Rex Goudie moves home with a new album and grown-up outlook
© — Photo by Sandra Lee Elford/Special to The Telegram
Rex Goudie, who went to Toronto in 2005 after his popular and successful run on “Canadian Idol,” is moving home to Newfoundland.
Chatting with Rex Goudie is often like having a conversation with a middle-aged uncle.
Not only are his sentences peppered with “my dear” and other terms of endearment, he speaks with the maturity of someone well beyond his 24 years.
“Essentially, I spent a lot of time around my dad and all of his friends growing up, because my friends decided they were going to get into things that I didn’t want to get into,” Goudie explained. “I guess that forced me to have a little bit more of a mature mind.”
Though he’s stayed connected with Burlington, his hometown near Baie Verte, Goudie hasn’t lived in Newfoundland since being voted runner-up to then-girlfriend Melissa O’Neil on “Canadian Idol” in 2005 and moving to Toronto.
Goudie drove home late last week, and says he is back here to live.
Despite his fame, Toronto was a little bit lonely, he said.
“I was starting to miss home a lot. I was out in Oakville for a while and I didn’t see anybody and hardly did anything,” he said. “No point in being up there and not doing anything.
“It was an easy decision. All my family is here and all the people I love are here, so it made the most sense.”
Goudie signed a recording contract with Sony BMG right after “Canadian Idol,” and his debut CD, “Under the Lights,” sold 36,000 copies in the first week alone. The album went on to be certified gold, and then platinum.
A year later, in 2006, his second album, “Look Closer,” debuted at No. 19 on the Canadian charts. Two weeks after its release, however, it fell off.
Three years ago, Goudie announced Sony BMG had dropped him from their roster, but insisted it was “no biggie,” and added he was working on songs for a new album.
That CD, called “100 Pages Later,” is set to be released the first week in December.
“That’s how many pages I’d written before I found songs to go on the record,” Goudie explained with a laugh.
He wrote all the songs on the album, except one. Some of them were tunes that didn’t make it onto his first CD, and all were inspired by real life.
“I’m a fan of great music that tells a story,” Goudie said, listing Bruce Springsteen and Foo Fighters as two of his favourite artists. “One song was written about what my dad went through when the mill closed out home; another song is about when I started dating a girl I was just dating; other songs are about moving home.”
Goudie feels this CD is more honest than his previous two, and more grown-up.
He’s leaving after the weekend for a Canadian college tour with B.C. singer/songwriter Billy the Kid, and plans to start playing gigs in St. John’s once he’s home in December.
In February, he departs on the fifth Universal Travel Rex Goudie Cruise, where he’ll spend a week entertaining on a cruise ship, sailing the Caribbean.
"People think, ‘OK, you’re an ‘Idol’ guy who just sings,’ and then you show up with an acoustic guitar and own a room and you get a little bit more respect. Not that anybody needs any validation from any other person, but when you see people enjoying what you do, it’s a wonderful thing." Rex Goudie, singer/songwriter
Goudie’s been playing quite a few acoustic shows lately and says that, while he has no problem being known as the guy from “Canadian Idol,” they’re earning him a bit more street cred.
“It’s just myself and the guitar, which is good for trying out new songs, trying to see how the songs translate from the record and how people are liking them. I’ve got to say, it’s been going over pretty well,” he said. “People think, ‘OK, you’re an ‘Idol’ guy who just sings,’ and then you show up with an acoustic guitar and own a room and you get a little bit more respect. Not that anybody needs any validation from any other person, but when you see people enjoying what you do, it’s a wonderful thing.”
St. John’s offers more opportunities for musicians to be themselves, Goudie says, and he plans to play “as much as humanly possible” over the next little while.
“I think there’s a good home for it here, even more than western Newfoundland. I find in St. John’s, people are more appreciative of your original music and what you want to play, and they want to get more intimate with the artists, rather than just hear ‘Brown Eyed Girl.’
“No, I don’t know how to play ‘Wagon Wheel,’ and I’m not going to play ‘Wagon Wheel,’” Goudie joked.
Last weekend, Goudie headlined a benefit show for hurricane Igor relief efforts at Headquarters (formerly Junctions) on Water Street with Jerry Stamp and Bloomsbury Group, after watching news coverage of the destruction and wanting to do something to help.
“When it happened, I wasn’t able to do anything from Ontario. I’d have been the type of fellow to be there with a shovel, trying to help fill in the roads,” he said.
Goudie acknowledges he’s been thinking of ways other than music to make a living over the past few years, and says he’s game to take a non-musical job, if he has to. He’d like to go back to school to get a trade and work as a mechanic, a welder or “anything working with (my) hands, being moderately creative.”
While he’ll miss the friends he made during his time on the mainland, he won’t miss Toronto too much, he said,
His BlackBerry and Skype make it easy to stay connected with the music industry there, and it’s just a two-and-a-half hour flight to get there, if worse comes to worst, he said.
“I’m going to actively work at it as much as I can from here,” Goudie said. “I’m going to try and melt the face off St. John’s again.”