A Chat With Dave Woods from “In The Country”

For the last decade, Dave Woods has hosted one of Canada’s top country music podcasts called “In The Country With Dave Woods”. It’s a place for artists to promote their new music and to connect with new audiences.

Dave has become one of Canada’s most trusted sources for interviews and new music, and has been a huge support to Canadian artists – both emerging and established. In the last few years, Dave Woods has also started hosting a monthly songwriters series in the Toronto area. These songwriting series help introduce country music fans to new artists and the faces behind some of best songs in Canada.

Dave Woods has really become a staple in the industry. This past year, his efforts were recognized by being nominated for the CMA Ontario Awards as “Music Industry Person of the Year”. We had the chance to connect with Dave to talk about this nomination, the podcast, and his songwriter series. It was a great conversation!  Keep reading for the full interview.

Interview With Dave Woods From “In The Country”

Front Porch: First of all, welcome to the Front Porch Dave – we’re excited to chat with you for the first time! Why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself and your podcast “In the Country With Dave Woods”

Canadian Country Music Industry Expert Dave WoodsDave Woods: Thank you for this opportunity! I’ve hosted the podcast for a little over 10 years now. In that time, I’ve had the chance to interview the biggest acts and the newest ones on the Canadian country scene. The shows run approximately 30 minutes – sometimes more – so that gives listeners enough time to really get to know the artists and different aspects of their careers. I treat each show like a conversation rather than a Q & A. Listeners can find the show on Soundcloud & iTunes and follow me on my In The Country with Dave Woods Facebook Page.

I grew up loving and listening to country music – new & traditional. Eventually, I worked in country radio in northern Ontario for years. The music and the artists mean a lot to me – and the country community is like no other. I’ve also written songs over the years and have had a several cuts and a top 20 Canadian single as a writer with a song released by Colin Amey (“If I Didn’t Call It Love) back in the day.

FP: Just this year, you were nominated for Industry Person of the Year at the CMA Ontario in Ottawa. First, congrats on the recognition! What was it like to be nominated and to experience the awards weekend as a nominee?

DW: Thanks! It was an honour to be nominated and recognized for the work I do to promote Ontario country talent. It felt great going there with the nomination but, with or without it, it’s always fun to see everyone, catch up and check out some awesome live music.

CMAOntario does a great job with the awards weekend and supporting artists year round.

Dave Woods Songwriter Series
In the photo from Right to Left: Chris Strei, Elyse Aeryn, Me, Ches Anthony, Ashlynne Vince, Greg Williams, Dean James, Matt Morson

FP: You also host a monthly songwriter series. Where did this idea come from, and why is it such an important project for you?

DW: Yes, I’ve been doing the series now since early 2018 at an amazing listening room in Oakville called The Moonshine Cafe. We have 2 rounds of 3 artists performing several original songs plus a cover song. I had the idea from seeing other songwriting rounds over the years and wanted to add to the format an interview segment with each round. It’s an important project to me because I love hearing songs performed acoustically in a venue where the audience listens. It just makes the music experience that much more intimate and we connect with the artists and songs a little deeper. I wanted to give that experience to country music fans. I also love how artists who hadn’t met before the show go on to do other shows together and write songs.

FP: It seems like Canadian country music is on fire lately! People used to complain that Canadian music wasn’t as good as music coming from the South (which has never been true, for the record). Why do you think Canadian country is finally getting the proper recognition – what is finally resonating with audiences?

DW: Absolutely. While I’ve always loved Canadian country, these days it’s even hotter than ever and is at the same level as music coming straight out of Nashville from American artists. I think it’s the over the top talent and concerts from the artists on the scene. Too many names to mention – which is a good thing! The shows and song production are first class. I’m excited to see that younger audiences in Canada love country music which means the genre will survive and thrive for years to come. All of us in the Canadian country music family can be very proud of the music that is being made and released here.

FP: You always seem to have your finger on the pulse of the best music in Canada. Who are some emerging artists that you’re watching right now?

DW: There are so many great ones on the scene – working so hard to get to that next level. Too many to mention all the ones that I know are on their way but a few are: Kelsi Mayne, Don Amero, Matt Lang and Elyse Saunders. It’s funny – I will ask artists questions likes this on my show and now I know how hard it is to narrow down when the complete list of names would take a while.

FP: What’s next for you, Dave? 

DW: I’m organizing and hosting a songwriters showcase called Storytellers on November 12th at Hugh’s Room Live in Toronto. It’s a great listening room and holds up to 200 people. The acts are some of the best artists and writers around – Genevieve Fisher, Don Amero, Kelly Prescott, Leah Daniels, Kansas Stone, Jamie Warren, Stacey Lee Guse & Josh David. I’m really excited for this one! Tickets can be purchased at www.hughsroomlive.com.

Also, the podcast episodes will keep on coming – as well as video interviews in some interesting locations! I just filmed one with Alessia Cohle and The Studio Paint Bar where we painted, drank some wine and talked about her music career.

Sounds awesome! Thanks so much for catching up with us! 

Subscribe to “In The Country With Dave Woods” Podcast

In country music, the Front Porch has long been a place of reflection. A place where you can look at the life you have inside that front door. A place where time almost seems to stand still, where you can get away. It’s also a place where you can go to observe the world as it passes by you. To think about your place out there beyond the driveway.

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