Country music fans treated to Brandt, Brody, Moskaluke, Tuesday

They liked Jess Moskaluke fine, and Dean Brody got some keen listeners two-stepping on the stairs. But about 3,800 Red Deer-area country music fans saved their biggest Central Alberta welcome for Calgary boy Paul Brandt Tuesday night at the Centrium.

They liked Jess Moskaluke fine, and Dean Brody got some keen listeners two-stepping on the stairs

But about 3,800 Red Deer-area country music fans saved their biggest Central Alberta welcome for Calgary boy Paul Brandt Tuesday night at the Centrium.

The black-hatted headliner came on strong, singing I’m An Open Road with his five-piece band, prompting cheering spectators in the floor seats to collectively jump to their feet for the first time that evening.

As the tune built to a crescendo of guitar, mandolin and vocal intensity, Brandt brought Moskaluke back on stage after her lively opening set to share the mic for a couple of verses. And the Shania Twain-inspired Saskatchewan singer, with the new single Kiss Me Quiet, happily lent some of her sassy, soul-stirring energy to Brandt’s song about love and freedom.

Following Moskaluke’s departure from the spotlight, inflatable rubber duckies and beach balls were batted around by the crowd during the next Brandt next number, Forever Summer.

Then the concert got more laid back, which seemed like a good thing — at first.

When You Call My Name and Canadian Man, with its jazzy, lounge vibe, were well received. In between, Brandt spoke to fans with gratitude of his two-plus decades in the music business. “You’ve been behind me every step of the way … this doesn’t get old!”

After delivering his heartfelt hit Small Towns and Big Dreams, which got audience members clapping along, and the tongue-in-cheek Get a Bed, Brandt walked through the crowd to do a medley of slow tunes on a raised platform.

The amiable former pediatric nurse sang That’s What I Love About Jesus, inspired by church songs he grew up with. He continued with the slow-paced Home and Calm Before the Storm. After his strangely off-key version of I Meant to Do That, Brandt obligingly took his time taking a series of selfies with fans’ cellphones, while languidly performing his early hit, I Do.

Just as I was about to nod off, Brandt returned to the main stage and ramped up his pacing for My Heart Has a History and I’m Gonna Fly — which had fans stamping so hard, the stands were vibrating. Hello wake-up call!

Brandt’s biggest crowd-pleasers were Didn’t Even See the Dust and his terrific cover of the 1975 novelty song Convoy, which featured a Volkswagen Beatle-sized rubber duckie carried around the audience — something you don’t see every day …

White cowboy-hatted Brody performed a more evenly paced, high-energy set with his five-piece band.

At his best, the B.C. singer delivered a simmering, pot-boiler version of his Bring Down the House, complete with sexy banjo bits (no, that’s not an oxymoron). It’s Friday was performed as a memorable, Celtic-flavoured toe-tapper, while his opening tune, Bounty, had a haunting quality aided by a lonely train whistle sound.

At other times Brody listeners were required to suppress every ounce of cynicism to appreciate sentimental country fare, such as Little Yellow Blanket, People Know You By Your First Name, and Dirt Roads Scholar.

But the great thing about this artist is just when you think you have him figured out, Brody surprises with less predictable songs such as Wildflower, with a stirring electric violin solo, and the boisterous Roll That Barrel Out, with its Caribbean vibe.

Whether the chainsaw he deployed during his Mountain Man song falls into this category, I can’t say. But you’ve got to love Upside Down, about smokin’ weed. The tune contains traces of yodelling, whistling and is played on the ukulele. Brody said he was taught to perform on the tiny Hawaiian instrument by his eight-year-old daughter, who happens to play a yellow ukulele decorated with a unicorn.

“She taught me three chords and I wrote this song … but she’s not allowed to listen to it until she’s about 17 … or 18,” added the singer, who headed towards a strong finish with his hit, Dirt. In the spirit of country music, the song came ingrained with an acute sense of time passing.

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

The City of Red Deer sits at 249 active cases of the virus, after hitting a peak of 565 active cases on Feb. 22. (Black Press file image)
Red Deer down to 119 active COVID-19 cases

Province identifies 179 new cases Saturday

Red Deer Emergency Services responded to an explosion at a duplex on Rupert Crescent Saturday morning. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
Firefighters respond to explosion in Red Deer early Saturday morning

There was an explosion at a Red Deer duplex early Saturday morning.… Continue reading

Terry Betts, of Kananaskis, looks at the vehicle he was hoping to sell during the Quick Times Red Deer Swap Meet in the Westerner Park parking lot Saturday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
Quick Times Red Deer Swap Meet held outdoors

A big automotive swap meet was held outdoors this year in Red… Continue reading

The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum is set to re-open on July 2. (File Photo)
Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum to reopen Monday

The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum will reopen for visitors… Continue reading

Huzaifa (left), Saif (middle) and Zoya (right) were among the 60 or so Red Deerians who participated in a vigil for the victims of a recent terrorist attack that killed four people in London Ont. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Red Deer vigil honours victims of London, Ont. terrorist attack

About 60 people gathered at the corner of 49 Ave. and 50… Continue reading

A man wears a face mask as he walks by a sign for a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, May 16, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Canada paid a premium to get doses from Pfizer earlier than planned

OTTAWA — Canada paid a premium to get more than 250,000 doses… Continue reading

The Kamloops Indian Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., is shown in this 1930 handout photo. HO — Deschatelets-NDC Archives
Calls grow for Ottawa to review settlement decisions for residential school survivors

Lawyer Teri Lynn Bougie still cries when she talks about the final… Continue reading

Syringes are readied at a COVID-19 mobile vaccination clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, Friday, April 30, 2021 in Montreal. Most of the federal contracts for COVID-19 vaccines allow for Canada to donate some of its doses to other countries or international aid organizations and in at least three cases, for the doses to be resold.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada’s vaccine contracts allow for doses to be donated, in some cases resold

OTTAWA — Most of the federal contracts for COVID-19 vaccines allow for… Continue reading

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, responds to the report on the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, in Vancouver, on Monday June 3, 2019. As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk'emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Two sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

VANCOUVER — As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after… Continue reading

A woman sits and weeps at the scene of Sunday's hate-motivated vehicle attack in London, Ont. on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. Four members of a family in London, Ont., are set to be buried today. The public has been invited to help celebrate the lives of Talat Afzaal, 74, her son Salman Afzaal, 46, his wife Madiha Salman, 44, and their 15-year-old daughter Yumna Salman.THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Geoff Robins
Funeral to be held today for London family killed in attack

LONDON, Ont. — Four members of a Muslim family killed in what… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden listen to United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson deliver opening remarks at a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, United Kingdom Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau to discuss foreign policy with G7 leaders at second day of summit meeting

CARBIS BAY, CORNWALL, ENGLAND — Foreign policy is on the agenda for… Continue reading

Multivitamins are shown on the packaging line at the Pfizer plant in Montreal, Thursday, July 12, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Canadian drug companies want new pricing regs delayed again until after pandemic

OTTAWA — Almost three dozen Canadian pharmaceutical companies made a direct appeal… Continue reading

In this file photo, a lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018. (By THE CANADIAN PRESS)
No winning ticket for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — The massive $70 million dollar Lotto Max jackpot remained unclaimed… Continue reading

Most Read