He makes you want to stand tall

By Jane Fetterly

Growing up in Winnipeg’s North End, Don Amero remembers his parents being his first musical inspirations.

Being talented themselves, Amero recalls, “My parents having kitchen parties where I would listen to them play. Then they would play albums from Alabama, Elton John to Bruce Springsteen.”

Blue Rodeo, Bare Naked Ladies and Jann Arden were Amero’s middle-to-late teen listening choices. That was where it started for Amero and whom had inspired him during these years. To date when asked he says He would love to do a show with Jann Arden and Blue Rodeo. Adding that, “I would also see myself upon the same stages as Brett Kissel and Bobby Wills.”

Amero’s musical style has been described as a combination of country, storyteller and soul. His songs draw on personal experiences and observations of others around him. Listening to his music you will get to know the man behind the songs. It’s so refreshing to be able to feel the song deep into your spirit. It’s been said that Amero won’t write a song unless he can tell a story. Which he has achieved time and time again in every one of his songs.

Walking off his job as a hardwood floor installation technician in September, 2007, had been one of the best decisions of his life. In four short years he released three albums that generated two national awards and 12 nominations. Touring from coast to coast, being invited to play in numerous festivals, being asked to perform with symphony accompaniment, and even appearing on national televisions concerts.

The First Nations singer has had his own share of adversity growing up in the notoriously tough North End of Winnipeg. Violence, gangs, drugs and poverty surrounded his home and family life. Fortunate to have love, support and faith in the Greater Power, Amero carries both the depth of the hardship and the inspiration of hope. If you listen to his songs you will feel and hear the message of encouragement love and hope. Trying to steer others away from the path of alcohol, he has seen how destructive it can be, he wrote and sang a song called “Alone”, a very powerful and sad song. There are lot of songs in his first four albums that deal with the issues of family struggles and life, growing up. Giving of himself with such honesty and so deeply into his spirit. Don is almost family.

His many achievements include; Adult Contemporary Album of the Year Nominee;  Aboriginal Album of the Year Nominee; Male Artist of the Year 2015; Manitoba Country Music Awards Aboriginal Recording of the Year; Canadian Music Awards (WCMA); Best Folk/ Acoustic Album – 2013; Aboriginal People’s Choice Awards (APCMA); Best Country Single – 2013 Indian Summer Awards (ISMA); Aboriginal Recordings of the Year – 2011 Native American Music Awards; Aboriginal Songwriter of the Year – 2009 Canadian Folk music Awards; Male Artist of the Year – 2009 Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards.

Although he has the biggest smile on his face he never lets it get to his head. His grace and style makes you want to walk taller when you are next to him. Don Amero captivates the audience from young to the old. Giving of himself, he is often called upon as keynote speaker and to give inspirational workshops to the youth. His message of beauty, hope, positivity and encouragement is what we need. He continues to inspire everyone whom he comes in contact with, myself included. I felt myself sitting taller, proud to be a First Nation woman.

His album Refined was released in 2015 and was nominated in the JUNO Awards. Showing that Amero is far from sitting on the sidelines. He is a must see must hear with upcoming shows:

  • June 19, 2016: Fort York Indigenous Fest 7p.m. TD Main Stage
  • June 21, 2016: Brandon Manitoba Aboriginal Day
  • June 22, 2016: Club Casino Winnipeg with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra
  • July 1, 2016: Winnipeg’s Canada Celebration with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra

There is also a fall tour in the works but no confirmable dates yet and he was just here working on The Guilt Free Zone with Six Nations own Derek Miller. The Guilt Free Zone is set to air on APTN.

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