Its been 17 years since Tanya Tucker has released a new album and it’s been 4 years since I started performing in front of a live crowd and yet both of us were excited as if it was our first time on stage. As we started our afternoon setting up gear and testing all of equipment we can feel the tension of the on coming night as if it were like the strings we were tightening to tune our guitars. We got word from River Cree and the Venue that it was going to be a sold out show and they were busy adding more rows to the already crowded Venue. We were asked to leave as Tanya did her sound check and we knew that we wouldn’t have much time to do our sound check which added a little more anxiety to our growing excitement. The need to sound as tight as possible for the show came with a price that we would have to pay by playing our set and ironing out small changes in our songs during our soundcheck. As the lights started to dim and the crowd started to roll in I began to notice friends and family fighting to get as close to the stage during our performance for the best possible chance to take pictures and videos of us on this epic stage. We got word from the stage manager to take our positions and the on stage sound engineer would give us the thumbs up when all of equipment and mic’s were hot and then the show began.
I introduced my brother Alex and we started off with a fiddle tune called Boil the Cabage to which the crowd started to dance, holler and cheer us on. Growing up in Alberta this was my backyard so to speak this was my time and this stage was ours for 30 minutes, so ever since River Cree opened the Venue I was hoping to play on this huge stage since it opened up. It was nothing but an adrenaline rush as we heard the roar of the crowd after our first song and I introduced the band of brothers which are all seasoned veterans in their field of expertise soon there after. One song after another and we can hear the crowd settle into their seats and we knew it was a full house, to the left of us were a row of people standing in line getting pictures with Tanya in a back room that had a photographer and backdrop of River Cree on it. I began to get emotional knowing that there were too many people to thank for my success over the years like my wife, friends and family but what hurt the most were the people that were not with us in life anymore and those were the ones I wanted to be there and I wanted to thank the most.
We got to take a group picture with Tanya however our drummer Jonas was busy packing up to get his kit off the way for Tanya and he wasnt present for group picture. I gave her a hug and thanked her for choosing me to open up the show for her and then we made small talk about the cold Alberta weather to which she made a joke about being there to throw out some heat on stage during her performance. A dream come true, yes it was opening up a show for a legend in country music and for a lady that has inspired so many other artists to be the best they can be. We talked with her band and found some mutual friends in common then came the invite to head to Nashville and get to know the city with our new found friends. Nashville will be on my mind until I make it there in May and with your love and support we can make it there ... even if it’s just for a visit.