It was something no one anticipated for this year’s Eagle Talent Search contest. Not only was there a record number of votes cast but the tallys were too close for judges to narrow the competition down to only three finalists. So five acts will be competing in the finals at Daniel’s in Sydney on Saturday, August 14.
“We are overwhelmed by the response to the contest this year,” says Jay Bedford music director of 103.5 The Eagle. “ We have received over double the number of votes from last year, more than 15,000.”
The five finalists are Nancy MacDougall of Port Hawkesbury, Gary Williams of Mulgrave, Ian Gosbee of Sydney/Halifax, Crowdis Bridge of Sydney/Halifax and Ronald Barron of Sydney.
Nancy MacDougall, is the youngest finalist and has been performing around Cape Breton and Eastern Nova Scotia for two years. Gary Williams is a carpenter by trade but music is in his soul. His submission, “Two Nickels and a Picture”, was written about his son when he was six years old. Crowdis Bridge’s bluegrass sound has already caught the attention of music industry bigwigs like Rich Terfry, better known as recording artist Buck 65 and host of CBC radio’s Drive. Their song “Wasted Days”, recorded at home, was put into rotation on Terfry’s radio show. Ronald Barron has been playing guitar for 17 years and the fiddle for 10. His song “My Internet Love Affair” was written two years ago for his aunts who had just discovered the world of the web. Ian Gosbee has withdrawn from the competition due to a scheduling conflict.
“The caliber of talent is unreal,” enthuses Bedford. “ Out of the thirty entries we received I can see at least making it in the music industry if they really go for it.”
Finalists are competing for a chance to win a recording session with Jamie Foulds, seven time ECMA Recording Engineer of the Year Award winner, at Soundpark Studios. Judges included internationally acclaimed singer/songwriter Aselin Debison and chart-topping singer/songwriter Aaron Lewis. Finalist must perform a set of three songs and at least one must be original.
The Eagle Talent Search Contest finals happen Saturday, August 14 at Daniel’s on Charolette Street in Sydney. Doors open at 7p.m. and finals start at 7:30p.m. Admission is $5 at the door.