As iconic, rugged, and recognizable as the Rockies, Canadian music royalty Tom Cochrane’s 4 decade career started in the pubs, rough neck bars and coffeehouses of the roads and highways of first Ontario and then the rest Canada and then the world is characterized by creative, adventurousness and musical and personal integrity.
Commenting on some of the jobs he had early on in his life, which include cab driving, working at CIL Paints, on the loading dock at Sears and Canada Packers, crewing out on a sail boat (not a cruise ship). “Those gigs are character builders, you pay some bills along the way with them but its real life also that you learn from and draw songs from.”
A few years into his tenure with Red Rider they graduated to larger venues, halls, arenas and festivals stages. “The early days never leave you though; they get etched on your soul like a tattoo.” Within and without Red Rider, Tom has released 17 albums. Having helped shape the musical landscape for future generations of Canadian artists, Tom remains one of only 3 male Canadian singer songwriters to have a diamond certified album in Canada (over a million copies sold). Mad Mad World is now around 1.7 million in Canada and at over 3 million worldwide. Songs such as Life Is A Highway, Big League, No Regrets, Sinking Like a Sunset, and Lunatic Fringe have been international hits and continue to garner much airplay around the world.
Being part of our collective cultural consciousness and landscape for a long while now, this list has been seen before but to recap: Tom Cochrane is a recipient of 8 Juno Awards, and is a member of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame, Walk of Fame, a prestigious Officer of the Order of Canada, the Order of Manitoba, former Honorary Air Force Colonel in the 409 squadron, an honorary doctorate, a recent Diamond Jubilee award, many songwriter awards from SOCAN, CAPAC and ASCAP, a Grammy nomination as well as numerous other citations and awards.
“The highway has been a good teacher I’ve learnt a lot from her, it stretches out before us like a canvas.”
We are thrilled that highway has brought Tom, the band, and their rollicking show to the ROOTSandBLUES main stage!