2015 been quite a year for Country Music in Ottawa with monster shows from some of country’s biggest hit makers like Luke Bryan, Brantley Gilbert, Keith Urban and Kenny Chesney to name just a few, not to mention some world class performances by some of Canada’s top country stars like Brett Kissel, Tim Hicks and more.
On Monday night two Canadian country music gentleman, Paul Brandt and Dean Brody, brought a true country music performance as their Road Trip Tour rolled into the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa.
Live arena shows in this day and age are usually filled with enough technology and pyrotechnics to rival most Canada Day celebrations, so much so that sometimes the effects overshadow the music itself.
Something must be said, though, for artists that chose to forgo the explosive effects and let their music take centre stage, Dean and Paul are two of those artists and Monday night was a night for the music and lyrics to shine.
The duo’s Road Trip Tour rolled into the Canadian Tire Centre on Monday night with special guest Whitney Rose. The event held special significance for me as it would be my first opportunity to see Dean Brody live. I was first introduced to Dean Brody about 7 or 8 years ago by my wife through his song “Trail in Life”. As someone who was adopted and had an incredible, blessed life thanks to the choice that my birth mother made I was, and am still, very deeply touched by that song. Ever since the day I first heard that song I became a huge Dean Brody fan but every time the opportunity came to see him live something got in the way…until Monday night.
Unfortunately I arrived too late to catch all of Whitney’s set but I have to say I was impressed with what I heard and look forward to hearing more. This young woman has some mad talent and I’d expect her to become a common name in Canadian country music in the very near future.
Paul Brandt has come a long way since I last saw him live in concert and met him at the North Bay Heritage Festival and Air Show 16 years ago in August 1999. It’s hard to believe that that was about 6 albums ago for Paul and I guess I’ve come a long way since the days where I led the volunteer security group at that event.
Paul equally split his set between the main stage and a stage in the centre of the arena floor and took every opportunity to take pictures with his fans and get down into the crowd. One of the Canadian Country Music veterans Paul kicked off his show with his current single “I’m An Open Road” which featured Jess Moskaluke and even though she wasn’t there physically I was thrilled that her portion of the song was broadcast through the large video screen behind the stage. Often when an artist performs a duet the other half is left out when the artist goes on tour if the song is performed at all. The show continued with hits, past and present including a refreshed version of, personal favourite, “I Do” even a giant rubber duck made its appearance for his cover of “Convoy”.
Dean Brody followed Paul and kicked things off with “Bounty”, a song that on the recording features Lindi Ortega and was performed by our friend Abby Stewart with Dean in Kingston on his Crop Circles tour. The rest of his set was a giant sing along, with his hits like “People Know You By Your First Name” and “Dirt Road Scholar” to the gripping song “Brothers”.
He even brought out a chainsaw for “Mountain Man” (“don’t worry”, he said, “it doesn’t have a chain, safety first”). Part of me is disappointed that Dean didn’t perform “Trail in Life” but then again I probably would’ve been a crying mess if he had and up to that point I managed to hold it together through “Brothers” and Paul’s “I Do”. Just before heading to the encore he brought down the house with two monster hits “It’s Friday” (ironic due to the lyric “It’s Friday” when in fact it was Monday…not that it bothered the crowd that partied like it was Friday) and the appropriately titled, “Bring Down the House”.
Paul joined Dean for a spirited cover of Dwight Yoakam’s “Guitars and Cadillacs” before Dean capped off the night with a walk through the crowd while singing “Canadian Girls”. It was everything I could ask for in a Dean Brody show, adding Paul Brandt to the mix was the perfect combination for an incredible evening of world class country music.
Paul and Dean are currently wrapping up their nationwide Road Trip Tour with three remaining dates in Eastern Canada starting tonight in Moncton, NB and wrapping up Saturday in Halifax, NS.
For more information on the tour be sure to checkout: www.roadtriptour.ca
No doubt you’ll be hearing more about Whitney Rose but in the meantime be sure to follow her online:
Of course if you’d like to get more information on Paul Brandt visit him online at any of the following:
If you want more information on Dean Brody here are his online links: