Rex Goudie Busking for Change
In 2005, he was the charming crowd-pleaser with the good-guy white hat who took second place in “Canadian Idol.”
Next week, you’ll find him busking on the streets of Toronto.
Because a trip Rex Goudie took to Afghanistan earlier this year as a guest of the Canadian military put him face to face with poverty.
And so the singer/songwriter from Burlington, who now lives in in Oakville, Ont., will join other musicians on the streets of Toronto Tuesday — International Peace Day — as part of War Child’s Busking for Change initiative.
In Afghanistan, Goudie played for Canadian troops and visited a market on the base run by Afghans.
“The kids were trying to do what they could to get any bit of money. They’d sell you anything they had for a dollar,” Goudie said during a recent telephone interview.
In Kandahar City, he watched from a tower as people went about their lives.
“Houses are basically made of mud and straw. There aren’t many amenities over there to further the life of a child in regards to schooling or health care,” he said.
“And those are the things War Child is trying to help with, be it in Afghanistan, anywhere else in the Middle East, or the Congo or Haiti — after the disaster they’ve had.”
War Child provides humanitarian assistance to more than 200,000 children and families.
Goudie hopes his talents as a busker will bring in $500, and he’s almost half-way there.
Busking for Change was inspired by Raine Maida, lead vocalist of Our Lady Peace, who spent 12 hours busking for War Child in Toronto in 2007.
Maida raised more than $20,000 for War Child’s School Rebuilding Project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly known as Zaire).
Since then, Busking for Change events have taken place from coast to coast.
The initiative has been supported by more than 100 musicians and has raised more than $100,000.
Goudie released his debut album, “Under the Lights” in 2005.
A year later, he had a second album, “Look Closer.”
Now he’s excited about his third — “One Hundred Pages Later” — which will be released this fall.
The span between albums wasn’t intentional, he says.
“The kids were trying to do what they could to get any bit of money. They’d sell you anything they had for a dollar,” Rex Goudie
He was dropped from the Sony
BMG roster, changed agencies and had to come up with the necessary funds.
“Looking at it now, I’m glad that I had to wait so long as I did because it’s given me time to think about what I wanted to do and to do it properly,” he said.
Goudie wrote all of the songs on the new album except one, which was written by his friend Ian Thornley.
Working closely with producer Mike Borkosky, (iLL Scarlett, Alana Myles, Sass Jordan, Low Level Flight), he has honed the songs and made them sound true to who he is, he said.
“It’s the style I’ve wanted to do since Day 1. I think this will prove to be my best work and my most honest record yet.”
Goudie credits Borkosky and his new management team (Liam Killeen and Joel Baskin) for helping with the record.
“Their hard work has been instrumental in helping to rebuild my career, and I can't thank them enough,” he said.
He’s also grateful for the undying support from his fans, many of whom have been with him since “Idol.”
“Their support of ‘Undone’ (a single Goudie released last year) confirmed to Liam and Joel that no matter what we had to do, we had to make this record work. I feel that I owe it to all of them to finally deliver on a product that I’ve been talking about for years now. I’m excited to finally be able to make good on that promise.”
Goudie plans to move to St. John’s this fall. “I’ve been long enough away from the salt water,” he said. “It’s better to be where you’re happiest.”
He’s contacting as many people through Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites to garner support for Busking for Change.
Donations can be made online by visiting www.warchild.ca and following the Busking for Change link to Goudie’s name.
“Every bit of money that we can get for people who are in a lot more need than we are is a wonderful thing,” he said.