Craig Moritz
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Craig Moritz

Calgary, Alberta, Canada | INDIE

Calgary, Alberta, Canada | INDIE
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"Moritz On A Full On Mac Attack"

Crash Cameron - The Edmonton Sun


Not that Craig Moritz hasn't been up at six in the morning and singing before. But this time he'll have woken up to sing, instead of being {still} up. As part the Fort McMurray singer's showcase during Canadian Finals Rodeo week, Moritz will be appearing on the A-Channel's Big Breakfast show on Thursday, Nov.11.

"Yeah. It's been done before," Moritz laughed. Most likely at the bring-your-own-guitar campsite setup he became known for at Camrose's Big Valley Jamboree every August.

"You just have to pull an all-nighter!"

Rise and Shine

The rise-and-shine-and-sing will be extra tough because his other showcase is performing at Cook County Saloon the night before and the same evening of the TV appearance.

"That won't be too cool after playing Wednesday night. But you know what? Whatever sacrifice, I don't care. I'll do whatever it takes," said Moritz. He knows the performances are important.

"Absolutely. We've got a good opportunity there during rodeo week."

That's where he's at now in his career. After hitting the road to earn a living three years ago, Moritz, 28, is hitting the point where it's not all just fun and games.

Fun Job

But it doesn't mean the party's over.

"The balance is the key," he said. "You have to be professional. But you don't have to be anal about it."

"You have to do your job, but you can have fun. And you have to get people out in the crowd having fun, too. If you're not doing that, then something's wrong."

Moritz showed that last year at BVJ when he took the step from the campsite jams to the beer gardens stage with his band, Tailgate, for a closing Saturday night set.

Though it's not likely you'll see his crazy DJ buddies taking the stage in Hawaiian regalia with him at Cook County.

"No bikinis, no grass skirts this time! We'll just have to leave them on the sidelines this time."

"You can have fun once in awhile, but..."

It is likely you'll run into some Fort Makers in the crowd at Cook.

"Yeah, we've got a crew that follows us around," he said. "Especially the first time in a club, we usually get a lot of people coming down.

"We've got some good supporters, some really great fans."

You'll also hear Moritz sing Good Rain and The Way I Feel Right Now, two songs he's been road-testing as he prepares a CD with Tony McKillip, who also produces B.C. singer Aaron Pritchett.

The plan is to release a single by January. And the plan is to be doing this for a long time.

"I'm going balls to the wall," Moritz said of his goal. "I've kind of got a five-year thing. If I've got a good, established career, I'll stick with it. And if not, well... At this point I say I'll probably try something else. But I can't imagine doing anything else.

"When you're not there (singing), you miss it a lot. And when people like what you're doing and they tell you that and you get the positive feedback, it just makes you want to get up there (onstage) even more."

- Crash Cameron - The Edmonton Sun


"Moritz hits stage"

Moritz hits stage

Tonya Zelinsky
For the Calgary Herald


Sunday, July 06, 2008


When it comes to producing burgeoning country music stars, there must be something in Fort McMurray's water.

Growing up in the northern community better known for producing bitumen than musical talent, there's little doubt Craig Moritz has the makings of a hot, young, country star.

For starters he's got the look: blond hair, blue eyes, dimples, a handsome face hidden ever-so-slightly by the shadow of his cowboy hat.

He's witty and self-effacing, almost shy, a man of few words. But when asked about why he loves country music and what it's like to play the stage of Nashville North, Moritz can't stop talking.

"It's awesome to be in front of that many people, to be on a big stage with a big light show, the atmosphere is unbelievable. There's no holding back, everyone wants to party and that energy makes it easy to give (a performance with) lots of energy and actually play a great show," says the 32-year-old.

From the time he was a kid growing up in Fort McMurray, Moritz always wanted to play country. His grandparents used to fill his house with the sound of country singers. When the likes of Kenny Rogers, Eddie Rabbit and Hank Williams played on the local radio station, he fell in love with it.

