Local singer/songwriter hoping to strike it big in a small town

Okanagan musician featured on premiere episode of CMT program Big in a Small Town shot in Summerland and Naramata.

Okanagan Musician Gorden James will be featured on the television show Big in a Small Town which is premiering on CMT on Thursday.

Okanagan Musician Gorden James will be featured on the television show Big in a Small Town which is premiering on CMT on Thursday.

While most have pictures of their dogs or kids designated as their Facebook profile picture, Gorden James has settled on a mansion.

Graceland to exact. It was from the King of Rock ’n’ Roll James developed a passion for singing and songwriting which has now landed him a spot on the new CMT television show Big in a Small Town that recently wrapped up filming in the Penticton area.

“I am absolutely flattered that CMT found me, that they asked me to audition and they selected me to be a part of this group. It is such a huge, huge honour,” said James. “It all started with seeing Elvis with the guitar and my parents buying me a guitar when I was young.”

The show, airing on Thursday at 4 p.m., will profile five musicians from the Western region, including James, who moved to the Okanagan 22 years ago, first living in Penticton then settling in Kelowna. Even more of an honour is the fact CMT approached him, which James still seems genuinely flabbergasted about despite taking on music as his sole profession a few years ago.

“It has been busy. It is a crazy way to make a living because it is not reliable but I have been working really hard at it. When CMT emailed me and asked me to audition it showed me that I am working in the right direction,” said James.

At first glance, he believed the email was spam. Within 24-hours he taped a song in his backyard and shipped it off to CMT for Big in a Small Town. He was chosen as one of 30 musicians across Canada.

The show will give rise to an undiscovered small town musician. Through online voting, Canadians will have their say in choosing one of the five finalists from the region to move onto the finals in Toronto where they will compete in a live-to-air performance showdown with six other regional winners. The winner will be revealed live from Saskatoon at the Canadian Country Music Awards on Sept. 9, receiving the opportunity to present the Video of the Year award. The Big in a Small Town winner will also receive a singles-based exclusive artist agreement with Slaight Music Inc, an opening slot on the CMT Tour and the production of two music videos funded by CMT.

James said he was interviewed at the Summerland Waterfront Resort during filming about his background and story of how he got to where he is in music and life. The second day of filming was on location in Naramata, with audition in front of celebrity judges followed by a final interview.

“For me just to be selected is the coolest,” said James. “It is just something I love to do and for CMT to even have anything to do with me is such a pleasure.”

James said he has a new song being released this week called How Can I Miss You which can be found on his website www.gordenjames.com or by giving his Facebook page a “like” at www.facebook.com/pages/Gorden-James.

Also featured on the premiere episode airing on Thursday at 4 p.m. are musicians Drew Gregory, Todd Richard, Karla Crawford and Lyndsey Hoff.