Canadian country music star Aaron Pritchett kicks off his 36-date national tour with a Jan. 11 show at the Mary Winspear Centre in Sidney. aaron-pritchett.com

AARON PRITCHETT: Startin’ off with a bang in Sidney

Canadian country music star will mix new songs with tried and true favourites for Jan. 11 show

The Mary Winspear Centre may not be the Grey Cup Festival, but Aaron Pritchett plans to bring the same approach to his Jan. 11 concert tour kickoff in Sidney as he did for 4,500 boisterous fans partying before Canada’s biggest football game.

A winner of multiple Canadian Country Music Awards who’s racked up 14 Top 10 singles over his career, Pritchett (pronounced Pri-chett, with the emphasis on the last syllable) has performed in venues of all sizes, from large theatres to private parties. He’s played the 310-seat Charlie White Theatre before and likes the “cozy little setting” it provides.

“You’re close enough you feel like you can touch them,” he says of the audience. “But it doesn’t matter if I’m playing for 20 or 30 people or in an arena, I like to start with a bang and end with a bigger bang.”

Pritchett’s Out on the Town tour, named for his EP due for release the day of his Winspear show, is a gruelling one: 36 dates in 40 days, from coast to coast. Having had a successful run with the EP’s first single, “Worth a Shot” and more recently “Better When I Do,” he’s ready to road-test the new material, but won’t leave out his tried and true songs.

“We’ll have a bit of a medley at the end of the show where we bring back songs from different eras,” he says. There’ll be plenty of chance for audience participation too, especially with a new tune he calls the “Drinkalong Song.”

“We’re going to try it out with the crowd and see how it goes … I want to involve them and make sure they come away having had a good time.”

One song he looks forward to performing is “Ain’t Stressing,” which he co-wrote with Patricia Conroy and Lady Antebellum’s Dave Thomson. “It’s my favourite song on the album, but it was very outside the box for me … I did sing it a little different,” Pritchett says, noting it has both pop and country elements.

The Terrace-born Pritchett, 48, hopes to play a bit of a mentor’s role with his young tourmates, Kira Isabella and David James, given the amount of time they’ll likely spend together on the road.

“I’m looking forward to hanging out and getting to know them better,” Pritchett says. “We’re going to be travelling pretty much all together and I know there’ll be times when we get to sit down and hang out and pick each other’s brains.”

An unabashed proud Canadian, he’s also proud of the fact he’s built a nice career in this country, all but ignoring the mass market that lies south of the border. He loves being able to connect with audiences here and considers himself “fortunate and honoured” to be part of the country music scene in Canada.

Asked whether he sees himself playing the Grey Cup halftime show one day, he says it’s not something he’s thought a lot about. “I never expect to be doing things, I just take it as it goes, hope and pray for bigger and better things. But I’m extremely happy with the point in my career I’ve gotten to …”

While fans in Sidney will hear Pritchett and company on their first tour stop, it’s likely fans in Pictou, N.S. will experience just as energetic a show at the end of the tour – one that’ll end with a bang.

editor@mondaymag.com

Live music

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria art gallery provides Open Space in an online way

View Chantal Gibson’s recent show on the web, hear Indigenous stories on Instagram starting Sunday

Victoria brewery throws support behind still-operating restaurants

Vancouver Island Brewing initiates #TakeOutTuesday to keep local eateries in the public eye

LIVE MUSIC: Artist in Residence reaching into the community

Kathryn Calder to perform livestream show on YouTube channel this Friday, April 3

Victoria vocalist Maria Manna reaches out to hard-hit Italy with special online song

Jazz singer to perform ‘Hymn to Freedom’ with Italian lyrics on Facebook at 2 p.m. Monday

Royal BC Museum joins home education trend for outreach programs

Free webinar options available for RBCM@Home and kids’ programs, starting March 31

Hip tradition sing-along planned again for Canadians April 2

The Tragically Hip’s Paul Langlois is encouraging all to join him virtually in a’Porch Session.’

Vancouver Island musicians in quarantine thank neighbours with backyard performance

Nanaimo Chamber Orchestra director Karl Rainer and his sons play for those in self-isolation

Order of Canada Vancouver Island musician pens ‘The Ballad of Bonnie Henry’

Qualicum Beach lawyer and saxophonist Phil Dwyer notes health officer has become a ‘folk hero’

Campbell River journalist launches Isolationpalooza II

Featuring all local musicians, a volunteer virtual concert, of sorts

6.5-magnitude earthquake in Idaho shakes B.C. Interior

An earthquake was reportedly felt just before 5 p.m. throughout the Okanagan

Netflix reducing video quality in Canada to lower Internet bandwidth use

Bell Media is also planning traffic measures affecting the Crave streaming service

Will the show go on? B.C. music festivals consider options for 2020

Summer events running out of time to stay on schedule, in wake of COVID-19 uncertainties

Most Read