"I was always surrounded by it, that's what I remember as a kid and I loved it. I was a nerd I guess; liking country music when I was a kid. Oh well," he says, "When I was in high school my little group of friends was into country and not much else. It wasn't really accepted then as much as it is now."

Finding a band and kicking off his professional music career five years ago as Craig Moritz and the Tailgate Band in a smoky pub in Fort McMurray, Moritz was signed by Edmonton's Royalty Records in 2005 and released his debut CD, The Way I Feel, later that year.

Promoters also took notice of Moritz and it wasn't long before he was booked to play his first Calgary gigs during the Stampede.

These days he's a regular at Nashville North, performing this weekend for his third year in a row.

"Someone at the record company was trying to get into (Nashville North). Then he called and told me I was in. I can't remember that day but I remember that phone call.

"The ball is rolling and it's scary at times because I left stability. (With music), it could end any day. But I love doing it so it's a give and take; giving up security for something I love. I'm really thankful."

Moritz is scheduled to release his second CD, Down and Dirty, sometime in August.

In the meantime he's excited to be playing the Stampede again.

He takes the stage of Nashville North.

He can also be seen at Ranchman's on Macleod Trail throughout the Stampede.

Preview

Craig Moritz performs tonight at Nashville North and at Ranchman's

throughout Stampede

© The Calgary Herald 2008 - Calgary Herald


"Testimonial"

After following Craig's progress as an artist for the past few years, both Chris Scheetz and I feel that he has reached a new sense of maturity and quality in his music. He has shown a new sense of dedication to doing what it takes to succeed in the highly competitive Canadian Country Music scene. As a station with a very small playlist when it comes to current tracks, we feel that Craig's latest project is strong enough to compete in the market. We look forward to supporting his continuing growth and look forward to seeing where the future takes Craig Moritz.

Mike McGuire
Music Director - CISN Country 103.9
- CISN Country 103.9


"Craig Moritz - Down and dirty, CD review"

By Larry Delaney
(reprinted from the October 2008 issue of Country Music News)

Alberta's Craig Moritz makes his second trip down 'album alley', and takes his music and his persona to new leves with this impressive collection. Moritz delivers the material with a Dierks Bentley style vocal swagger; and shows some well-rounded talent by co-writing seven of the album's 11 songs.

Down and Dirty has already served up a couple of radio winners in the lead single Good at Lovin' You and the current Hey Y'all, and there are several more here that will certainly follow suit. There's some serious 'country hurt' happening in tunes like Fool Inside of Me, and the ballsy ballad Till Now; while that 'Dierks' sound makes Blame You one of the album's more attractive cuts.

Listen also for some creative energy in the album's title track Down and Dirty, and the rockin' Don't; with lots of bounce also showing up on winners Gimme Last Night and the punchy They Don't Make Them Like You, a tune co-written by Craig Moritz with Nashville hit-maker Byron Hill, who has teamed up on Gord Bamford's recent successes.

Down and Dirty was recording in Nashville studios with Dean Sams (of Lonestar fame) handling production of five numbers; while Dean Miller (son of hall of famer Roger Miller), putting his production touches to the other six songs featured here. Some of Nashville's top session players add their special talents, helping to make this a breakthrough album for Craig Moritz. - Larry Delaney, Country Music News


"Canadian Craig Moritz stampedes into Nashville"

