Country music was king in Cranbrook

Country music was king in Cranbrook

Supermoon over Cranbrook — a double bill that fits the bill

Paul Brandt/Dean Brody Road Trip rocks Western Financial Place

Barry Coulter

An eclipse of the full moon, Monday — a supermoon, no less. What could it mean?

It means that Country Music is king in Cranbrook, certainly for a night.

Dean Brody and Paul Brandt — two Canadian musicians at the top of the Country pole — brought their Road Trip tour to Western Financial Place, greeted by an enthusiastic crowd of 2,400.

The tour was six hours late arriving in Cranbrook, but hit the stage dead on time even so. Top flight Country concerts are a great spectacle, these days, and this show brought out all the stops.

Lindi Ortega opened the evening with a hard-rocking three-piece band behind her. Originally from Toronto, now residing in Nashville, Ortega is a rising talent in the Country world, regularly nominated for Juno and CCMA awards. Ortega later came back on stage to guest with Dean Brody.

Paul Brandt, no stranger to Cranbrook, took the stage first, running through hits like “I do,” “My Heart Has A History,” I Meant To Do That,” and “Leavin.'” “Genuine Canadian Man” is Brandt’s charming flag waver — “Forget your American dream, and wake up to Canadian man!”

At the halfway mark Brandt made his way to the mid-floor island, to perform a mini-set of gospel and acoustic number, something for the folks in the back of the hall. He managed to take a minute to take selfies of himself with audience members, using their phones — a charming moment, then back to the main stage for the CB McCall cover and hit for himself — “Convoy,” complete with giant rubber duck.

“Even here in Cranbrook, I can find my kind of folk,” Brandt sang.

On this tour, Brandt and Brody are alternating the closing spot from show to show. Dean Brody, of course, being raised in Jaffray, got the Cranbrook closer as the hometown boy.

Brody came roaring out with the hard rocker Bounty, with Lindi Ortega joining him. He took a moment to reminisce with the crowd, talking about his walk-about through downtown Cranbrook earlier. That’s how Country it gets.

Brandt then revued his hits which have made him a consistent Canadian Country Music Association Awards winners — “Canadian Girls,” “Bring Down the House,” It’s Friday,” “Brothers,” “Roll That Barrel Out,” Mountain Man …” Brody demonstrated how Country music has that ability to make a connection with its audience like no other.

Both Brody and Brandt brought similar bands — bass, guitar, drums, keyboard (a pedal steel with Brandt’s band, a fiddle with Brody’s). Both present that topline Nashville brand Country that’s made them stars internationally. Both seem to have a friendly competition going on, challenging each other with high energy shows.

At intermission, people wandered outside to get a look at the supermoon eclipse, a nice astronomical punctuation for the great double bill in Cranbrook.

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