Family is the cornerstone of a true artist’s success. While the
concept of struggling, independent musicians has been romanticized
and glorified by many, the true longevity of an artist relies on the
support, encouragement and loyalty of kin. It breeds conviction,
motivation and confidence in one’s own ambition and ability.
It also breeds success as country music’s greatest prospect Jaydee
Bixby proves with his upcoming debut effort Cowboys and Cadillacs,
in stores nationally on July 8 via HRM Records/Fontana North.
Bixby lives by this methodology, ingrained in the Drumheller-cum-Red
Deer, Alberta crooner since childhood. Raised in a home of dedicated
musicians, it’s Bixby’s family that initially encouraged him to participate
in local competitions as a young boy and to follow his dream of becoming
a recording artist.
The dream led 17 year-old Bixby to grab life by the horns and try his hand
at the discerning Canadian Idol where he would eventually become the fifth
season’s runner-up, gaining millions of adoring fans in the process thanks
to both his impeccable voice and hip-swaggering Presley-esque stage manner
that left more than a few ladies swooning. Even Idol guest star Paul Anka
was compelled to endorse Bixby, noting that he “has the type of talent that
will keep him around for decades to come.”
“As a singer, I started out around the campfire having a good time listening
to my parents,” reflects Bixby with an endearingly casual drawl. “But it wasn’t
until hearing Elvis’ ‘Hound Dog’ for the first time that I fell in love with music,
particularly country. That led to performing at rodeos and eventually I thought,
‘Well, you only live once. You might as well try out for Canadian Idol.’ I never
thought I’d make it as far as I did but I set out goals the whole way and I reached
them. It was hard work but the outcome was great. Now I can see where I can take it.”
After the success of Canadian Idol, Bixby refused to rest on his laurels. The
determined and enthusiastic vocalist utilized that same work ethic he applied
to Canadian Idol to realize another dream: releasing his debut album Cowboys and
Cadillacs. Bixby celebrates his inaugural step into a lifetime career of recording
and touring with the release.
Recorded at Vancouver’s Mushroom Studios, Cowboys and Cadillacs finds the sure-footed
teen intensifying and broadening the same velvety voice that prompted throngs of
Canadians to instantly adore him. Working with renowned producers Bill Buckingham
(Rita McNeil, Amber Nicholson and the Cuzeros) and John Webster (Bon Jovi, Aerosmith),
Cowboys and Cadillacs intertwines Bixby’s inherent down home, twangy roots with a rock
edge to create enduring country anthems including the infectious lead single
“Old Fashioned Girl,” in which Bixby relates his dream partner to be a little bit
like mom and a little bit like Minnie Pearl: a good, clean, wholesome girl.
“Cowboys and Cadillacs is straight-up country with a newer twist,” notes Bixby.
“In order for an album to be strong, the songs have to reflect your personality;
be believable. The only way to do that is to get a lot of yourself in there. It’s
a learning process and as you grow your fans should grow with you. I kept it a
family affair in order to stay true to myself. I had my parents in to do back-up
vocals because if it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t have this opportunity. I learned
to sing from them. That’s how they met, playing in a band. Music is in the Bixby blood.”
In keeping with Jaydee’s personal outlook, the vocalist admits that while it was
Bixby blood that instigated Cowboys and Cadillacs, once again, it is the encouragement
of loved ones that ensures this is only the first step in a long, prosperous career.
Bixby asserts that in order to accomplish more, he must keep close ties to his roots.
“My family is vital to me. My father taught me guitar, my mother played bass, I’ve got
five sisters and they’re my biggest fans. Without them, life would be awfully lonely.
I grew up in a town of less than 10,000. When you get thrown into the national eye, you
realize how big the world is. It’s comforting to have your family behind you and supporting
you. Your career is based on the people you surround yourself with. If you have positive
people surrounding you, you’ll have a positive vibe. Family and friends, the people I’ve
always known and care for are vital to that.”
Despite his obvious talents and the anticipation surrounding the release of Cowboys and
Cadillacs, Bixby remains steadfastly humble. Drawing on his own life experience, he is
level-headed about the future, tempering his exuberance with wisdom.
“People can live to be 80 or live to be 18. The 18 year-old can have more experience in
their life though, depending on how they choose to live it. I’ve had a lifetime of
experiences in the past year, which have kept me grounded and career-driven. Now I am
ready for another lifetime of experience. If you can wake up in the morning and you’re
excited to go to work, you’re lucky. That’s the kind of job you want to have. But I’m
still learning the ropes, enjoying polishing my art and performing around the country.
The way I see it now, Cowboys and Cadillacs is the kick-start of my life.”