Home turf

Gui­tar player back on fa­mil­iar ground for Dal­las Smith show

The Prince George Citizen - - FRONT PAGE - Frank PEE­BLES Ci­ti­zen staff fpee­bles@pgc­i­t­i­zen.ca

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

CI­TI­ZEN FILE PHOTO

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.

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