Langley musician touring, unaware of accolades

Wearing his hat as a music industry producer and manager, Mitch Merrett has been consumed for the past five weeks on a cross-country tour with Canadian country music star Chad Brownlee.

He was so busy, in fact, that Merrett didn’t even know that he was up for international accolades for his songwriting prowess.

It was with one of his many hats on that Merrett co-wrote a country song called Dance with Ben Glover, Amy Lewis, Ali Raney, and Zoe Neuman (the latter two making up a Toronto duo called The Lovelocks).

“They are on our label (MDM Recordings) and they are a blast to work with,” said Merrett, a 42-year-old Walnut Grove man who has been working in different facets of the music industry for 15 years now.

“To be completely honest, I didn’t have a huge role in this song,” he said, quick to shrug off recognition for his work.

Merrett admitted he wasn’t even aware that the women had formed a band, nor submitted the song for the contest, noting his contributions to this song came a few years back when he was co-producing the duo.

“Nonetheless, a nice surprise,” Merrett told the Langley Advance, in learning that the song was a finalist in the annual International Songwriting Competition (ISC).

The ISC is an annual song contest based out of Tennessee.

Merrett is not only a recognized songwriter, but he’s been acknowledged provincially and nationally for his production abilities and aptitude with the guitar – working with country stars such as Brownlee and Aaron Pritchett, and managing a number of up-and-coming country acts.

Even though winning awards appears to becoming old hat for the married father of two young boys, Merrett insists that’s not the motive and he’s just grateful to be considered.

“I’m pretty quiet about what I do… for a long while my neighbours thought I worked up north in the oil fields because I was gone a lot,” he explained.

He picked up his first guitar in Grade 8, wanting to be Stevie Ray Vaughan. In fact, he was a self-described “metal head” in the 1980s, but after listening to the stylings of guitarist Pete Anderson from country crooner Dwight Yoakam’s band, he changed his musical allegiance.

Home for a little bit, he’s expecting to be in Nashville on and off later this spring and into the summer months, working on albums with Brownlee and The Lovelocks.

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