By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – When Canadian Legend Charlie Major takes to the stage of the cultural centre Wednesday night; his audience will have already heard a Morinville legend.
Local singer / songwriter Justin Hogg will be opening for the multi award-winning country singer and is both excited and grateful for the opportunity. “I couldn’t have been presented a better opportunity as a young, aspiring musician,” Hogg said, adding he is hoping to take a step in the right direction with respect to his dreams. “I work hard every day in both vocal and instrumental technique.”
That work ethic includes recording himself so he can analyze what can be done better. Other days Hogg strays from the more rigid regimen of scales, technique and theory all together to just let the music tell him what is missing or where it’s going to end up.
That regimen has increased of late as Hogg has readied for his big night. “The upcoming opportunity has caused me to work harder and listen closer,” he said. “I am extremely excited for the event. I can’t wait to play some more great tunes for another fantastic Morinville audience, and I am even more excited at the prospect of impressing Canadian legend Charlie Major and progressing as a musician in my young career.”
One person who has worked with Hogg and knows the likelihood of his impressing the country singer is Paul Smith. “Justin is a super hard worker and obviously well known around town and well liked,” Smith said. “He’s really a good stage performer.”
Hogg has chosen three originals and one cover for his set opening for Charlie Major. “They’re really good, cream of the crop songs that he’s pulled together for this.”
The young musician has changed up his style over the past several months. Originally focused on pop / folk songs, Hogg shifted gears last fall to focus more on a folk / country sound. It is a groove Smith says suits Hogg’s voice well. “The audience really responded to his voice and he really felt like he hit his stride when he did it,” Smith said. “It’s really come through in these new songs. He made a decision as a creative spark and it was the right one.”
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The Charlie Major concert takes place at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $35 and available at the cultural centre, Morinville Sobeys and through Tix on the Square.