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Emerson Drive
Also known as 12 Gauge
Origin Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
Genres Country
Years active 1995-present
Labels DreamWorks Nashville
Midas/Valory
Open Road
Associated acts Richard Marx
Johnny Reid
Shania Twain
Farmer's Daughter
Website www.emersondrive.com
Members
Danick Dupelle
Brad Mates
Mike Melancon
David Pichette
Dale Wallace
Former members
Pat Allingham
Remi Barre
Dan Bauman
Dan Binns
Patrick Bourque
Chris Hartman
Derrick Kuzemchuk
Jeff Loberg
David Switzer

Emerson Drive is a Grammy Award-nominated Canadian country music band which started out in Grande Prairie, Alberta in 1995 as 12 Gauge. The band is composed of Brad Mates (lead vocals), Danick Dupelle (lead guitar), Mike Melancon (drums), Dale Wallace (keyboards), and David Pichette (fiddle). Former bass guitarist Patrick Bourque committed suicide in late 2007, and has not been replaced with an official bass guitarist.

Early on, the band found minor success in Canada, releasing two albums under the name of 12 Gauge, the first Open Season was a product of winning a local "Battle of the Bands" contest. They charted two minor singles on the Canadian charts and a music video on CMT. By 2003, they had been re-named Emerson Drive, and had moved to Nashville, Tennessee to find a major label record deal. Emerson Drive recorded two albums on the DreamWorks Records label, and charted several hits on both the U.S. and Canadian country music charts. After DreamWorks' collapse in 2005, Emerson Drive signed to Midas Records Nashville, where they resumed their streak of hit singles, including their first Number One single in "Moments". In summer 2008, Midas Records decided to discontinue their country division. As a result, Emerson Drive was moved over to The Valory Music Co. and the CD which Emerson Drive had been working on, Believe, became a co-partnership with Midas Records, who kept ownership of the CD while The Valory Music Co. was in charge of promotion and distribution of Emerson Drive and Believe.

Contents

History

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12 Gauge

Emerson Drive was formed under the name of 12 Gauge in February 1995 when Brad Mates entered a talent contest at his local high school in Grande Prairie, Alberta. Through the contest, Mates met fiddler Pat Allingham and keyboardist Chris Hartman. Mates, Hartman, and Allingham decided to form a band with guitarists Dan Binns and David Switzer, bass guitarist Jeff Loberg, and drummer Remi Barre. The band started practicing in Mates' basement and entering singing contests. In 1996, the group entered a local "Battle of the Bands" contest and won the opportunity to write and record an EP titled Open Season.

12 Gauge began work on first studio album, Until You Walk the Tracks, the following year. Throughout 1997 and 1998, the group had been touring around Canada to support their album and charted two songs in Canada, including the top 40 single, "Some Trains Never Come", which peaked at #36 on the RPM Country Tracks chart in 1998. Both singles featured music videos that received airplay on CMT Canada. In early 1998, the group received a nomination for Top New Group or Duo at the RPM Big Country Awards, but lost to Montana Sky.

By this time, Switzer had left the group and drummer Remi Barre had been replaced by Derrick Kuzemchuk. Soon after the release, Binns left the group. He was replaced by Dan Bauman, who stayed with the band for just over a year. By the end of 1998, Binns and Kuzemchuk left the group. Shortly after, the band hired Gerry Leiske as their manager, replacing previous manager Lionel Allingham, who was Pat Allingham's father. Leiske introduced the band to guitarist Danick Dupelle, who had been performing with Canadian country trio Farmer's Daughter, whom Leiske also managed. Drummer Mike Melancon was also brought in to replace Kuzemchuk .

Name change to Emerson Drive

As the band had been finding success in Canada, they decided to move to Nashville, Tennessee for an American record deal. When attempting to gain a record contract in Nashville, the group was forced to change their name due an American rap group already owning the name 12 Gauge. The band settled on Emerson Drive, which was named for the Emerson Trail that crosses Western Alberta and joins the Alaskan Highway.[1]

The group caught the attention of executives at DreamWorks Records, who signed the group to a record deal in 2000. Emerson Drive's debut American single, "I Should Be Sleeping", was released in November 2001. The song went on to become a top five hit for the group on the Billboard Hot Country Single & Tracks chart in 2002, peaking at #4. "I Should Be Sleeping" also cracked the top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #35. Emerson Drive's debut album was originally scheduled to be released in January 2002, but was delayed when DreamWorks executives found two new songs and brought in singer-songwriter Richard Marx to produce.[1] The album was eventually released in May 2002. The album debuted at #13 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart and #108 on the Billboard 200. The album's second single, "Fall into Me", one of the two new songs Marx produced, was issued in late 2002 and peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart and #34 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Beginning in in August 2002, the band went through member changes with departure of bassist Jeff Loberg, who exited the group to focus on his songwriting. Loberg was replaced by Patrick Bourque shortly after. Keyboardist Chris Hartman was replaced by Dale Wallace after he left to return to school in early 2003. By June 2003, Pat Allingham left the group to spend more time with his family and was replaced by David Pichette.

