Reid rocks Red Deer

Shhh! Don’t anyone tell the Canadian Country Music Association, but Johnny Reid came on stage in Red Deer without a cowboy hat on Wednesday night.

Although labelled as a country music performer Johnny Reid showed he is much more than a one-trick pony in front of a packed Centrium on Wednesday

Although labelled as a country music performer Johnny Reid showed he is much more than a one-trick pony in front of a packed Centrium on Wednesday

Shhh! Don’t anyone tell the Canadian Country Music Association, but Johnny Reid came on stage in Red Deer without a cowboy hat on Wednesday night.

The CCMA’s Top Male Artist of the Year poured his heart into some bluesy and light rock numbers. After strutting his stuff to a largely adult contemporary repertoire, Reid finally threw in a couple of twangy tunes, for good measure — but let’s face it, Reid is as much a county artist as is Rod Stewart or Tom Jones.

And that’s hardly a knock against the guy.

All of Reid’s musical interludes were absolutely A-OK with me and the 2,700 fans who saw his concert at the Centrium, judging by the overwhelmingly positive reaction to the Scottish-born singer. He entertained the all-ages crowd with a slew of hits and even delivered a preview of a nostalgic song that hasn’t been recorded yet, called What Used to Be, about his boyhood home. (So what if this song isn’t remotely country? We’ll keep Reid’s secret, since he’s such a stand-up, entertaining kind of fella.)

The artist performed with a talented eight-person band, including two saucy female backup singers — referred to as the “soul sisters” — and made a grand first impression with Which Way is Home?

Reid danced around stage with his dark suit, red tie and some blindly white shoes, then launched into his popular A Woman Like You and Old Flame, a song about a new start with an old love, from his award-winning Dance With Me album.

Before crooning about loneliness on Brings Me Home, Reid mentioned how the meaning of a certain word changed over the years. “Home used to be a place I’d run to after school . . . when I was a teenager, home was where I ran away from . . . after I married and had children, home is where my heart is.”

It figures that home is a reoccurring topic for a songwriter who was born in one country, entered adulthood in another (Canada), and is now living in a third (the U.S.).

But not all of Reid’s stage banter was so sentimental. In one of the evening’s lighter moments, Reid explained why people of his colouring don’t belong in Jamaica.

“Can you smell the sea? Can you see me in a Speedo?” he quipped in his heavy brogue, after explaining he was one of those guys other tourists pointed at because he’d refused to wear sunblock. That became the intro for the atmospheric Moon To Remember, about his Jamaican trip.

Besides having a richly resonant voice, Reid has a genuine and affable stage presence that’s won him a loyal following among his ‘tartan army’ of fans.

The singer easily got the crowd clapping along, waving arms in the air, and swaying in the aisles during his rendition of Feeling Alright Today.

During the song Love Sweet Love, he wandered into the audience, danced with a blond pony-tailed tot, and touched a lot of palms.

But he was more affecting when he slowed things down to deliver heart-rending songs such as Missing An Angel, and the torchy favorite, Dance with Me, about remembering to connect with loved ones at the end of the day.

I suppose if one has to pigeonhole Reid, then maybe ‘country’ works as well as anything else. But in fact, this singer is much more.

One More Girl, comprised of Canadian sisters Carly and Britt McKillip, opened the concert with some interesting harmonies. The McKillips proved they can belt out loud, angry missives such as Misery Loves Company and You’re Not Mine. But it was nicer to hear them perform the less strident I Can Love Anyone, which showed a more sensitive side.

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Alberta identifies 2,042 new COVID-19 cases Saturday

Central zone has 2,917 active cases

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Red Deer now has 911 active COVID-19 cases

Central zone has 2,917 active cases

An anti-lockdown protest went ahead outside a café in central Alberta on Saturday, despite pouring rain and a pre-emptive court injunction. (Photo by The Canadian Press)
Anti-restriction protest underway in central Alberta despite injunction

A large crowd has gathered in the parking lot of the Whistle… Continue reading

Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre's expansion project is still a high priority, says Alberta Infrastructure Minister Prasad Panda. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Red Deer hospital ICU admissions stable, but rising, says surgeon

The Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre’s intensive care unit is in better… Continue reading

FILE - A firefighter wears a mask as he drives his truck. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward, File
VIDEO: Flames rip through Edmonton-area seniors complex, but no fatalities

ST. ALBERT, Alta. — Fire has destroyed part of a retirement complex… Continue reading

Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health, is setting off a social media reaction with his calls to stop non essential shopping, such as "buying sandals at Costco", with this photo of his worn sandals, which he published to social media on Saturday, May 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Dr. Robert Strang, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Nova Scotia’s top doctor sparks meme with caution on non-essential shopping

HALIFAX — Nova Scotia’s top doctor has launched a social media meme… Continue reading

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a technical briefing on the COVID pandemic in Canada, in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. Canada's chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Tam warns that full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Canada’s chief public health officer reminded Canadians on Saturday that even those… Continue reading

Carolina Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour conducts drills during NHL hockey training camp in Morrisville, N.C., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
NHL relaxing virus protocols for vaccinated playoff teams

The NHL is relaxing virus protocols for teams that reach a threshold… Continue reading

Canada skip Kerri Einarson directs her teammates against Sweden in a qualification game at the Women's World Curling Championship in Calgary, Alta., Saturday, May 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Canada’s Einarson eliminated at curling worlds after 8-3 loss to Sweden’s Hasselborg

CALGARY — Canada’s Kerri Einarson was eliminated at the world women’s curling… Continue reading

Jennifer Coffman, owner of Truffle Pigs in Field, B.C., poses beside her business sign on Thursday, May 6, 2021, in this handout photo. Her restaurant and lodge have been hit hard by a closure of a section of the Trans-Canada Highway and by the British Columbia government discouraging Alberta residents from visiting during the pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Jennifer Coffman, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
‘Why we survive’: B.C. boundary towns struggle without Albertans during pandemic

Jennifer Coffman didn’t expect to get hit with a double whammy at… Continue reading

A courtroom at the Edmonton Law Courts building, in Edmonton on Friday, June 28, 2019. The effect of the coronavirus pandemic will have a lasting impact on the Canadian justice system warn a number of legal experts. The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench announced Sunday it would adjourn all scheduled trials across the province for at least 10-weeks limiting hearings to only emergency or urgent matters. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton mother found guilty of manslaughter in death of five-year-old girl

EDMONTON — An Edmonton woman was found guilty Friday of manslaughter in… Continue reading

A Statistics Canada 2016 Census mailer sits on the key board of a laptop after arriving in the mail at a residence in Ottawa, May 2, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Statistics Canada sees more demand to fill out census online during pandemic

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says the response to the census is higher… Continue reading

Travellers, who are not affected by new quarantine rules, arrive at Terminal 3 at Pearson Airport in Toronto, Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. Ottawa will create a new digital platform to help in processing immigration applications more quickly and efficiently after COVID-19 pandemic underscored the need for a faster shift to a digital immigration system, the immigration department said. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ottawa to create new system to tackle delays in processing immigration applications

Ottawa says it will create a new digital platform to help process… Continue reading

Most Read