On Friday, Jan. 25 catch Canadian country music star Aaron Pritchett as he brings his “Out On The Town Tour” To the Key City Theatre. Pritchett has a brand new six-track EP set to release in January, so fans can expect some new material as well as selections from his back catalogue of hits spanning over two decades.
Based out of Vancouver, Pritchett’s career in music began in Rooster’s Country Cabaret bar in Pitt Meadows, B.C. where he DJed and a then played in the house band. His first studio album Young In Love was released in 1996. Since then he has released a total of eight studio albums, including next month’s Out On The Town EP.
Pritchett said that 2018 wound up being a “landmark year” for him, with many great things happening that he wasn’t expecting. For example, his new single “Worth a Shot” did much better than he ever could have anticipated.
“I was going to take a little bit more time off this year and not work as much but I didn’t really have a choice in that matter,” Pritchett said in an interview with the Townsman. “I kept getting bookings for festivals and fairs and all kinds of things all over the country that it turned out to be one of my busiest years ever.”
The tour accompanying his new release will see Pritchett play a whopping 36 shows in 40 days.
“I hope I don’t exhaust myself of every bit of energy that I have but I’m typically that guy that just loves to … you know I play the fairly high level of hockey and you just always have to keep your stamina up and eat right, sleep right, that kind of thing.”
Pritchett will be accompanied on the tour by fellow Canadian country singers Kira Isabella and David James.
“[David James] is kind of new to the industry the last few years but has had some great success on the radio and is an awesome guy, I can’t wait to actually play hockey with him when we go on the road, we’re bringing all our gear so it should be a lot of fun.”
He said the shows will be “high energy and non stop.”
“It’s always in your face and for me it’s filled with all these hits that I’ve had over the years that I’ve been so lucky to get,” he explained. “And then I get to play them for the crowd and hopefully there’s a bunch of people out there that have never seen the show and they think it’s awesome and want to come back to another one down the road.”
Pritchett thrives off the energy he receives from crowd and he constantly endeavours to maintain a real connection with his fans new and old, whether from the stage or on social media.
“It’s just staying connected and making them see the real side of you and that you’re just a human that happens to sing and wants to entertain people and help them escape for 90 minutes to two hours a night at a show and maybe when my song comes on the radio that it makes them feel great.
“… with Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat I try and connect with these people direct and not in any offensive way, but to just make them feel good and reply to a message that they sent or a comment and it makes them feel really good and that’s my whole goal, to entertain and to be somebody that they feel like is a bit of a friend.”
He said he hopes that his momentum will increase and that 2019 will be his best year yet.
“2019 can just lead into 2020, 2021 and many years past that,” he said. “My expectations are high, my hopes are high, but I just go out there and do my job and see what happens for the next years following.”
Over the many years his career has spanned, Pritchett has witnessed massive changes in the music industry.
“It went from you could press 5,000 CDs as an unknown artist and sell them all to where now you’re an established artist and you can barely sell 1,000 CDs because people just aren’t buying them, they’re streaming or they’re downloading the songs online.”
Despite these changes to the industry and evolutions within the country music genre itself, Pritchett said that much of the music has kept its roots.
“As much as people are saying ‘oh it’s so pop or it’s rock based now’ and there is definitely that in a lot of the music, even in mine I have to admit, but when it comes down to it, the country roots, the instrumentation, you still need a banjo, you still need a steel guitar, you need fiddle and all these to make it a country song. And I think that’s remained constant.”
He said the diversity and the sheer number of artists have changed, adding that “there’s not a lot of room on radio” so new releases need to be great recordings and very unique music in order to get airplay. And though the online age has forever changed how people buy and consume music, it also has the upside of allowing up and coming artists to get discovered.
“Luckily I’ve been able to create a path in my career that I started off with a lot of success but I changed my sound as I went along. Kept my voice, but changed the sound of the actual productions and been able to keep up with what’s happening.”
Tickets for Pritchett’s concert can be purchased from the Key City Theatre’s website for $45.