What If?

Emerson Drive once again recruited Richard Marx to produce their second album, What If?. The album's first single, "Waitin' on Me", was released to Canada only in late 2003 and followed shortly by "Last One Standing", released in both Canada and the United States, in January 2004. While the band recorded their second album, they opened most North American shows on Shania Twain's Up! Tour. The tour began on September 25, 2003 and ended on July 10, 2004. The group's second album was released in June 2004 and debuted at #12 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart. Despite having sucess in Canada, the band was struggling in the United States and were dropped from DreamWorks in 2005 after the label shut down.

New label and release of Countrified

In late 2005, Keith Follesé and Brad Allen were launching a new record label, Midas Records Nashville, when they heard Emerson Drive. Follesé and Allen quickly signed the band to the label and began working on Emerson Drive's third album. Country band Alabama's Teddy Gentry and veteran Nashville musician and songwriter Josh Leo were brought in to produce the band's fifth album, Countrified, which was released in September 2006, debuting at #30 on the Billboard Top Country Songs chart.

The album's first single, "A Good Man," reached #17 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in late 2006 and was followed by "Moments", which gave the group their first number one single. Emerson Drive became the first Canadian based group to reach number one and the fifth Canadian act overall. "Moments" was followed in Canada by the top five hit "Testify" and in the United States by the top 25 hit "You Still Own Me", a cover the 2004 Johnny Reid single.

Death of Patrick Bourque, and release of Believe

Patrick Bourque, formerly the band's bass guitarist who had resigned from the band in August 2007 to unknown reason. On September 26, of that same year, he was found dead in his Montreal, Quebec home. At the time, the cause of death was not released by police and was eventually determained to be a suicide. The members of Emerson Drive learned of his death while traveling to a concert in Valentine, Nebraska. In November, the band talked with CBC News saying they had known that Bourque had been unhappy, but "nobody could do anything for him".[2] The band recovered from Bourque's death and began recording their sixth album in 2008.

In November 2008, the band released their first new single, "Belongs to You", on Midas and new label Valory Music Group, which began to promote the band in mid-2008. The song peaked at #32 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in March 2009 and the new album, Believe, was delayed. The album eventually came out in May 2009 in Canada only. No release date has been released for the American release of Believe and the group's label has stopped releasing singles to the American market. Despite this, the group has achieved two more top ten hits in Canada with "Believe" and "I Love This Road".

Discography

Studio albums

Awards and nominations

Year Organization[3] Category Result
1998 RPM Big Country Awards Top New Group or Duo (as 12 Gauge) Nominated
2002 Billboard Magazine Year End Awards Top New Artist Won
Canadian Country Music Association Group or Duo of the Year Won
Chevy Trucks Rising Star Award Won
Album of the Year – Emerson Drive Nominated
Single of the Year – "I Should Be Sleeping" Nominated
CMT Music Video of the Year – "I Should Be Sleeping" Nominated
Radio & Records Year-End Awards Top New Artist MVP Won
2003 Academy of Country Music Top New Vocal Group or Duo Won
Canadian Country Music Association Group or Duo of the Year Won
CMT Flameworthy Awards Breakthrough Video of the Year – "Fall into Me" Nominated
Juno Awards Country Recording of the Year – Emerson Drive Nominated
2004 Canadian Country Music Association Group or Duo of the Year Nominated
CMT Music Video of the Year – "Last One Standing" Nominated
2005 Group or Duo of the Year Nominated
2006 Group or Duo of the Year Nominated
CMT Music Video of the Year – "A Good Man" Nominated
2007 Academy of Country Music Top Vocal Group Nominated
Canadian Country Music Association Group or Duo of the Year Won
CMT Music Video of the Year – "Moments" Won
Album of the Year – Countrified Nominated
Single of the Year – "Moments" Won
Country Music Association Vocal Group of the Year Nominated
Music Video of the Year – "Moments" Nominated
Inspirational Country Music Awards Video of the Year – "Moments" Won
Juno Awards Country Recording of the Year – Countrified Nominated
2008 Academy of Country Music Top Vocal Group Nominated
Canadian Country Music Association Fans' Choice Award Nominated
Group or Duo of the Year Nominated
CMT Online Awards No.1 Digitally Active Group of the Year Nominated
Country Music Association Vocal Group of the Year Nominated
Dove Awards Special Event Album of the Year – Songs 4 Worship: Country Nominated
Grammy Awards Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals – "Moments" Nominated
2009 Canadian Country Music Association Group or Duo of the Year Nominated

References

External links


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