P.A. drummer wins big at CCMA awards

Alex Di Pietro
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As the 30th Canadian Country Music Association Awards unfolded at the Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon Sunday night, Prince Albert’s Chad Melchert was powering through a performance in another part of town.

Chad Melchert was in the middle of a performance when he found that he had won at the Canadian Country Music awards on Sunday. 


During a quick glance over at his phone at Tequila Nightclub, Melchert realized he had been named to the awards show’s all-star band list for best drummer.

“I received lots of tweets and messages on Facebook from people who were there,” Melchert said. ”I was actually playing at the time. I looked over at my phone and I could see a bunch of posts congratulating me.”

Melchert had been nominated for the CCMAAs before, but it was his first win. The other nominees included Matthew Atkins, Mark Branconnier, Steve Broadhurst and Brad Tebble. All are musicians for whom Melchert has tremendous respect.

“There’s a real admiration and respect among everyone in that category,” he said.  “As soon as I won it, these guys were emailing and congratulating me.”

Melchert, who had run into some of the other nominees before the show, said a sense of camaraderie is easy to build when everyone is doing what they love.

“It’s always just pleasant between us guys, because it’s a journeyman position,” he said. “We’re all just making a living, and we’re lucky to do it for a living.”

The lead up to the Carlton Comprehensive graduate’s award win began when he was just 13. He and his brother, who played guitar, performed at shows in and around Prince Albert.

“I played in bands with my brother Derek all through our young years, and we attended music school together at the same time,” Melchert said, noting that the city had a decent music scene when he was growing up in the ’80s.

“Prince Albert is a hot bed for great musicians, and with the likes of Freddie Pelletier, Brian Sklar, Donny Parenteau, Rod Janzen and Randle Currie, young musicians have a lot of people to look up to,” he said.

Now 39, Melchert still recalls how laid-back city event organizers were at letting him gain some stage experience.

“There was lots of support from the Country North Show right down to the shows they have for Canada Day on the riverbank,” he said. “Everyone would let us play. That was the biggest part for me.”

Currently, Melchert resides in Morinville, Alta. He is the bandleader and drummer for Gord Bamford, the 2010 CCMAA male vocalist of the year.

“Gord gave me the power to build the band I wanted to, and I hired the best of the best,” Melchert said. “I had the chance to hire fellow Prince Albertan Robin Pelletier for one (of the) guitar positions … Robin is a great friend and a huge talent. I feel so fortunate to have him in the band.”

With Melchert just finishing up with the Miranda Lambert tour and CCMAAs, he is looking forward to a busy fall and winter that will include lots of session work and a January tour in Australia with Bamford and the band.

As a final show of gratitude, Melchert took the time to acknowledge his family’s support in winning the award.

“Family is everything to me, and without my amazing parents early on and my wife Colleen and two sons Mason and Morgan, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”


Organizations: Prince Albert

Geographic location: Morinville, Australia

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