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 didnâ€™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).
â€œThey are on our label (MDM Recordings) and they are a blast to work with,â€ said Merrett, a 42-year-old Walnut Grove man who has been working in different facets of the music industry for 15 years now.
â€œTo be completely honest, I didnâ€™t have a huge role in this song,â€ he said, quick to shrug off recognition for his work.
Merrett admitted he wasnâ€™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.
â€œNonetheless, a nice surprise,â€ 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 heâ€™s been acknowledged provincially and nationally for his production abilities and aptitude with the guitar â€“ 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 thatâ€™s not the motive and heâ€™s just grateful to be considered.
â€œIâ€™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,â€ he explained.
He picked up his first guitar in Grade 8, wanting to be Stevie Ray Vaughan. In fact, he was a self-described â€œmetal headâ€ in the 1980s, but after listening to the stylings of guitarist Pete Anderson from country crooner Dwight Yoakamâ€™s band, he changed his musical allegiance.
Home for a little bit, heâ€™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.