Canadian country singer Johnny Reid is kicking off a national tour in support of his new album Revival with a string of shows in relatively smaller venues on Vancouver Island, including a date at the Port Theatre on Feb. 28.
“The people on the Island are going to see stuff that nobody else is going to see…” Reid said.
“You don’t get too many chances to bring a big band into a smaller place, so having the chance to bring all these people into a smaller room is just going to be so gratifying for me.”
He said it will exciting to perform the new songs on the road for the first time. Reid wrote the songs over a span of 18 months, but it only took two days in the studio to put those tunes on tape.
It was his third collaboration with renowned producer Bob Ezrin, known for his work with acts like Lou Reed and Pink Floyd. The pair met while doing work for the Canadian music education charity MusiCounts.
Ezrin and Reid first teamed up for Reid’s 2013 album A Christmas Gift to You, and continued their partnership on Reid’s next record, 2015’s What Love is all About. Those records each took at least a year to complete. Heading into Revival, Reid said, “The whole concept of the record was trying to capture moments. Perfection was never something we were looking for. We were really looking to feel the song and not so much hear the song.”
Reid said he spent a day with his musicians on pre-production introducing the songs and explaining his vision for them. After that it was a matter of playing the music until they felt like they got it right.
“The revival project was just so refreshing and so much fun just to go in and press ‘record’ and look at each other and say, ‘Alright, we got that one. Moving on.’ It was a really cool way to make a record with Bob,” he said.
Reid said he’ll be bringing that live feeling from the album to the stage during the Revival tour, which begins with a pair of shows in Sidney’s Mary Winspear Theatre.
“We’re going to put a bunch of really great musicians on stage and try and capture these moments again live for the people that come to the show,” he said.
“So we’re going to have basically 14 people onstage to recreate the album.”
WHAT’S ON … Johnny Reid comes to the Port Theatre on Wednesday, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. Tickets $85, each order includes a free CD. Special appearance by Glass Tiger.