Angie Morris of Sirroma Entertainment created Diamonds in the Rough six years ago to give artists to chance to be seen and heard during Canadian Country Music Week. It has expanded over that time to become one of the Must-See events. This is an acoustic event that brings artists to the stage from every corner in Canada. Although Diamonds in the Rough ran from Thursday afternoon until Sunday night, I was only able to catch one showcase.
Friday, September 8 at 11:30 p.m. I saw Manitoba’s 2016 and 2017 Roots Artist of the Year, Quinton Blair take to the stage with Brenton Thorvladson on mandolin and fiddle. The set was short because so many artists had applied to perform. Quinton Blair is a self-ordained troubadour, tale-spinner, and songwriter; imagine Steve Earle jamming with Dwight Yoakam. Influenced by the likes of Rodney Crowell, Hayes Carll, and Merle Haggard. Blair captivated the audience with his witty stories and relatable songs.
Quinton Blair performed, to an overflowing full house, the roots anthem “Following Him Around,” the upbeat trailer cheating song, “After They’re Gone,” both from his Cash Crop EP. He also debuted his newest single that will be released this fall, written by Quinton Blair, Ashley Robertson, and Jonathan Dean, “Old Fashioned.”
Relaxing and watching Blair with what comes so natural to him was the perfect way to end my day.
For more photos from our time at PotashCorp Country Music Week and CCMA awards, check out our Facebook page!