Craig Moritz is making the long journey all the way from Alberta, Canada to the stage of 12th & Porter to showcase his talent on June 7th at 6pm. Craig has been preparing for Nashville and gaining experience in Canada performing since 2003 with only dreams of trailblazing his way into the heart of Music City.
Moritz’s expedition started out just as typical as almost everyone else’s crazy dream of becoming a singer/entertainer. He gathered some friends together and they started playing local bars. One show turned into another and before Craig knew it he had enough dates on the books so that everyone in the band could quit their jobs and just play music full time. Alberta fans took Craig from grocery store manager to Canadian country recording artist in a relatively short amount of time. Craig started meeting people that he had only dreamed of meeting before his days of performing. People like Toby Keith, who told Craig to follow his heart.
Moritz did just as Toby said and he started creating goals and achieving them. Tom McKillip produced Craig’s first album, The Way I Feel. This album is the project that got the ball rolling for Craig. However, Craig’s second album, Down & Dirty was the one to write home about. That’s not a surprising fact considering that Dean Miller and Lonestar’s keyboardist, Dean Sams, produced it. Craig met Dean Sams at the Calgary Stampede in Alberta, Canada over four years ago. After talking for a while Sams mentioned that he was going to venture into the world of producing and asked if Craig would be interested. Craig was humbled by the opportunity and jumped on the next bandwagon to Nashville to write and record Down & Dirty.
Miller and Sams catapulted Craig into a reality that was completely euphoric for Craig. The album sounded great and Craig had never been so optimistic as to what could really happen with his life and his music. With his new album in hand, Craig returned back to Canada to see how his fans were going to respond to Down & Dirty.
The album was a hit from the minute he stepped back onto Canadian soil. Craig’s life started to become so busy that he had no other choice but to hire a manager. He had Canadian Country Radio playing his album the day it was released and three songs from Down & Dirty made it into the top 40; Blame You, Hey Y’All and Good At Loving You. Between touring, song writing, marketing, networking and performing Craig wasn’t left with much free time but he did happen to find the time to make a really cool video for the song, Blame You which is currently airing on CMT Canada

During his visits to Nashville, Craig had the honor of meeting hit song writer Byron Hill who currently has twenty-five U.S. and Canadian top-ten chart hits under his belt, including nine #1 hits in various markets.
“I remember walking into Byron’s house on Easter Sunday to write for the first time together. After seeing all those gold records and awards hanging on his wall I thought to myself…ok keep your cool man…you’re in the big leagues now.”-Stated Moritz. Craig and Byron started writing together which really launched Craig’s confidence into a whole new league. “Craig Moritz is one of those singer-songwriters you just can't help but feel good about. His work ethic and desire to do what it takes to make things happen has gained him the respect of his peers." -Byron Hill
Craig has also had the privilege of working with many other U.S. and Canadian hit songwriters including Steve Fox who’s first top 20 single was Montgomery Gentry’s, Daddy Won’t Sell The Farm. Moritz and Fox have established such a creative formula on the songwriting front that 3 more collaborations together will be appearing on Craig’s new record including the tongue and cheek, Only When You’re Lonely.
With Canada’s encouragement, Craig is trying his hand in Nashville to see how the cards get dealt to him in America. Moritz already has a good foundation of support in Music City, which continues to grow. That support includes NSAI who immediately embraced Craig as one of their own and were so impressed with him as a writer and an artist that they played 2 of his songs at back to back Pitch to Publisher luncheons with overwhelming positive response. “I just love the whole crew over at NSAI, especially Sheree who has been such a great ally and has gone above and beyond anything I could begin to hope for. She is absolutely the most positive person I have ever met!”- Craig Moritz. Sheree Spoltore, with NSAI had this to say about Craig. “As National Membership Director of the Nashville Songwriters Association International, I have been privileged to hear thousands of songs and voices throughout my time in this organization. I can confidently assert that Craig Moritz’s artistry, commitment and passion transcends above and beyond that of the best songwriters that I have met. His personal character and versatile skills as a songwriter will be the key to his success. I am jumping on the bandwagon in support of Craig’s magnificent talent.”-Sheree Spoltore
Through his manager Stephen Lawrance, Craig was also able to meet producer, Eddie Gore. I had the opportunity to discuss Craig’s new album with Eddie and when I asked Eddie if he thought that Craig had the potential to succeed in this town, there wasn’t even a doubt in his mind that he would. “You talk about work ethic, Craig’s got it,” said Eddie. Craig has done everything that one needs to do for themselves to be successful in this industry. He has not expected anything from anyone. Craig knows how to play hard but he knows how to work even harder. He has built himself from the ground up. He has gone from playing for free to playing at the Canadian Country Music Awards music week and opening shows for various artists including: the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Sara Evans, Jason Aldean, Dwight Yoakam, Tanya Tucker and David Lee Murphy. He has created his own line of merchandise and has marketed himself flawlessly. Craig stated, “There are so many people out there that I want to say a big thank you to, especially my Mom and Dad who have been behind me and continue to be behind me on this incredibly wild ride which I am so grateful for.”
Craig’s new album, which is scheduled to be released in the fall of 2010, is a great introduction as to who Craig really is. “I’m really excited to be working with Eddie as producer. What a great guy and an amazing talent. I am also really looking forward to working with another great friend of mine, and fantastic engineer, Johnny Gasparic. I had a vision of several talents working on this project collectively with everyone putting their creative ideas in the mix and it’s turning out exactly the way I wanted. Eddie is kind of the “Big Daddy” producer and Johnny and I are the co producers or at least that is the title I am giving myself because I definitely put in my two cents worth in,” joked Moritz. With an extensive amount of preproduction, Craig has taken his time to ensure that Music City and the rest of America will not only love his album but his performances as well. - Nashville Music Guide cover story


