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Sgt. Elton Adams, a native of Roddickton now living in Winnipeg, and his song “Gunslinger” are in the Top 8 of the CBC Searchlight contest.
CORNER BROOK Sgt. Elton Adams says his music is not about him.
The Roddickton native who left home at age 17 to join the Canadian Forces has always been into music.
He grew up in a family in which nearly everybody sang or played an instrument and he carried his personal passion for musical well into his military career.
In fact, while serving his country in Afghanistan in 2008, Adams performed his song, “What A Soldier Left Behind,” with the members of popular Canadian band Blue Rodeo backing him up. His music’s contribution to the Canadian Forces has garnered him several other accolades, including a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.
In 2009, he released an album of songs that were mostly written during one of his tours in Afghanistan.
He has since released three more singles, one of which has made it all the way to the Top 8 in the CBC Searchlight contest.
His song, “Gunslinger” is one of two songs with a strong connection to Newfoundland and Labrador still alive in the online competition.
“Thick as Thieves” by Sherman Downey and the Ambiguous Case of Corner Brook is also hoping to advance to the Top 4 after online voting closes Sunday.
“Playing music has been a great outlet for me while in the military,” Adams said in a phone interview from his current home in Winnipeg.
His second tour in Afghanistan in 2008 was a particularly tough one for Adams as he worked alongside Afghan police outside the fortified base where most other soliders were stationed. He promised himself that, if he survived, he would professionally record an album of his music.
He not only wanted to cross off that item on his life’s checklist. He also wanted to do something that helped others coming to grips with the realities of being at war.
“I wanted to use most, if not all, of my music for a good purpose,” he said. “That good purpose was to raise awareness for soldiers and their families, especially those suffering from physical and mental battle scars.”
Adams has seen what a real war is, so the raging online battle to see whose song gets more votes is hardly as serious a matter. Of course, advancing to the next stage would mean even more awareness to the cause he has taken up for his fellow soldiers, but it certainly isn’t about having aspirations to be a rock star.
“It’s not about that at all,” he said. “We are raising some awesome awareness here and that is more fulfilling to me than someone telling me I’m an amazing rock artist.”
To hear the Top 8 songs left in the Searchlight contest and cast a vote, visit http://music.cbc.ca/#/Searchlight . To learn more about Adams and his music, visit his website at http://eltonadams.com .