B.C. 13-year-old. Nominated for the Maple Blues Award
Liam Abererty was nominated for New Artist of the Year in national awards
Liam Docherty may only be 13, but he's already attracting recognition from the Canadian blues establishment.
The young singer-songwriter from Qualicum Beach, B.C., has been nominated in the Maple Blues Awards for the New Artist of the Year category, honoring the country's best blues musicians.
"It's a really big deal," Liam told CBC's On The Coast host Gloria Macarenko.
Liam first took up the guitar when he was four, his father introduced the instrument. Australian guitarist Tommy Emmanuel's 2015 concert introduced Liam to blues and finger-picking style.
"I kept on practising over the years," he said. "When I was seven, I learned some pop songs and I'd busk at the Salt Spring Island farmers market."
Liam's performances gained him local nickname "red-headed blues boy" He was to play at Vancouver Island Music Festival and the Nanaimo Blues Festival before being cancelled due to COVID-19.
Instead, he released his first album, Modern Magic Melody, which won him the nomination.
"I never actually expected this he said.
Liam says his songwriting process flows organically from his play passion.
"I always come up with new pieces. If I like them, I record them and start working on them and building them out he said.
Liam gathers phrases and vocabulary from books and poetry in a journal for his lyrics.
"They change during the songwriting process, of course, [but those [phrases] can be a foundation for songs," he said.
He also gets inspiration by reading his favorite blues artists.
Reading about the Mississippi Delta flood, Robert Leroy Johnson, an American blues guitarist, singer and songwriter, inspired Liam to compose his own song about the historic incident, Wipe My Crying Eyes.
"I pick up the guitar every day ... I just love playing it so much," he said.