April Verch’s record Once A Day, produced by the Comox Valley’s Doug Cox, was nominated for a Juno this week. Photo by Sandlin Gaither

Record produced by Courtenay’s Doug Cox earns Juno nomination

He worked with fiddler April Verch in Nashville on classic country record

When the Juno announcements came out this week, Courtenay-based Doug Cox was thrilled to see a familiar name.

Fiddler and stepdancer April Verch and her record Once A Day were nominated in the category for best traditional roots album of the year, alongside other artists like Natalie McMaster and the Small Glories.

Cox knows the Verch record well; he produced it.

“It’s a big deal to get nominated for one of these things,” he told the Comox Valley Record.

Once before, one of Cox’s records, Make a Better World, which he produced and played on with his band Slide to Freedom, was nominated for a Juno in the world music category. Cox is, of course, known as the artistic director of the Vancouver Island MusicFest.

The Verch project started when she contacted Cox to ask him to produce the record. This brought him to Nashville to work with some of the top session players from the days of classic country, such as steel guitarist Al Perkins (Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris), guitarist Redd Volkaert (Merle Haggard) and fiddler Kenny Sears (Mel Tillis, Grand Ole Opry).

“We ended with kind of a who’s who of the old school country music world,” he said. “It was really exciting getting to work with all those people…. It was a blast. Some of them were old friends, and some of them were new acquaintances. They were all really excited too because they don’t get to make records like this very often anymore. This was a real old-school Nashville project.”

The lineup was all too appropriate because Verch wanted to make a record that was a testament to the classic country from the 1950s and ’60s. The song selection includes “Once A Day,” a hit single for Connie Smith; Loretta Lynn’s “You Ain’t Woman Enough”; and Webb Pierce’s “You’re Not Mine Anymore.”

“I’ve always enjoyed working with Doug, whether that be as fellow musician and bandmate, or him as artistic director and me as hired artist and he absolutely brings the same great qualities and integrity to the role of producer as any other role he takes on – as I knew he would. There is no ego involved with Doug. With him, it’s about the music first and foremost, and about staying true to the vision for the album,” Verch told the Record. “With Doug as producer, I got to witness his technical knowledge in a way I hadn’t before, and of course benefited from his amazing connections and relationships to musicians and engineers.”

RELATED STORY: Fiddler on the move coming to the Sid Williams Theatre

As far as Cox’s role, he’s produced a record in Nashville once before – one of his own – but only did the mixing there, after recording in Memphis. Working with Verch on Once A Day really marked the first time he got to see a whole project through in the country music capital.

“I was involved in picking the songs with her, picking all the musicians, running the sessions, charting out all the songs, being involved in the mixes,” he said.

They recorded it in November 2018, with the musicians usually running through the songs one or two times before laying down the tracks. The album came out in April 2019 on Slab Town Records.

Cox says he is not sure he will be able to attend the Junos in Saskatoon this March because he is busy with several other projects right now.

“I might go…. It’s a fun thing to go to,” he said. “It’s way more important that April’s there.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


April Verch plays with some of the musicians while producer Doug Cox looks on. Photo supplied

Verch, Cox (right) and company take a break from the sessions. Photo supplied

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Comox Valley Economic Recovery Task Force planning and engagement underway

Submitted by CVEDS Comox Valley Economic Recovery Task Force (ERTF) met virtually… Continue reading

IN THE GARDEN: Daisies bring colour to the garden, from spring to fall

Ellen Presley Special to The Record Looking for something simple to make… Continue reading

Comox’s Beach Street Players taking their singing to the street during COVID-19

The Beach Street Players have been itching to get back on stage.… Continue reading

QUIZ: Put your knowledge of Canada to the test

How much do you know about our country?

Vancouver Island photographer plays ‘Hide & Seek’ with great horned owlet

Stuart Clark took this amazing photo of a great horned owlet on… Continue reading

‘This year is unlike any other’: Trudeau delivers Canada day address

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and the Prime Minister release video celebrating the national holiday

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Dual rallies take over Legislature lawn on Canada Day

Resist Canada 153 highlighted colonization and genocide, Unify the People called COVID a hoax

Gov. General honours Canadians for bravery, volunteer service

Five categories of winners presented on Canada Day

COVID-19: Should non-medical masks be mandatory in Canada?

New poll shows Canadians are divided on the rules around mandatory masks

Victoria police investigating possible hate crime on BC Transit bus

A young Black man was randomly struck by a Caucasian man who he did not know

UPDATE: No COVID-19 at Nanaimo shopping centre as memo mixed up mall identities

Woodgrove Centre sent memo to tenants Tuesday advising them of positive case

‘A little bit scary for everybody’: Air passengers wary as new rules take effect

Masks or face coverings have been mandatory on flights since April 20

Most Read