It was a day like any other for Moncton musician Danny Bourgeois. He got up, and had breakfast and was indulging in a coffee when he decided to check his email.
One in particular stood out. It was from the East Coast Music Association letting the 40-year-old know he had been selected as this year’s Musician Achievement Award winner, which recognizes a side player or session musician who exemplifies professionalism and quality musicianship on recordings and/or live performances of East Coast music. The East Coast Music Association’s board of directors decides upon the winner. Bourgeois is being presented the award on Sunday, April 30, at the industry awards brunch.
Despite boasting credits on more than 70 records, and being one of the most in-demand players in the region, the award nonetheless caught Bourgeois off-guard.
“It sounds cliché, but it was a complete shock and a surprise,” Bourgeois says from his home located just outside of Moncton. “Music has just been a life long passion of mine, so to be recognized for the work I do wasn’t really something that I had really considered. I do what I do because I love it and nothing else.”
An integral part of Bourgeois’ continued musical success is the versatility and prowess he displays behind the drum kit. Equally at home playing modern country music with Aaron Pritchett as he is accompanying his wife Dominique Dupuis on traditional Celtic music, there is one good reason why Bourgeois continues getting called upon: He gets the job done.
“It’s an honour to know people trust me to anchor their songs. As a musician, all you can do is try your best to fit inside their bubble, and give them your best performance.”
Bourgeois comes by his love of music rather honestly. Both of his parents played in bands as he and his brother Mike was growing up. Instead of going to bed as expected, the siblings would sneak down to the family’s basement to listen to the group run through a plethora of Top 40 hits of the era.
He was subsequently gifted his first drum set at the age of five years old. By the age of seven, he was learning songs from Motley Crue and Van Halen. Six years later, at the age of 13, Bourgeois played his first show in a nightclub.
“It might seem unconventional to some, but that was my reality. I lived and breathed music and would look forward to playing live at every opportunity I was given,” he says.
Approximately eight years ago, Bourgeois made a life-changing decision with respect to his music career. While he had always been interested in the recording studio aspects of the business, he decided to leave the comfort of a full-time job in order to see if he could make such a business prospect work on a full-time basis, establishing the first iteration of Pumpk’n Patch Studios in the basement of his house.
While the studio has since expanded to a standalone venture outside of his home, the list of artists that have invested time at Pumpk’n Patch include New Brunswick country singer Melissa Hunt, Moncton doom-metal group Zaum, Simon Daniel, Eloie Richard, and Danny Boudreau, among many others.
“I quit a full-time job with three recording projects lined up and nothing else,” he shares. “Eight years later, I’m busier than ever, which I can only attribute to the support that artists are giving me. It’s quite an honour to know people trust you to help bring their vision to life. Chasing the sound of the perfect album is always something in which I’ve been interested. It’s a different part of the creative process, but knowing there is material coming out of my studio that is getting airplay on the radio is still incredibly surreal to me.”