PENTICTON, B.C. — Rex Goudie knows how cold-hearted the music industry can be.
In five short years the recording artist from Burlington has gone from placing second on “Canadian Idol,” releasing a platinum-selling album (100,000 sales) and receiving a Juno Award nomination to being dropped from his label, self-managing his career and waiting four years between albums.
“The first time I toured Canada it was on a bus and then I went back across the country three weeks ago and was driving myself. When you’re planning the tour and doing the driving, it’s amazing what you see that you miss from the window of a bus. It’s a beautiful country,” said Goudie, who has just released his third CD, “One Hundred Pages Later,” independently.
“It’s my first hurrah into independent music. The big thing for me over the past four years was trying to get Factor funding. When you’re an independent, any money that can help out is huge. I switched booking agents and I’m starting to go off in a different direction. I’m not tied to a label and it can sound the way I intend it to sound.”
Goudie said his album has an East Coast sound lyrically.
“My song, ‘Save My Life,’ was written from the perspective of my brother and uncle heading to Fort McMurray. It’s one of the things you have to do, but there’s no better feeling than coming back home.”
There’s also a song, “Burn It Down,” which was inspired in part by the breakup with girlfriend Melissa O’Neil, whom he met when the two were competing against one another on “Canadian Idol.”
“I wrote half of the song in Nashville and then I was staying with a friend of mine who had also produced Melissa and I saw her gold record. It was a fresh wound. I got a guitar riff going through my head and I quickly finished the song.”
While some of the lyrical content is heavy, the lead single is a perkier tune, “Coming Back for Good.”
“It’s a good, fun song ... more of an upbeat thing. It’s kinda about long-distance relationships.”
The album’s closer is a remake of “Six Months in a Leaky Boat.”
His previous manager had suggested an album of covers and one that was recorded, but never released, was the Split Enz hit from 1982 which found its way onto this album.
“I worked with my father driving a dump truck and every day we all went to lunch together. There was only one radio station that we could pick up and it was classic rock. Every day at the site we were guaranteed they’d play ‘Six Months in a Leaky Boat’ right at noon. All of the men started humming it. It has sentimental value, not to mention it’s a hell of a lot of fun to play live.”
This past year he and several other musicians travelled to Afghanistan where they played for troops from Belgium, Canada and the U.S. The Canadians knew who he was. He described it as a life-changing experience.
“It was an acoustic-based set. To play for the men and women who are serving their country in order to help other people who can’t help themselves was truly a surreal experience. They were glad we came, not just for music but to see some new people. I’ve made friends for life.”
As for his future, he said he’ll continue performing live, something he hasn’t stopped doing since 2005.