Numero treinta! OLÉ!
I guess I’ve sort of started doing ‘concert/artist reviews’ with my Johnny Reid post, so here’s another! Prepare for length; I have 3 artists to cover!
When I think of country music, I tend to think: home-grown, strong roots, authenticity.
I’ve been a country music fan my entire life. Some of my favourite memories from my childhood are weekend mornings, waking up to the sound of country music blaring and my mom singing along (sometimes the vacuum cleaner added an extra essence to the melody). I suppose you could say that country music runs through my veins.
Music – in general – is a very important part of my life and I love going to concerts, especially when they involve country artists. I’ve met so many amazing people through country music (and developed some pretty awesome friendships), and yet, each time I meet someone new or experience a show for the first time – I’m always so surprised with how I feel. I suppose maybe it has something to do with the way of the world these days, and how shocking it can be to still come across such wonderful, sincere people in it.
Last night was an amazing night (drunk stranger shenanigans aside). You know, this year I’ve really pushed to make positivity my main mantra, and it’s been great! But I’m not made of plastic and so there are still those bum days. April is always a tough month for me, but this year in particular (in less than one week to be exact) will mark the 10 year anniversary of the loss of one of the most important people in my life.
The #CertifiedCountry tour could not have rolled through at a better time for me. The line-up itself was like a golden triad: Gord Bamford, Joe Nichols, Beverley Mahood. WHAT?! I couldn’t miss it, and I’m SO glad I didn’t.
First to grace the stage was the lovely Beverley Mahood. I’ve been a fan of Bev’s since I was an awkward 12 year old, belting out “I Want A Man” into my hairbrush (Lace throwback, anyone?). It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I had the absolute pleasure of meeting her. Even though she hails from Ireland, when you think of a “Sweet Georgia Peach”, you think of Beverley. She is sweet as pie. She carries a genuine air about her; she has true authenticity to her character. She’s the type of person that, when she speaks with you, makes you feel like the most important person in the room regardless of who you are. One of the traits my grandfather passed on to me is being a good judge of character. In plain English, when I meet good people – I know it. Beverley is good people. She’s also got incredible talent! Check out her new single “New Religion“, which is SO good (and I’m so excited for her new album!!!)… or my all time favourite summer jam “Hope and Gasoline“. UGH. THAT MELODY. Her music evokes emotion, and it’s brought me through a lot over the years of my life – especially the more recent years. There are always those songs we hear that remind us of the good times and the bad/the happy and the sad…but there is one song in particular that helps to get me through those tougher than though days – “I Can’t Outrun You“. I find it so comforting when I find a song I can relate to – right down to the core of it. I often wonder if artists think about the lives they will touch when they write songs, or how meaningful their words will become to other people.
Next up was Joe Nichols. It was like a mega flashback to my teen years. His music was very popular in our household, so hearing it live really turned up the nostalgia. I’ve never actually had the pleasure of seeing him in concert, but he’s so awesome! He is such a down-to-earth performer, but at the same time is the guy that seems like a hella good time, you know? Songs like “Brokenheartsville“, “The Impossible” and “She Only Smokes When She Drinks” were always in the background noise of my life. Then of course, there’s the classics like “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Off” and “Yeah“. If you’re unfamiliar with his other work, you KNOW you’ve heard these two hits. I always find myself singing and bopping along to these when they’re on the radio. I’m glad I finally got a chance to see Joe perform; listening to him sing brought back so many of the wonderful feelings and memories I had growing up. It really was such a treat! Thankful for moments like that 🙂
And last, but certainly not least, Gord Bamford. Now, if I’m being completely honest here, I can’t say I was a huge fan previous to this show. I mean, I’m familiar with his songs (I’m always singing along to them at work when they’re on the radio), but I didn’t really take it much further than that until I purchased tickets to his show. Now? Fan, through and through. For me, sometimes it takes seeing an artist perform to really become a fan. Something to do with matching personality to music, I suppose. Gord Bamford is country. When you think of a country song, you’re probably thinking of something he created. You can really see his small town personality shine through everything he does. I’ve heard a lot of great things about him within the ‘country music circle’ and I gotta say I’m more than impressed. When I say that he is country, it’s because he has the values and the heart of gold to prove it. There was a very touching moment when he invited his cousin onto the stage with him, and presented him with an autographed guitar for his birthday. I’m pretty sure my eyes weren’t the only wet ones in the house. Like a boss (and a true leader), he took up-and-coming artist Jesse Mast under his wing to mentor him and show him the ropes. He speaks so lovingly about his family, and his pride for his children radiates out of his face like sunshine. He very sweetly took the time to sincerely thank us all for spending our hard earned money to see his show. He also does so much for charity in support of youth across Canada and in our own backyard. I can’t really think of a better role model to have out there for country music fans. He embodies the entire package. It truly is so inspiring that someone from a tiny place in Alberta can make such an impact! “When Your Lips Are So Close“, “Don’t Let Her Be Gone“, “Is It Friday Yet“, “Blame It On That Red Dress” – check these out. Also, keep your ears peeled for “Breakfast Beer” and “Apples” – I’m sure these two are going to be big hits!
If you have a chance to check out these artists on the Certified Country tour, do it! They all bring such a positive message with what they do, and that positivity is so infectious. You’ll leave smiling and feeling like your faith in humanity is restored 🙂
I loooooooove lace, and especially pairing it with anything ‘country’.
Lace, fringe, leather. That’s my #CountryChic !