George Canyon is breaking a fairly long musical silence with the release of his new album I Got This.
It’s the singer/songwriter’s first album of original country tunes since 2012’s Better Be Home Soon. Aside from making a CD of gospel standards in 2013 and producing for other artists, Canyon had been taking a break from recording for the last couple years.
But that doesn’t mean he was cooling his artistic jets — in fact, portraying a jet pilot was one of the acting roles he took on in the interim.
While Canyon was slowly “letting the juices flow,” in terms of his songwriting, he was acting in several movies — most notably the 2014 Superman film Man of Steel, in which he played a F-35 pilot fighting off an alien attack on Earth.
“I was being creative in different ways,” said Canyon.
But he’s now looking forward to putting his cowboy hat back on as he heads out on a 40-date “Jekyll and Nothing to Hide Tour” in support of his new album.
The singer admitted it’s been a while since he performed in Red Deer, so he’s excited about the concert on Friday, Feb. 19, at Cowboys Bar and Nightclub. “It’s going to be a real up-energy show.”
It will reflect the tone of many songs on the new album. Canyon said he was aiming to make I Got This a fun record. What he didn’t count on was the current of nostalgia that some listeners have been hearing on it. But after 26 years in the business, Canyon can understand why it’s there: “I’m at that stage in life …”
He’s been married for 22 years and his son and daughter are respectively 17 and 16 years old. “My son graduates this year,” he said — so that could explain a subliminal urge to look back at many happy experiences.
The first single off the new album is the title track. “It’s about remembering to date my wife,” said Canyon, who noticed some couples break up just as their kids leave home. “I want to make sure I can talk (my wife) out of that!” he joked.
Only the Radio Knows is a nostalgic song about a young couple who drive out into the country with the windows down and the radio playing.
Footprints is a bonus track about Canyon’s grandfather, who lost his farm to the bank. The Calgary resident recently attended a rally about the proposed farm Bill 6 and left with a lot of empathy for farmers. “There’s a lot of fear” about the bill, said the singer, who hopes more consultations can happen before it’s passed.
Canyon, who was a runner-up in the Nashville Star 2 competition in 2004, has won Juno and Canadian Country Music Awards for his tunes. His hits include When Love’s All You Got, I Want You To Live, Drinkin’ Thinkin’ My Name, Somebody Wrote Love and Just Like You.
In 2014, Canyon was named the official anthem singer for the Calgary Flames.
Tickets to his 8 p.m. show are $21.95 in advance from the venue, Wei’s Western Wear, or the Black Knight Ticket Centre.