Brett Kissel’s had quite the summer — from kissing a cod fish in Newfoundland to having Steven Tyler of Aerosmith chiming in on his 3-2-1 song at a Calgary fundraiser.
The last few months were “pretty incredible,” said the Alberta country singer, who will perform with Brad Paisley on Thursday, Oct. 9, at Red Deer’s Centrium.
“It’s one of the concerts on the tour I’m looking forward to the most,” said the Flat Lake native, who has family all over Central Alberta and the Edmonton area, and expects to greet several busloads of friends and relatives at the concert.
He anticipates this cross-Canada jaunt with U.S. country star Paisley will cap what’s already been a fantastic summer/early fall season.
In early August, Kissel was getting set to perform in Newfoundland when he got “‘screeched in” as an official Newfie at a ceremony with the mayor of Lewisporte.
The 24-year-old was not only introduced to the stomach-burning properties of the 40-proof Screech dark rum sold in the province, he also became well acquainted with a certain fish.
“It was this dirty, old, frozen cod. I had to kiss it right on the lips,” he recalled. The crowd “went nuts. … It was quite an honour.”
Among his other unforgettable 2014 experiences were performing with Serena Ryder at the Canada Day festivities on Parliament Hill, opening for Dierks Bentley at an Ontario music festival, singing at the Calgary Stampede, and winning two Canadian Country Music Association awards for best video and best interactive performer.
Then just last weekend, Kissel was part of an entertainment lineup with Jennifer Hudson and Tyler at the David Foster Foundation Miracle Gala and Concert in Calgary.
The country singer was crooning his hit 3-2-1 tune when Tyler unexpectedly jumped in to provide some background vocals. “It was completely impromptu. He hopped up on stage and started singing the “whoas” in my song. I loved it!” said Kissel.
But perhaps the best experience is yet to come: The singer has long been anticipating this tour with Paisley as it completes a story that actually started 10 years ago when Kissel was 14-years-old making his first trip to Nashville with his mother. Somebody took him to a party celebrating Paisley’s No. 1 single, Mud on the Tires.
“I was just this Canadian kid crashing his party,” recalled Kissel, but he got to meet the older performer and tell him he was planning to be a country singer, too.
Paisley was very gracious. He signed Kissel’s guitar and wrote, “I’ll save you a spot on my tour.”
As far as the Alberta singer knows, Paisley doesn’t remember him as a teenage would-be country artist, “but we’re going across Canada together, so he will soon get to know me and I’ll get to know him!”
Kissel, who’s planning to record a new album next year to follow his acclaimed Started With a Song release, said he is excited about playing in Red Deer again.
He counts his 2014 Westerner Days concert as another highlight. “It’s one of the best crowds we played for.”
Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. concert are $59.50 or $95.50 from Ticketmaster.