BY LANA MICHELIN
Canadian country singer Charlie Major doesn’t hesitate when asked what are the highlights of his last 25 years.
“The birth of my sons,” said Major.
His boys came into the world in the early 1990s, coinciding with the rise of his music career, which produced a slew of hits including It Can’t Happen to Me, Some Days are Better, For the Money, Backroads and others.
Major, who performs on Monday, Nov. 21, at Red Deer’s Memorial Centre, is gratified by his enduring vocation, but is most proud of his children, who are now in their early 20s. He’s even occasionally performed with his oldest boy — although singer/guitarist Tommy Major has been intent on blazing his own path.
“He’s been on the road with me, but he’s not much of a country boy. He’s more of a folk-rock guy,” said Major.
The artist, who’s rehearsing with a new touring band for his first Red Deer show in many years, promises fans will hear plenty of popular singles, but also some tunes that didn’t get a ton of radio exposure. “I’ll also indulge myself with some lesser known songs that I enjoy playing.”
The autobiographical My Brother and Me and Last Peaceful Place in the World could be among them. “I take pride in having written these songs,” said Major, since they resulted from battles waged with self discipline.He admitted it’s hard to write music when he could be doing almost anything else. “I can’t say I write all the time, since I have no boss hovering over me…”
Major took charge of his career from early on. After producing six chart-toppers, he was signed by a big U.S. record label and moved his family down to Nashville. But American record executives pushed him to become someone he wasn’t.
According to his website bio, Major didn’t want to change his sound to mimic someone else’s version of country, adding more steel guitar and fiddle. He didn’t want to be corralled into posing for the album cover in a big cowboy hat.
The Ottawa-area native decided to return to Canada and make the kind of music that’s won him fans in the first place. Major has been honoured with three Juno Awards and seven Canadian Country Music Association Awards. He’s put out eight albums. And his tune Backroads, which he originally wrote for Ricky Van Shelton, was once “the most performed song in America.” He plans to make a new album in 2017.
Tickets are available from the Black Knight Ticket Centre.