The Sound of Music performer topped the Canadian country charts

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Tebey has built quite an impressive career over the past decade as a singer and songwriter in Nashville. So it’s hard to believe that he never played a big show in Burlington, the city he grew up in, played high school football and made his debut in music.

That changes this weekend when Tebey returns to Burlington to perform for the first time at the Sound of Music Festival.

“It’s a big hit,” Tebey said of the show he and his band will be playing on Saturday at 8 p.m. on the OLG stage at Spencer Smith Park. “It’s really coming home. I’ve never played for Burlington before.

“All the people I grew up with are in Burlington,” he says over the phone from Nashville. “I went to high school there. And a lot of people I grew up with never saw me play.”

Tebey – his full name is Tebey Ottoh – currently tops the Canadian country charts with a song called “When the Buzz Wears Off”. It is the latest in a string of radio hits he has had over the past three years, including a country version of “Wake Me Up” by Swedish DJ Avicii, which reached number 5.

Tebey also managed to write songs for other people. In 2006, Rex Goudie scored a No. 1 hit in Canada with his song “Run”. That same year, Shawn Desman topped the charts with Tebey’s “Let’s Go”. He has also written for American country stars Big & Rich and American rapper Flo Rida.

To top it off, One Direction recorded two of Tebey’s songs on their album “Take Me Home”, which sold over 6 million copies for the British boy band.

Tebey was born in Peterborough, the son of Kenyan immigrants, and moved to Burlington at a young age. He grew up singing in church and playing football for Assumption High School. His singing talent was recognized early on, earning him seats on CHCH-TV’s Tiny Talent Time and the Tommy Hunter Show.

RCA made him sign a recording contract when he was still a teenager. He scored a hit in the Canadian Top 5 with a song called We Shook Hands (Man to Man). Tebey moved to Nashville, but the single never gained popularity in the United States and his RCA album never came to fruition. It was then that he began to focus his efforts on writing.

His songs have served him well. Tebey is building a new house in Nashville and has another in St. Catharines, where his wife Bridget is from. The couple have two children, a three-year-old daughter named Elle, and a son, River, who was born just over three months ago.

“It’s very busy in our house,” says Tebey, 32.

Tebey still writes songs, but his focus is now on becoming a recording artist. It is supported by the resurgence in the new country, especially among young people.

“It’s become cool music these days,” he says. “Artists like Taylor Swift and Florida-Georgia Line have reached out and grabbed your typical pop listener.”

The Sound of Music festival will be a bit of a family reunion for Tebey. He shares hotel rooms between family and group members. Her parents, brother and sister are from Peterborough, where they now live. Bridget and the kids will be there too.

The weekend will also reunite him with a festival he fondly remembers.

“I grew up maybe a mile (from Spencer Smith Park) on North Shore Boulevard in Aldershot,” he says. “I used to walk there. That’s why this show is so special. I grew up seeing concerts there. It’s really special to me.”

Burlington Sound of Music
Thursday June 18
TD stage
7 p.m. – Léa Daniels
7:30 p.m. – Opening ceremonies
8 p.m. – Deric Ruttan
9:30 p.m. – Chad Brownlee
friday 19 june
TD stage
Noon – Tribute to Roy Orbison
1 p.m. – Tribute to Neil Diamond
2:00 p.m. – Tribute to the Beach Boys
3:30 p.m. – Homage to the Four Seasons
7 p.m. – The stops
8 p.m. – Poor young people
9:30 p.m. – The Tea Party
OLG stage
7 p.m. – Saucrate
8 p.m. – Camm Hunter
9:30 p.m. – Shad
Burlington Hyundai Stage
7 p.m. – The Bandicoots
8 p.m. – Skinner
9 p.m. – The Salads
Cogeco stage
7 p.m. – David Catalo
8:15 p.m. – Sarah MacDougall
9:45 p.m. – Alex Cuba
saturday 20 june
TD stage
1:00 p.m. – Tops
2:15 – Dear Red
3:45 p.m. – The stars
7 p.m. – Les Zilis
8 p.m. – Tomi Swick
9:30 am – David Wilcox
OLG stage
1:00 p.m. – 4Komers
2:00 p.m. – Joe Ghost
3:30 p.m. – Jillionaire
7 p.m. – Andrew Hyatt
8 p.m. – Tebey
9:30 p.m. – Aaron Pritchett
Burlington Hyundai Stage
1:00 p.m. – DCF
2:00 p.m. – Coleman Hell
3 p.m. – Ill Scarlett
7 p.m. – Son of the party
8 p.m. – Young Empires
9 p.m. – Hollerado
Cogeco stage
1 p.m. – Karen Thornton
2 p.m. – Sam Cash and the romantic dogs
3:45 p.m. – Bobby Bazini
7 p.m. – Sarah Smith
8:15 p.m. – Emmanuel Jal
9:30 p.m. – Big Sugar Acoustics
Sunday June 21
TD stage
1:00 p.m. – Freedom train
2:15 p.m. – Amy Zen
3:30 p.m. – Rik Emmett
5:30 p.m. – Loverboy
OLG stage
1:00 p.m. – Cara Matthew
2:15 p.m. – Lily Frost
3:30 p.m. – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Burlington Hyundai Stage
1:00 p.m. – Gray / Water
2 p.m. – Fine nothing
3:30 p.m. – Say yes
Cogeco stage
1:00 p.m. – To be determined
2:15 p.m. – Smoke Wagon Blues Band
3:45 p.m. – The harpooner and the ax murderer
For more information on the Burlington Sound of Music Festival, visit the soundofmusic.ca website.


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