As Johnny Reid prepares to return to Newfoundland – a place that has embraced him as much as he has embraced it – he shares his thoughts on his new music and life in general
While there’s months to turn on the calender yet before Johnny Reid heads to this province on his Revival tour, he admits to being excited.
“It’s no secret Newfoundland has wrapped it’s arms around me. I’ve been doing this for 21 years and regardless of where we go in the world, regardless where I go in Canada – and I’m not sure why it is – but the people in Newfoundland have shown me a lot of love,” he begins.
Reid says he spends time pondering why he feels so connected to this place and its people. Does he have it figured out? Perhaps, he says. “I think it’s because the people of Newfoundland hold dear the same fundamentals that I hold dear to myself, which is family and friends and a whole lot of love. It’s one of the reasons why I always leave it to last. I always like to go west to east because by the time I get to Newfoundland it’s a great place to put a cherry on top of the tour and a great place to celebrate and it’s always a pinnacle for me and it’s something I look forward to,” he says.
So, let’s talk music, specifically his new album Revival. There’s a few songs he’s particularly excited about, he begins.
“The project as a whole I’m pretty proud of because of the way we approached it. I wanted to record the record live. I wanted to go and put everybody into a room. Usually what happens is you go in and cut the drums and the bass and you bring in the guitar and you bring in this and that and it can take a year or a year and a half to make some of these records. My schedule did not allow for that so I said, I just want to get there and cut it live. Get me with some of the best musicians in the world and let’s just record some music, let’s not stretch this out. So that’s what we did.”
Reid said the entire album was recorded over two days. “You asked me what I’m proud of and what I’m thinking about and that’s it right there. The fact that there’s a real sense of continuity on the record and it’s the same band playing all the songs and all the songs sound like one piece of art.”
Revival, co-produced by Reid and the legendary Bob Ezrin of Kiss fame, is also incredibly personal, he shares.
‘‘The album is full of things I’ve been writing these last couple of years and this is just a direct reflection of where I find myself in my life at that point. I think the song I’m really excited to sing when I come to Newfoundland is a song called Whiskey Kisses. It’s an older kind of country song, but it’s done in a very soulful way. I think I know a lot of people in Newfoundland and I love coming there, it’s my favourite place to come and I think the people up there – good hardworking people – are going to really appreciate Whiskey Kisses a lot.”
He’s also looking forward to singing another personal song as well.
‘‘I’m looking forward to singing Soul Train. That’s an exciting song to sing. It’s a song about my youth, jumping on a soul train when I was a wee boy and basically never getting off it. I just love how showmanship makes me feel, so I’m excited to sing that one,’’ he says.
Glass Tiger will be opening for Reid, and since he’s produced their last album, Reid says more collaboration was natural. “Working with them was a real great experience, so I think it’s natural. We re-imagined all their greatest hits with some of the best musicians in the business, and the people of Newfoundland are going to absolutely love this because it’s steeped in Celtic tradition. The boys are very excited to come and they will be joining me on the entire tour. I can hardly wait to see the fans’ reaction. I tell everyone; if you honestly think I’ll do a tour without going to Newfoundland you are crazy. I’m excited to come to Newfoundland and see all the people. I’m bringing a big show and a load of excitement and we’ll have a big soirée.”
Johnny Reid comes April 24 to Mile One for ticket info visit mileonecentre.com