by Roman Mitz for Open Spaces
“It was serendipitous.” Aaron Pritchett is explaining how his song ‘Out On The Town’ was a perfect fit not only for the title track of his new EP but also for the name of his current tour that’s taking him across the country. The Vancouver native kicked off the tour on January 11 in Sidney B.C. and it wraps up on February 23 in Pictou Nova Scotia. Although Aaron has been recording and playing live since 1996, with a few recent hits under his belt and a couple of supporting acts opening for him, this is the first time he has felt like a true headliner. So far the tour has been red hot even when the temperatures are not.
“Yeah, it was -41C in Winnipeg but it was 11C yesterday in Kelowna so we’ve seen a huge swing,” Aaron says, calling in during a stop in Calgary en route to his next show in Red Deer. “This tour is like a dream come true for me. It’s the feeling that I’ve always wanted when I broke into the industry. I feel like this is a legitimate first real tour with a lot of sold out shows and people singing along at the top of their lungs to all of the songs. Even the new songs are going over well. The audience looks stunned at first; it’s like they’re thinking ‘What am I hearing?’ By midway through the song, they’re singing along which is great. It just feels real.”
The EP kicks off with ‘Worth A Shot’ which was a Top 10 hit last year. In the key refrain from the song, Aaron sings that he’s “Swinging for the fences and shooting for the moon”, and it was this kind of gung-ho attitude that served him well when he first threw his hat into the musical ring. There were some lean times, however, and Aaron is truly grateful for the opportunity of having another shot.
“Things weren’t great for about eight years and I didn’t have any hit singles,” he admits. “Then in 2016, everything changed with the song ‘Dirt Road In ‘Em’. I had a Top 10 hit and I got to come back on the scene. It’s mind-boggling, really. I’m lucky enough to be one of the one percent to have this career. Now I’m one of a much smaller number that gets to have a resurgence in their career. I don’t take it for granted. One thing I’ve focused on over the last three years is ensuring that I didn’t miss out on any of the moments I did when I had my past success. Most important is not missing out again on time with my family. I got caught up in the industry and got caught up in my success and now that it’s coming around again I don’t want to miss any opportunities with them.”
Aaron co-wrote one of the EP’s tracks and hand-picked the remainder. He described it as an “arduous process” as he had chosen five songs from the several hundred that were pitched to him. Some of the songs such as ‘Better When I Do’, came to him rather fortuitously. He heard the number in a Nashville publishing house where it had lingered for five or six years. Several artists held the song but eventually passed on recording it. This was a big break for Aaron who knew he had to have the song the second he heard it.
“When I hear a song there’s a connection that I have to make almost immediately and that’s how it was with Better When I Do,” he says. “That’s how it was with the other songs as well. My goal for the EP was to make it diverse. It had to have some cool, different sounding music so whether I wrote the song or not didn’t matter. ‘Top Shelf’ is kind of an alternative country-ish thing, “Ain’t Stressin’” is very pop-infused and “Drink Along Song” is the anthem song that I need to have pretty much on every album. None of the songs are similar to one another.”
While Drink Along Song may be a party anthem, Ain’t Stressin’ maybe Aaron’s personal anthem. In the song, which he co-wrote with Patricia Conroy and Dave Thompson, Aaron sings about chillin’ to a number on the radio by Stevie Ray Vaughan or PM Dawn, an odd pairing if there ever was one.
“When we were writing it that line just literally came to me,’ he laughs. “It just rhymed and it was different. I could have used any other well-known artist but I wanted to go with something that people would not expect. As far as stress goes, there’s definitely a lot of stress with the tour but at the same time there’s nothing that’s making me anxious. It’s just you wonder if everything is going to go smoothly and then it does. Ain’t Stressin’ is exactly the way I try to live my life. I’ve got things to think about but I’m not going to get super stressed,”
Aaron’s supporting acts on the tour are David James and Kira Isabella, the latter of whom he has formed a close bond with. One of the highlights of the show is when Aaron lends vocal support on one of Kira’s numbers. There’s real chemistry between them and here’s hoping that one day they may find themselves together in a recording studio.
“Kira is amazing,” he says. “She’s an amazing singer and a great performer but hanging with her on the bus you get to see that real true personality. She is genuinely super sweet and really funny. She’s easy to perform with and we feed off of each other. Maybe we will record a duet someday.”
Here are the dates for the Out Of Town Tour http://www.aaron-pritchett.com/calendar-2019
You can also and connect with Aaron on Instagram (@aaronpritchett) as he loves to interact with his fans as much as possible.
More Roots stuff:
On the blues front, Open Spaces was delighted to discover the Rusty Wright Band at last year’s Myakka River Blues Festival in Venice Florida. The band, fronted by guitarist/vocalist Rusty Wright and his wife Laurie, relocated to Florida from Flint Michigan. Their progressive sound hints at iconic blues legends while staying contemporary and vibrant. They have a great new single available on iTunes called ‘No Man Is An Island’, a seven-minute opus featuring fiery guitar work and soaring vocals. Inspired in part by an autistic child but written for anyone who has ever felt set apart from others, Rusty says “It’s not a three-minute pop song. It’s a powerful piece of music and I felt it important to follow where the music was taking me, rather than me trying to compress the song into a cookie cutter format,” Next up is a solo project for Rusty called ‘Playin’ My Respects’, his tribute to the great early bluesmen, which will drop next month.
Multiple CCMA award nominee Wes Mack will be releasing his second single ‘Never Have I Ever’ featuring CTV’s ‘The Launch’ finalists Sons Of Daughters on February 18 via all digital retailers. The song features Wes’s signature pop-country twang along with a catchy sing-along chorus and infectious beat. Wes is also an actor of note and the song is released in tandem with the theatrical release of ‘Cold Pursuit’, a revenge-driven, action-filled drama where he plays alongside Liam Neeson, Laura Dern and Emmy Rossum.
2018 CCMA Songwriter of the Year Aaron Goodvin has announced details for the release of his sophomore album, titled ‘V’. Scheduled for release on February 15, the album is named after his wife Victoria, who inspired many of the record’s eleven songs including his latest Top Ten hit single, ‘You Are’. Aaron co-wrote all eleven tracks and co-produced the record in Nashville with Grammy-nominated producer Matt McClure (Lee Brice, Kellie Pickler). “I’m so excited about the sound of this album and the songs that are on it,” says Aaron. “The sophomore album release is an important time in an artist’s career. It’s definitely something I’ve always dreamed about”.