By Stevie Connor.
Hamilton-based singer-songwriter, musician, composer, arranger and producer, André Bisson, has been named the winner of the Blues & Roots Radio 5th Annual International Song Contest.
From a small town in Northern Ontario to lively crowds across England and Wales, André Bisson has proved that he has a message worth listening to. With a career that spans over 20 years, his musical resume includes 9 studio albums, countless awards, and sold out shows across Canada, the USA, UK, and Europe.
As the sole songwriter and arranger for a group that spans from 6-20 musicians, André has created his own musical brand infused with soul, roots, blues, and R&B. Using an eclectic combination of instruments, he creates a musical story that becomes the soundtrack for his lyrics.
Since first taking to the stage at age 15, André’s love and dedication has always been to the live show. Combining his powerhouse vocals with a group of world class musicians, André makes it a priority to always give the audience an exciting, intense, and memorable musical experience. The connection between the musicians, the song, and the audience is always the ultimate goal.
The competition's mission is to provide the opportunity for both aspiring and established songwriters to have their songs heard by an international audience. This is an annual event, it is designed to nurture the musical talent of songwriters on all levels, both amateur and professional, and promote excellence in the art of song craft.
All songs are judged by an independent panel of jurors who are currently in the music industry around the world, a number of whom sit on regional and national award panels.
The overall winner, André Bisson, won the male category with his song 'Down The Line', young singer-songwriter, Izzy Burns, topped the female category with her entry, 'Guessing Game', and Jeff Plankenhorn, took the Band/Duo/Trio category with, 'Trouble Find Me'.
A full list of category winners and finalists can be viewed HERE
‘Down the Line’ is from André 's most recent album 'The Ballad of Lucy Stone'. The winning song was inspired by the love of old westerns, songs about heartbreak, and a fascination with the industrial revolution. The 1800s were a time of great technological change and a big part of this change was travel; particularly by train. This song describes a man who is heartbroken because he cannot be with the one he loves. He feels the solution is to hop a freight train and travel as far away (both physically and emotionally) as he can. He prays that the cry of the whistle will drown out his sorrow and the whisky will numb the pain.
It's a contemporary blues song with a beautiful string arrangement, and is a well deserved winner in an extremely strong field in each category of the competition.