Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Country singer Dean Brody exposes himself -- emotionally, that is -- on Canadian tour

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It's a good thing Dean Brody has scheduled the dates for his first national headlining tour because the country music star is all over the map -- literally.

The British Columbia native, who now lives in Nova Scotia, records in Nashville and helps rescue girls from sexual exploitation in Brazil, performs in 24 Canadian cities in January and February. Brody will start kicking up his heels in Victoria and end with a tip of his cowboy hat in Halifax.

Brody, who was named male artist of the year and won album of the year for his record Dirt at the Canadian Country Music Association Awards in September, admits to being a little nervous.

"It's definitely going to be a challenge, but I'm looking forward to it," Brody says in an interview with The Canadian Press.

"I just want to give a good show. You know people that come out, they might not necessarily just want to hear just how the record sounds. We want to do some elements in the show that you wouldn't expect."

Brody said, for example, part of the show will be done acoustically.

"It's really cool. We had a rehearsal about a month ago preparing for the tour and we did this one segment where we're kind of around a campfire, we've got this big moon in the background and the sound of the crickets and stuff," he said.

"Boy, it was a lot of fun. It's going to be the most fun part of the show."

While it is officially the Dirt tour, Brody said fans will hear from all three of his albums. (That includes the hit single Canadian Girls.)

Brody has his own favourites too.

"I love playing Wildflower," he says, referring to the single from his second record, Trail in Life.

"I'm not sure why, but it always come at a part in the show where you know we've rocked it out for three or four songs and then we pull it back and do Wildflower. To me it's a point in the show to take a breath and just really fall into that song and I love it."

There was a time when Brody wasn't sure his career would get to this point.

He moved to Nashville to be a songwriter and was encouraged to start recording his songs. But things didn't work out with his U.S. record label. Brody asked to be let out of his contract in 2009 because he says he was asked to make a compromise he wasn't willing to make. He moved his family back to Canada.

"I'm just glad it worked out because sometimes you do things out of principle and they don't always work out for the best financially. As far as your character goes, it's good to stand up to things you don't believe in," he says.

"But I really thought, 'Man, this is it. I'm going to be working in a coal mine. This isn't going to work out.'

"But I got lucky. Open Road Records took me on in Canada and... we have a mutual respect for each other. It's great to be respected by your record label and have the freedom, the creative freedom, to be able to do what I do."

Brody is back in a studio in Nashville recording songs for another album to be released next fall. He said can't wait to try out some of the new material for fans, possibly during the tour.

As a solo songwriter, Brody knows the pressure is on.

"You kind of put yourself out there. Like you write something and because you didn't write with anybody else, it's almost like being naked in front of a crowd," he laughs.

"It's kind of like 'Here I am' and you're sharing your heart and you hope people like it -- and if they don't, it can be kind of tough."


Dean Brody plays the Burton Cummings Theatre Feb. 9

at 7:30 p.m. Bobby Wills opens the show.

Tickets are $32.75 and $43.75 at Ticketmaster.


-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 7, 2013 C9

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