"Canada has another country singer for us...This is Craig Moritz"

Canada has another country singer for us … This is Craig Moritz

I really love listening to new artists. A lot of times I’ll get an e-mail from someone who just started singing country music, or from someone who just put together a CD, and they want me to listen to it. Sometimes I just kind of find these new artists … or as in the case of Craig Moritz, he found me.

I got one of those little e-mail messages from MySpace … it said “Craig Moritz has added you as a friend.” Oh, ok – let me run over there and find out just who Craig Moritz is. So, I opened up MySpace, and I looked at his profile, and I listened to his music … and then I smiled.

As you probably guessed from all that, Craig Moritz is now my friend on MySpace. And it’s time to share him with all of you.

Recently I told you all about Jason Rogers, a Canadian born country artist. That’s also the beginning of this write-up about Craig Moritz. Craig “hit the country music scene in 2002,” according to the biography on his MySpace page. He’s from Alberta, Canada, had has been “wowing crowds with his from-the-heart performances that are packed with vivacious vocals and rockin’ beats.”

Craig has opened shows for and shared the stage with various artists, including: Dierks Bentley, Sara Evans, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, the Road Hammers and George Canyon. Craig has become a touring mainstay on the Fort McMurray/Edmonton/Calgary club circuit and has a legion of fans. Since the official release of his 2005 debut album, “The Way I Feel,” which was produced by Tom McKillip, Craig has been touring vigorously to bring his hit tunes to the masses. Response to the first album was overwhelmingly positive, and left fans wanting more from the kickin’ country crooner.

I love these pictures of Craig with Toby Keith and Dierks Bentley. He just kinds fits right in there. He’s the kind of entertainer who seems to be very comfortable, and doing what he really wants to do.

He has some songs up on his MySpace page that you can listen to – and they’re all really good. “Good At Lovin’ You,” “Christmas Down in Mexico,” “Blame You,” and “Hey Y’all" are all great examples of what this kid can do. He’s got a nice sound, he’s just really easy to listen to. I know you guys are going to enjoy Craig’s music.

I’d really like to see this guy live, but after checking his schedule, it looks like the only chance I might have to do that is Feb 11-14, when he is in Nashville on a publicity tour. Most everything else on his schedule right now is in Canada – quite a distance from Northeast Tennessee.

In addition to his MySpace page, Craig has also got a web site, and Facebook page. And, you are definitely gonig to want to check him out on YouTube. I’ll give yuo a little start with that one. Here’s Craig Moritz’s “Blame You” video. Very nicely done!



