THE PEO­PLE’S CROONER

Call Johnny Reid any­thing but just don’t call him a coun­try singer

24 Hours Vancouver - - ENTERTAINMENT - SARAH HAN­LON

Jonesing Johnny Reid fans are in for a treat: The mul­ti­plat­inum, singer-song­writer just re­leased his highly an­tic­i­pated ninth stu­dio al­bum, Re­vival, and an­nounced a new tour with plenty of Cana­dian dates. Re­vival is a de­cid­edly dif­fer­ent record from the six­time Juno win­ner — it’s got the soul­ful and fun coun­try sound that Reid has be­come fa­mous for, but Re­vival’s raw and vul­ner­a­ble lyrics make it his best yet. As Reid puts it: “Re­vival is all about new be­gin­nings, find­ing a voice in the mid­dle of all the noise and dis­trac­tion.” The Scot­tish-Cana­dian heart­throb, who went to high school in Bramp­ton and still vis­its On­tario of­ten, checked in with 24 Hours to give us the scoop on his new emo­tional al­bum:

MOURN­ING MU­SIC LEG­ENDS

We have lost so many in­cred­i­ble mu­si­cians this year; it is ter­ri­ble. But it’s not what you take, it is what you leave be­hind that’s es­sen­tial. Hav­ing the op­por­tu­nity to put your­self on tape makes you im­mor­tal in a cer­tain way. I think that’s why you have to take pride in what you’re up to and make sure that what­ever you leave be­hind you are very proud of.

PAST IS PRO­LOGUE

It is an in­ter­est­ing process for me, need­less to say. I think just as peo­ple, just as hu­mans, we want to make sure we are al­ways grow­ing and sort of get­ting bet­ter. Some­times I think it is very im­por­tant to sort of stop and take a look and re­al­ize how you got to where you find your­self. Look­ing back on my early years, I was re­ally steeped in soul mu­sic — from Mem­phis to Philadel­phia and Detroit soul. On my mom’s side, it’s all we lis­tened to grow­ing up in my house in Scot­land. On my dad’s side, we had a lot of great sto­ry­telling mu­sic, a lot of folk and ru­ral soul mu­sic. So it was a per­fect mix for me.

GEN­RES ARE FOR LA­BELS

I never once called my­self a coun­try singer. I never once called my­self a soul singer, a blues singer, a folk singer or a jazz singer, I’ve never called my­self any­thing. I was just very for­tu­nate to have found an au­di­ence within the coun­try mar­ket. I don’t think it was my voice or the mu­sic — I think it was re­ally the lyri­cal con­tent which con­nected with peo­ple who turn on the ra­dio ev­ery day and lis­tened to a cer­tain for­mat. Con­se­quently, I was cel­e­brated in that for­mat. For that, I will for­ever be grate­ful but I have never, ever stood up and said I am a coun­try singer. I am re­ally not a coun­try singer – I am hard to put in a pi­geon hole and it has been a bless­ing and a curse my whole ca­reer. Peo­ple within the in­dus­try al­ways want to la­bel you: Is he a pop guy? Is he a rock guy? What is he? I grew up lis­ten­ing to ev­ery style of mu­sic so that is re­flected in my work as an artist.

ART AS CATHAR­SIS

I have al­ways been some­body who has tried to stay in the pos­i­tive, some­one who tries to be a shin­ing light. Re­ally fo­cus on ded­i­ca­tion, de­vo­tion, ap­pre­ci­a­tion, and all these things, but you know I have also dealt with a lot of stuff in pri­vate. I had some­body in my life that was strug­gling with al­co­hol is­sues and it was never some­thing I would have put on an­other record but it was time with this record. The song is Cry No More .Ihad writ­ten the lyrics a long time ago and ba­si­cally, the song is a re­la­tion­ship that takes place be­tween an al­co­holic and a bot­tle. I have yet to meet some­body who hasn’t been af­fected by [al­co­hol abuse]— whether per­son­ally or some­one they know. I think that’s a huge dif­fer­ence with this al­bum. An­other ex­am­ple: The song, Re­gret, I had to call my fa­ther to ask his per­mis­sion

I don’t want an Os­car. I’ll give all my ac­tion fig­ures back, all I’ve ever wanted to do my whole life is host Satur­day Night Live. I love SNL. It’s all my wife and I watch.”

Jus­tice League’s

Ja­son Mo­moa dreams big in an to record that song be­cause it’s a very true story about my dad hav­ing to leave his fam­ily be­hind to bring my brother, my­self and my mother to Canada.

FANS ARE MY BIG­GEST LOVE AND LIGHT

They call me an enigma be­cause I value ev­ery re­la­tion­ship I have in my life, but there is no re­la­tion­ship pro­fes­sion­ally that I put more value in than the re­la­tion­ship be­tween me and the peo­ple that sup­port me and lis­ten to my mu­sic and buy my records. Peo­ple like me, who have the same fun­da­men­tal val­ues; peo­ple that look at the world the same as me; peo­ple who aren’t at­ten­tion seek­ers. Ev­ery­day peo­ple, hard­work­ing peo­ple. I’ve heard peo­ple say, “Oh my pro­ducer didn’t like that! My agent thought I would do this.” I re­ally don’t give a s--- what other peo­ple say! The only peo­ple that I care about are the peo­ple who I sing for. I make records for peo­ple — I don’t make them for record la­bels.

Johnny Reid’s is out now. Catch Johnny on tour in Van­cou­ver on March 4 at The Queen Elizabeth The­atre and in Toronto on April 2 and 3 at The Dan­forth Mu­sic Hall or check john­nyreid.com for the full tour lineup.

Re­vival

Ex­tra!

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