Canmore singer/songwriter working on musical career

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Canmore's Jamie Carrick has completed a degree in religious studies, but he's following his heart in pursuing a musical career.

By Dave Whitfield - Banff

With a degree in religious studies now under his belt and with initials ready to be engraved on a business card, Canmore's Jamie Carrick has now embarked on his career.

Not, though, in a particularly religious field, but as a folk singer/songwriter. Carrick, who has lived in Canmore most of his life, developed an early interest in music by, like many youngsters, taking piano lessons in his hometown.

Carrick plays Bruno's in Banff on Aug. 2, then will be at the Ironwood in Calgary, Aug. 4 to release his CD, Tribute. At Bruno's he'll share the stage with Grande Prairie's Smithjosh.

After completing high school Carrick's interests took him first to Ottawa, to begin his religious studies, then to the University of Calgary to finish his degree.

It was in Ottawa, though, that Carrick flexed his musical wings; picking up and learning to play guitar and honing songwriting skills.

With a musical hunger created in Ottawa, Carrick felt the need for change, so he moved to Calgary, continued his musical ways and, as a member of Busking for Smiles, crafted a performance persona.

Today, touring to support Tribute, Carrick says he's enjoying musical life on the road and expects to make music his full-time occupation. "It's not full-time yet, but it will be shortly. And no matter how things go, I'll be involved in music for the rest of my life."

While he has wide-ranging musical interests, "from Bruce Cockburn and Joni Mitchell to Chopin", Carrick feels most at home in the folk/pop genre. His six-song Tribute is faithful to the genre and features songs he crafted himself.

"There's a theme with Tribute," he said. "Each song is dedicated to the person who inspired it, and one is of a place that inspired the song. It's a way to give back to people who gave me inspiration."

Playing strictly solo gigs at this time, Carrick said he remains swept up, "in the creative process. I really enjoy that, musically. Playing and songwriting let's me do something creative and that's something I need and enjoy.

"Being part of Busking for Smiles helped with that. We were writing and playing music and getting input from others; it was a big help."

In trying to build a local following, Carrick sticks with gigs in the Bow Valley, Calgary, Red Deer and Edmonton. In the near future he's also at the Soda in Calgary and will play a CAUSE Canada benefit in Cowtown at the Arrata Opera Theatre, Sept. 21.

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Canmore Museum

Canada House Gallery

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