Guitar player back on familiar ground for Dallas Smith show
Dallas Smith is the name at the top of the marquee tonight at CN Centre but a local musician is also going to be prowling the stage. Jer Breaks has been a longtime member of Smith’s band. The Prince George guitar player, singer and composer will be alongside the hot Canadian country star tonight, in one of the rare opportunities he’s had to do a hometown show since Smith took their act to the next level.
This past year, Breaks had the chance to crank out the power-country at the Canadian Country Music Awards televised gala show (also on the same broadcast that night: Blake Shelton, Brett Kissel, Brett Young and more), then he and the Dallas Smith Band got to whip the crowd into a frenzy during the epic Juno Awards broadcast (on that same stage that same night: Bryan Adams, Feist, Adam Cohen, Sarah McLachlan, Shawn Mendes and a legendary cast of etceteras).
Breaks has had a busy few years slammin’ strings alongside Smith. He also made time to work with Prince George-area filmmakers James Douglas and Norm Coyne on their Sherlock Holmes short-film.
“Jer wrote the score for The Doctor’s Case with Ken ‘Hiwatt’ Marshall (star mixer-producer with Skinny Puppy and Lincoln Park in his credits),” said Coyne. “Which is Jer’s third foray into film. The kid is going places. I’m telling you.”
He’s come a long way from being one of the founding members of reggae-rock band Redgy Blackout and before that funk-rock band Floored. Both achieved modicums of success, as did the Jer Breaks solo project.
It’s been five years of riding shotgun with Dallas Smith, and 12 years since he was a full-time resident of P.G., but he still keeps in close touch with some friends here and his dad is still here. That’s who Breaks is keen on seeing the most.
“I’m so excited to see my dad. I can’t wait to see him,” he said. “He’s still in the house I grew up in. He’s renovated it quite a bit so it’s different but still the same house so that’s neat.”
His father repaired electronics equipment and does that out of the house now “so he still has tons of guitars and amps all over the place, so we’re basically the same person.”
Some of his friends will be there at the concert tonight, but some of those old Prince George buddies are out on their own musical roads.
“Dave Rosin (guitar player for Hedley) and I have been texting back and forth. He’s coming back to P.G. pretty soon, too,” said Breaks. “He’s got a great moustache going on for Movember and I notice in the photos he had on a Cougars jersey, so that made me think. I made some calls and hooked up a Breaks Cougars jersey I’ll wear at some point.”
He hasn’t been on a local stage since he accompanied Smith as the opening act for Keith Urban last year. So is he nervous as the time draws close for his big return performance at CN Centre tonight, this time in the headliner position?
“He’s good,” confirmed Smith. “He’s excited to come back to P.G. and see his family.”
Breaks said “I don’t really get nervous, but I embarrass really easily,” and he got pretty bashful when the band gave him some ribbing last time they were at CN Centre. He is expecting a bit of that again tonight, and he’ll take the discomfort because he loves being able to share these moments with his hometown.
The show has tickets available. Also on the bill tonight: Lauren Alaina and Michael Ray.
— Jer Breaks
Prince George’s Jer Breaks is touring with Dallas Smith, who performs at CN Centre tonight. Breaks also played with Smith when he opened for Florida Georgia Line in 2014.