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(Posted 4 p.m., July 17)
'Sam from Orléans' blows them away at Bluesfest

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Sam Cudmore enjoyed the experience of a lifetime Thursday night, performing on stage with country legend Keith Urban at the Ottawa Bluesfest. Jack Daigle/Photo

It's not everyday that a fledgling singer gets to perform with a bona fide superstar in front of thousands of people.

But on Thursday night the dream came true for 18-year-old Orléans resident Sam Cudmore who was pulled out of the audience by country music legend Keith Urban at the Ottawa Bluesfest and got to sing "Kiss A Girl" with him.

Urban was nearing the end of his set when he started strumming the opening chords to "Kiss A Girl" and asked the audience, "Does anybody here want to sing?", to which Cudmore's brother and girlfriend started cheering wildly, pointing to him.

After getting the country music star's attention, Urban asked, "Can you sing? Do you know this song?", and finally, "Do you want to come up?", to which Cudmore answered in the affirmative and made his way on to the stage.

Once on stage, Urban handed Cudmore the microphone and the 18-year-od Cairine Wilson Secondary School grad tookover, singing the first verse while videoing the audience with his iPhone.

After he was done Cudmore started waking off the stage, only to be called back by Urban, "Sam, come back. You're too good, come back."

The two men finished the song with Cudmore smiling from ear to ear. At the end of the song, Urban raised Cudmore's arm and proclaimed "Sam from Orleans!". Within minutes #SamfromOrleans started trending on Twitter.

Before singing with Urban, the largest crowd Cudmore had ever performed in front of was a dozen or so peope during an open mic session at D'Arcy McGees.

"It still seems unreal," Cudmore told OrleansOnline on Friday. Despite watching his performance several times on YouTube, he still finds it hard to believe it actually happened. "It's so weird."

Asked why he recorded the audience during his performance, Cudmore said he did it for posterity. "It's probably the last time in a little while that I'll sing in front of 30,000 people."

Cudmore is the second Orléans resident to perform with a music superstar in front of thousands of people in the past year. Michelle Treacy was called on stage by Lady Gaga during a concert in Montreal last July. Six months later she inked a recording contract with Sony Records.

It's hard to say what the future has in store for Cudmore, but for the time being he can bask in the afterglow of having sang with one of the biggest stars in country music in front of more than 30,000 people. Way to go Sam from Orléans.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/szOyYLce01E" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

 

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