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Country rocks Whistler

CCMA nominated new talent, Jason Blaine, set to perform alongside Trooper and The Roadhammers at second annual festiva



What: Campground “C” Country-Rock Festival

When: Saturday, Aug. 23, noon to 10 p.m.

Where: Whistler Driving Range

Tickets: $60

We’ve had a few weeks to recover from the music festivals that took this town by storm in July, and now it’s time to dig out your trusty cowboy hat and boots and get ready for the last big musical party of the summer.

The second annual Campground “C” Country-Rock Festival is coming to Whistler Saturday, and the event promises a day full of great musical performances by nine talented acts.

Byron James of Echo One Productions, the company organizing the festival, said this year’s event should be bigger and better than the first, which drew a crowd of about 1,250 people.

“We’ve got a great lineup this year,” James said. “We’re very excited with having The Roadhammers as our headlining band and Trooper being our rock component.”

This year, visitors can also expect to see vendors, beer gardens and a mechanical bull round off the festivities.

Among the artists performing this weekend is Jason Blaine, a country performer from Ontario.

Blaine and his group are currently touring across Canada promoting his latest album, entitled, Make My Move , which was released in May. A mere three weeks later, the third single off the album hit the Top 40 charts.

Blaine also just found out a few weeks ago that he has been nominated for a 2008 Canadian Country Music Award for Best New Male Artist of the Year, and is set to perform during the awards ceremony.

“I’m really honoured,” said Blaine. “The CCMAs are full of history, and it’s really cool to be considered in amongst all my peers in the business.”

But the humble up-and-coming musician points out that everyone — from his record label, booking agent, management team and others — have helped him get to this point. It’s been a long journey to where Blaine is today, and he’s worked hard for his recent successes.

Blaine was fully immersed in music during his childhood; his father is a bass player who played with a local band in his hometown for 25 years. So it was only natural that his son wanted to follow in his footsteps.

“I remember as a kid, from a really, really young age, after my dad would get home from a show on a Saturday night… I would wake up Sunday morning and I’d open up his bass guitar case just to smell the smell of cigarette smoke and old guitar strings mixed in with the smell of the guitar case,” Blaine remembered wistfully. “I tell people, I always joke, it should be a cologne.”