of the charts. It was cool to see our song at number one when Alan Jackson was at number five. It was because we toured there and made a connection with the fans."
The band's tight harmonies, the signature interplay between Rob Shapiro’s keyboards, Darren Gusnowsky’s guitar and Stacie’s powerhouse vocals, Twist of Fate is a relentlessly energetic blend of modern and traditional country, vintage folk and rock and roll that fans will find themselves singing along to halfway through the first chorus of the first track.
Stacie sings from the heart and shoots from the hip, knows exactly what sounds and artists have been an inspiration to her over the years.
“I love the harmonies of the Statler Brothers, the feel of The Mavericks, the voice of Alison Krauss, and the strength of Martina McBride,” said Stacie who has also taken a few cues from '80s ladies like Cyndi Lauper and Debbie Harry, at least when it comes to connecting with an audience.
Stacie’s gift for injecting the spirit of country music was apparent not long after she first started performing in front of audiences as a young singer. At a talent contest where she chose to sing a number from a Broadway musical, she turned heads for a number of reasons. Not only did she get everyone’s attention thanks to a impressive reading of the tune, Stacie still laughs when she recalls that one of the judges figured she had injected “a little too much country twang” into the number.
Hey Romeo performs three concerts on the Western Caribbean cruise, which starts on Sunday, February 17, 2013.