Dean Brody brings his Beautiful Freakshow to Red Deer

Country singer to perform May 23 at the Centrium

Country singer Dean Brody is getting ready to test his stamina.

The B.C.-native admitted he’s been doing cardio exercises to prep himself for what he describes as his most energetic Western tour yet.

“I’ll probably still be ready for bed after spending an hour with the guys” each night, he added, with a chuckle.

Brody’s Beautiful Freakshow Tour goes from Regina to Vancouver Island. It stops at Red Deer’s Centrium on Tuesday, May 23, when he performs along with Madeline Merlo and the James Barker Band.

While many touring artists are sticking solely with larger-centre concerts in this tight economy, Brody said he wouldn’t miss a chance to perform in Red Deer, since fans should be able to enjoy a show in their own town.

“I can’t wait to get there. I am looking forward to Red Deer!” he added.

Brody will play some of his hits — such as It’s Friday, Little Yellow Blanket, Dirt Roads Scholar and Bringing Down the House — as well as tunes from his latest album, Beautiful Freakshow, which spins on a theme of unlikely love.

A single from the new album, Bush Party, has already been climbing the charts, and Brody just released the title track, which is proving controversial because it includes a short rap by underground hip-hop artist Shevy Price.

Fan reactions range from complete outrage (the politest of the country purists stated just because Body is a country artist doesn’t mean he’s produced a country song) to praise for the courageous direction on this track. “So amazing and unique. Us Canadians are so proud of you,” another fan posted.

Brody was thinking about unusual romances when he was writing the song – and he decided the kind of girl who’s opposite of country would an urban hip-hop artist.

Price comes out of Nova Scotia’s rap scene. Brody got to know her through a friend, and liked the “fearless,” storytelling aspect of her music — and the way her contribution to Beautiful Freakshow created an interesting melding of two genres.

Only the album’s title track dabbles in rap, however. The rest of Brody’s CD encompasses classic country, reggae, bluegrass and even some swamp rock. The singer, who’d been living on the East Coast for several years before recently moving to Toronto, believes a Celtic influence can also be heard in his music. “I’ve been inspired by it, for sure.”

The “kitchen party” atmosphere of Atlantic Canada will certainly be felt during this concert. During one segment he plans to come downstage with two other musicians to perform a short acoustic set. It will break up what’s otherwise a “high octane” show, said Brody – and give him a bit of a breather.

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