It’s the weekend! I’m ready to find something fun to do because it’s Saturday, and it’s not raining or snowing. I hope you all have a very good Saturday, too. And I hope you’ll head on over to Craig Moritz’s MySpace to check this guy out. You will notice that a lot of the information here is directly form his biography on his MySpace page, but I didn’t get it all in here – you’ll want to read the rest. Very interesting kid. And, a very talented one. Drop me a line when you get a chance. I’ll talk to you all soon!

Later,
Country
- Country'schatter.com


Discography

Third album, "Only When You're Lonely" produced by Eddie Gore. Boasting 16 tracks, with radio releases for 'Only When You're Lonely,' 'With You,' and 'Better Than That.'

Sophomore album "Down and dirty" on Royalty Records produced by Dean Sams and Dean Miller featuring the singles "Good at lovin you" and "Hey y'all" with both singles featuring national radio play with "Hey y'all breaking into the CMN Top 40 chart with the album breaking into the Nielsen Soundscan Canada Top 50 album chart. This led to the 3rd and most successful single and CMT aired video for Craig titled "Blame You"...breaking into the top 20.

Debut Album"The Way I Feel"-produced by Tom McKillip

Debut single"Love's Hard" Canadian, European and Australian radio airplay

Follow-up single"It's All Over Me Now","Lonely", Heavy Metal", "Just Some Love" National Radio airplay in Canada.

Streaming airplay on buzz radio

Photos

Bio

Craig Moritz is a rare find. A Canadian country boy at heart, hes the kind of man whos worked hard, played fair, and just happens to make some of the best country music around. Born in Medicine Hat, raised in Ft. McMurray and now living in the Edmonton area, Craig is pure Alberta. Before he realized he was destined to play country, he made a living at whatever he could - from selling cars to working the oilfields. It was a post-show conversation with country superstar Toby Keith in Saskatchewan that changed everything. Once they got past the standard meet-and-greet, Toby shared what he felt about the true nature of the music industry, and Craig walked away ready to make a real change in his life. Deeply inspired and motivated for the first time, hes worked hard ever since to build his career as a country singer and songwriter.

Its taken a solid seven years of performing, writing, recording, rehearsing, interviews, and networking - plus plenty of personal and financial sacrifice for Craig to become an authentic regional star. After he was chosen to be part of a prestigious new artist showcase sponsored by the Canadian Country Music Association in 2004, Craig recorded his first album, The Way I Feel, in early 05 on Royalty Records with noted producer Tom McKillip. Then he hit the honky-tonk circuit ruling the road from hardscrabble boomtown Fort McMurray in the vast northern oil sands of Canada to cities like Edmonton, Calgary and Regina..

Hes spent a lot of time reflecting on his own life and everything thats happening around him, doing everything possible to keep true to himself and his music. Heartache, family, friends, good times, bad times, funny stories or awkward situations - its all going to show up in Craigs songs, and his legions of loyal fans always show up to share it with him. In addition to headlining his own tours and becoming a mainstay at major country events like the Calgary Stampede, Craig has opened for and shared the stage with some of the greatest names in country music today, including Sara Evans, Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, David Lee Murphy and The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.

2008 saw the release of "Down and Dirty," Craigs second album on Royalty, which featured the production talents of Dean Sams of country supergroup Lonestar and Dean Miller, son of country legend Roger Miller. "Down and Dirty" includes songs by Craig and several top country writers, including famed Nashville songsmith Byron Hill. It spawned several hits on Canadian country radio and set the stage for Craigs debut video "Blame You," produced by Vancouver's Triton films in 2009.

In 2011, Craig hit the music scene again with his third album, 'Only When You're Lonely' boasting 16 tracks produced by Nashville's Eddie Gore. With three singles and two music videos already making waves with radio and fans in Canada and the US, Craig is poised for a UK release.