Flin Flon is a big part of Darren Crone’s history – you’ll see that just by looking at his CD cover, where the Calgary-based artist is sporting a Flin Flon t-shirt. A song from that album was nominated as the Folk Recording of the Year at the Calgary Music Awards.
Originally from Flin Flon, keeping those local roots is important to Crone, who became emotional when talking about what Flin Flon meant to him.
“If I’m going to put myself out there, I’m going to represent,” he said.
“That town pretty much formed everything I’ve done in my life. All the music, all the things I’ve done in my life, come from a person who grew up in Flin Flon, Manitoba. The people, the places, that’s where I call home. I’ve been living in Calgary longer than I lived in Flin Flon, but I still call Flin Flon home.”
The song nominated for the award, All Around Me, is the final song on his album Somewhere Down the Road.
“The only way I can describe that song is it’s part factual, part fictional,” Crone said.
“It’s all about life experiences. Things that I’ve gone through, things that I’ve seen. When I play that song, I say it’s about as bad as life can possibly get and how beautiful life can be.”
Just being nominated is validation for Crone. He’s been writing and performing music all his life and has found some success writing for other artists.
“I’ll be honest, it was emotional for me,” he said.
“I’ve been doing this for a long time, writing for other people. I’ve had a few cuts on the radio for other artists. I finally decided to do this for myself at 45 years old. I said, ‘Am I crazy? Why am I doing this?’”
Crone said a reason he performed the album himself was he thought no country artist would perform the personal folk songs he wrote.
“I’ve always been the guy in the background,” Crone said.
“You’re really laying yourself out there. I felt like I had some stuff I had to say… It was a big leap for me.”
Crone works as an electrician full-time and balances a family life with his music and work.
“To be validated in that way and be nominated with all these, full time musicians,” he said.
“I have a job, I have a wife and kids. I had something to say and I put it out there and it turns out, the music community actually validated me by nominating me.”
The 2019 Calgary Music Awards were presented on Sept. 22.