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Oct. 17, 2019 | Thursday
Local News
NOTL band heads to NMAs
Terry Kozachenko at the Niagara Music Awards. (Supplied/Jessica Maxwell)

A musical collective based in Niagara-on-the-Lake received two nominations for this year’s Niagara Music Awards. Terry Kozachenko & the 3TL (Third Time Lucky) joined the Niagara music community at the Scotiabank Convention Centre Sept. 29 for the 12th season of the awards. 

Though the group didn’t walk away with any awards, Kozachenko says the “whole award thing was totally unexpected.”

The collective was nominated for Album of the Year for Take a Little Ride, and for Best Country Song with the track Pretty Baby.

The nominated album is the first of a trilogy titled Songs For Old Men.

Volume two is set to release February 2020 and volume three is planned for Summer 2020.

The collaborative music project started when Kozachenko started guitar lessons in town with Rayburn Blake.

“I was taking guitar lessons and didn’t have any songs I wanted to learn. So I made a deal with Rayburn: instead of taking guitar lessons, I had bought a little recording board, and I asked him if he could teach me that instead of the guitar,” he says.

“I’ve done a lot in sound and as a player too. I’ve spent 20 years seeing the world as a guitar player,” says Blake.

“Even to this day, I do mastering. I used to be a mixer in Nathan Phillips Square for the DuMaurier Jazz Festival. I’ve done some serious stuff, and worked with guys like Phil Ramone and some major producers.”

Kozachenko says it was “completely unexpected” to find Blake.

“Somebody of that caliber with years of experience and knowledge that was available. We started with the guitar lessons. And then he asked me to play a couple of my songs ... He was very encouraging and said, “Hey, you might have something there. Let’s see where it goes,” Kozachenko says.

The most important thing with any music project, he says, is to find individuals you aren’t intimidated to share and have fun collaborating with, while making you feel positive about what you’re doing.

“And that’s what Rayburn brought to the table,” he says.

This is where the lessons “morphed” into something different; Third Time Lucky was not necessarily going to be a band, he says.

Blake began to have another role, “aside from being a technical teacher, so that Terry could carry on and work on himself. There were a few other people in and out, you know, who became interested in being a part of a…we use the word collective.”

“That was interesting as well because it’s not really a band, per se, there are multiple instrumentalists all doing it,” explains Kozachenko, “and it’s worked out really well with the understanding that it’s a collective, it also allows us a lot of flexibility. So that if we want we can add a few more people on a different song for a different feel, or a different style.”

“I’ve learned a hell of a lot from Rayburn, just about the whole thing. Listening to it differently.”

“When you’re writing the songs, when you’re creating them, you get a buzz in your head kind of what it’s supposed to sound like. With the guys that are part of the co-operative, and hopefully other people going forward, I didn’t have to teach them their parts. They listen to the songs, they listened to what I was playing, and they put the right parts in. And that’s where it became kind of kind of special.”

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