Making a Big Deal at the East Coast Music Awards

Rose Willigar
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PARRSBORO: When you're a musician looking for your big break any opportunity to get your music out is a good opportunity and that's how local band Big Deal felt as they headed off to this year's East Coat Music Awards in Fredericton.
The group made up of lead guitar and vocalist Adam Siddall, vocals and guitarist Bruce Fisher, bassist and backing vocals Justin Siddall and Kirk "Dirt" Merriam on drums left Friday, Feb. 8, for Fredericton to play the Discovery Stage for the East Coast Music Awards.
Once settled into their room they left for their venue at Sweetwaters where they set up for their upcoming performance that evening.
"It seems as though we had pretty good luck because the slot for us to play was last, which meant more time onstage for us," Adam Siddall said.
The group performed Diamond Girl, Sorrow and No Big Deal from their last album as well as a few new tunes for their next album, Monkey, Same Ol' Same Ol' and 1975.
The band, at the audience's request, went into I Miss Her as an encore performance. The night became an ince breaker into the world of networking available to musicians at the ECMA's.
"We had the opportunity to meet and speak with Stephen Page from the Barenaked Ladies, at which point we gave him a copy of the Non Sufficient Funds album to check out," Siddall said. "We handed out a few of our CD's to various people at the ECMA's along with Kev Corbett, who plays in a number of different bands. Corbett plays a number of instruments and at the ECMA's he played for three or four different groups."
In addition to performing at the ECMA's there was a live radio show broadcasting (97.5 Fredericton) at the lobby of the ECMA's where Siddall and Merriam had the opportunity for an interview.
"That's when I realized that Kirk should be doing our public relations. Apparently Kirk has the gift of gab and did a great interview," Siddall said.
Once back home Siddall said he received an email from Corbett saying he liked the music which the lead guitarist/vocalist said was quite encouraging.
Big Deal currently is working on a new album, which the group is hoping to release this coming summer.
The band is also in the process of setting up their own recording studio at Siddall's residence, which he is hoping to have completely up and running by the end of March or April.
"We have other bands interested in recording at our studio once it is completed," the lead guitarist said. "We did record our first CD ourselves but with better equipment in the new studio the quality of the recording will be much better."
The drummer for Big Deal said after attending the ECMA's this year it really opened his eyes as to how well received East Coast music has.
"There was so much local talent around that you just wouldn't realize it. I was proud to be there and proud to be a Maritimer," Merriam said.
The group has plans in motion to perform at local schools throughout the county in March or April, which will include Parrsboro, Pugwash and River Hebert schools.
Proceeds from these performances will be split between the band and each schools' student council.
Siddall also said he has been talking with Amherst and Springhill schools to add them to their venue.
You can check out Big Deal at myspace.com/bigdealsouthampton for more information on Big Deal.

Organizations: Big Deal, ECMA, Sweetwaters Barenaked Ladies

Geographic location: Fredericton, Coat, East Coast Pugwash River Hebert

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