Names like Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and Buck Owens come to mind when people talk about the great country singing storytellers. Saskatchewan’s storytelling, guitar playing, singing, song writing cowboy, Blake Berglund, originally from Kennedy, is a newer name to country music, but is one that should be added to that list.
The singer-songwriter spent 2016 on the road touring and his musical endeavours have garnered him the Saskatchewan Country Music Association (SCMA) Roots Artist of the Year award. Now he’s gearing up for a Western Canada tour this summer before the release of a new album this fall.
This month, however, Berglund is going back to his roots – to when he first decided to pursue a music career – and has set what he calls “a lofty goal,” to sell 1,000 records in May and to do this he plans on connecting with fans, door to door.
“It’s an ambitious undertaking, but I find I push myself in a positive way when I set lofty goals for myself,” Berglund said. “It’s a challenge, but I’ve decided to revisit the way I used to sell albums, which was door to door from 2008 to 2012. Back then I just went out and sold CDs from my vehicle. When I started touring, that was when I sold my last door to door CD, but to sell 1,000 CD’s this month I thought I would re-approach that and see how things have changed since I last was out.”
“It’s intimidating to be walking up to strangers’ doors, but I’ve met some great people and some wonderful fans.”
The May project is Berglund’s way of funding his future: “It’s a fundraising effort. Right now I have a great team of publicists who are going to be promoting my record and this industry is taking a digital route, so I have a website that needs to be up to snuff, and music videos. So, I’m raising capital to operate the business.”
“I plan to go out everyday this month and any online orders will count towards the 1,000 as well, so if you send me an email or Facebook message I’m happy to send one out. They’re $20 each and a couple of dollars for shipping. Or Michael [Ellis] saw what I was doing and being the generous person he is wanted to help, so there are 25 albums available at Michael’s Coffee Shop for people to pick up if they’re interested.”
If interested in supporting Berglund’s efforts he can be found on Facebook by searching: BLAKE BERGLUND or contact him through his email: BlakeBerglund@gmail.com.
This summer he is planning to tour across Western Canada with Belle Plaine, which includes performances at the Calgary Stampede and Regina Folk Festival. Although they have no southeast Saskatchewan dates set, Berglund is forever grateful to his hometown and surrounding communities that continue to support his efforts in the music industry.
In addition to a busy touring schedule, Berglund will be releasing a new album this fall: “It’s a concept record, I’ve listened to Pink Floyd and a lot of ‘70s concept albums, so Dark Side of the Moon was a big influence in this, then I was listening to a lot of old school country, ‘90s country, and Marty Stuart. It’s a spiritual country concept record; my band and I are really proud of the sound, it’s super twangy, it’s real country.”
The new fall album – will be pressed as both a CD and vinyl – is written by Berglund: “There are three co-writes on the album, one with Belle Plaine and then two written with my band. Other than that I’ve written everything on it.”
“I’m very blessed to be doing what I’m doing,” Berglund stated.