On two other occasions, the audience at the Joshua Bates Centre, in Athens Ontario saw a star in the making. They knew they had made a connection with a lad who was going places and they would be able to say they “knew him when”. This happened for the third time on Saturday, January 28th when Tristan Horncastle performed for them. This personable, down to earth Maritimer did an acoustic show accompanied by guitarist Brad Bailey. We learned about his life through songs from his first CD, “A Little Bit of Alright” and his recent CD, “Turnin Up a Sundown” which are available on his website.
Tristan, with roots in rural New Brunswick, had a secure job with a pension plan. But, he didn’t want to be old telling his children and grandchildren that his dream had been to be a country singer. He left that secure job and hit the road to entertain country fans so that he would have no regrets in life. We are certainly glad that he did.
After singing George Jones’ “Race Is On” he told us that he had toured with Georgette Jones and Sammy Kershaw and was thrilled when Georgette joined him onstage for a song.
His song “Long as I’m Alive” speaks to how he was raised on country music and his love for classic country. Tristan’s song “Drinkin Girl” was about how he and his wife met, but, he did say she isn’t a big drinker, just so we didn’t get the wrong idea! He went on to tell us about the first time he asked his wife out, he drove to see her in a huge truck with a plow on it. It must have impressed her because she agreed to go out with him.
On a more somber note Tristan talked about friends he had lost and then played Luke Bryan’s “Drink A Beer” in their memory.
We heard about Tristan’s writing trips to Nashville and the friendship he has now with Aaron Goodvin, another Canadian who has made a name for himself as a songwriter/singer.
The song, “Dozen Roses” showcased Tristan’s vocals. What a set of pipes he has!
Although Tristan has played the Manitoulin Country Fest and six days at the CNE, Athens was the first soft seat venue show he has headlined in Ontario. He loved the audience who were there, sitting in their seats, listening to every word he sang. He promised to come back and the audience will hold him to that promise.
Tristan and Brad closed out the evening with the song “First to Last” that talked about neither person being the other’s first love but they could be the first to last. Tristan greeted each audience member as they left the hall, thanking them for coming, and hearing lots of “you were awesome”.
Brad Bailey, professionally trained at the Musicians Institute in L.A., accompanied Tristan on the guitar. Brad has played in the Chris Cummings band, Age of Days band and for various other artists. He accompanied Sacha when she opened for Brett Kissel on his Ice, Snow and Thirty Below tour as well as at Havelock Jamboree and Lucknow Music in The Fields. He was in the house band at the East Coast Music Awards and has had songwriting sessions in Nashville. We were given a glimpse of this guitar virtuoso’s talent in Athens Saturday night. Audience members went to the stage after the show to tell Brad how much they enjoyed his guitar skills. What a talent and nice guy!
Tristan and Brad flew into Ontario the morning of the show but still had time to be toured around the Athens area to get a feel for this neck of the woods. They found it very similar to where they live in New Brunswick. They love country and they loved Athens. Here they are fooling around on a dirt bike before they head out for sound check.
For more information on Tristan Horncastle visit www.tristanhorncastle.ca
For more information on the Joshua Bates Centre’s upcoming shows visit www.joshuabatescentre.com