HIGH RIVER, ALBERTA: He once shied away from playing his guitar around the campfire while growing up in Pictou County.
Today, George Canyon is gearing up for an acoustic Atlantic Canadian tour that will bring him and his many country chart hits to the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre on November 18.
Speaking to The Reporter from his Alberta ranch, Canyon said he was “excited” to make his first visit to Port Hawkesbury in just over three years and to connect with East Coast audiences in an unplugged style that takes him back to his formative years.
“You just grow up singing around the campfire, but I used to hate that when I was a kid, because I felt vulnerable – it was just me and the guitar,” Canyon recalled.
“So I’m glad mom and dad forced me to do it, because…I [wound up] doing acoustic guitar in pubs and anywhere and everywhere I could. So for me, coming to play acoustically is a special thing, to be able to sit down and chat and visit and talk about why songs are the way they are and why I wrote a certain line the way I did and play the singles.”
Canyon is currently riding the wave created by the February release of his latest album I Got This, whose title track has joined the single “Daughters Of The Sun” atop the domestic country charts over the past six months. With fellow Canadian country star Johnny Reid serving as the album’s co-producer, Canyon feels I Got This captures the energy and passion of his live performances.
“I said, ‘Let’s have fun making music again’ – that’s what this project was all about,” Canyon recalled.
“Sometimes you get caught up in other things other than being creative, and I just want to be creative and just make different sounds and see what would work together. We had a blast – we had so much fun.”
With the emphasis on fun and entertainment, Canyon and his band members were pleased to see a strong audience reaction to the new album as he toured it across North America. As he prepares for his acoustic Maritime tour, the Pictou County native insists that he has no intention of slowing down anytime soon.
“I’ve always been live – I’ve never looked at record sales,” said the four-time East Coast Music Association (ECMA) Entertainer of the Year.
“It will always be fun. I’ve been in the business 26 years, and if I can continue to have this kind of fun after 26 years of doing it, I’ll keep doing.”
George Canyon will return to Port Hawkesbury on Friday, November 11 at 8 p.m., in a performance supported by The Reporter, 101.5 The Hawk, Maritime Inns and the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre. For ticket information, please visit www.phcivic.com or contact the Civic Centre box office at 902-625-2591.