Then Canyon came to town.
“I sent a few songs to his management company and they loved what I was doing,” Trudell said in a email. “So I got the invite to open for George Canyon in a couple sold out shows.
“George and I performed duos together during both the shows. It was an amazing experience. George suggested (I) try to do this full-time and it was something I had been wanting forever. So I quit my job to pursue this career.”
“Do Ya Wanna” is the title track and the first single from his new record. Trudell said they picked the song because it has a fun, upbeat and radio-friendly sound.
“The team felt that it was a great introduction song for what the rest of the record was going to be like,” he said.
A native of Elliot Lake, Trudell has also lived in Sturgeon Falls, and several members of his family work in mining in the Sudbury area. Other family members play guitar and sing, and he remembers always listening to music growing up.
“They always had a Buck Owens eight-track tape in the old Chevy,” he said. “I starting listening to country songs when I realized they were full of great guitar licks and lyrics that told stories.”
He saw himself primarily as a guitarist when, at 19, he started playing shows with John Landry, who was releasing his debut record. But he took a break when his mother was diagnosed with cancer, which eventually claimed her life.
“She had been diagnosed with breast cancer, then went into remission, but the cancer came back in her liver,” Trudell said. “She fought a hard battle for five years.”
The wrenching experience was difficult, but it left him with the realization that the time to pursue his dreams was now.
“I needed to get out there and give it a real try,” he said. “Do what you love to do, do what speaks to your heart, and follow your dreams.”
While he writes lyrics and music, Trudell was able to record songs written by some Nashville heavyweights who have penned tunes for some of the industry's biggest acts, including Carrie Underwood, Blake Shelton and Luke Bryant. “Do Ya Wanna” was produced by Sudbury native Gil Grand, who operates a recording studio and music publishing company in Nashville called Grand & Gee Music Group.
“I had been looking for a Canadian producer to work on the album at the time and Gil had been looking for a Canadian artist to work with,” Trudell said, explaining how they got together.
“He sent me a message asking to meet me and wanted me to send him some songs I had been working on. In October of last year, we started talking about the project and decided that we should put a killer record together and that he wanted to be on board as my producer.”
For the CD release party May 28, doors open at 7 p.m., with the show beginning at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20, which includes an autographed copy of the record and appetizers. Tickets are available at Little Montreal, while the CD is available online at www.miketrudellmusic.com.
“The band and I plan to play all the new material from the CD and share some funny stories,” Trudell said. “It's sure to be a great time.”