It’s tempting to describe the chorus of Brett Kissel’s latest smash single, Airwaves, as what’s gotten him to this point, but that barely scratches the surface of the artistic growth Kissel displays on his new album, Pick Me Up. The pride of Flat Lake, Alberta has already reached a place very few other Canadian country music artists have attained, but defying the odds has been Kissel’s mission his entire life, the result of a tireless work ethic instilled while growing up on his family’s farm. Following the incredible success of his 2013 major label debut, Started With A Song, Pick Me Up shows that Kissel is hitting his stride.
For the new album, Kissel once again teamed up with CCMA Award-winner Bart McKay, as well as one of country music’s premier producers Mickey Jack Cones (Jason Aldean, Trace Adkins). The common thread was not an attempt to replicate the success of its predecessor, but to have the results reflect Kissel’s unstoppable drive to make his music bigger and better.
“There’s no other place I prefer to be than on stage,” Kissel says. “With all of the shows we did for the last album, we were totally prepared as a band when we went into the studio to cut the new material, and determined to exceed the fans’ expectations. Looking back, I might have been preparing for it even while we were finishing the last album, knowing that the next one needed to have more energy.”
It’s clear that rationale was behind the choice of Airwaves to be Pick Me Up’s first single, as the song established itself as a fan favourite after only a few live outings. Building on that kind of feedback from his audience has always been important to Kissel, and he takes a lot of pride in being one of the most active Canadian country artists on social media. It’s all fuelled his efforts to expand and enhance his live show, something that kicked into high gear once he hit the road in the fall of 2014 as special guest on multiple Grammy & CMA award winner Brad Paisley’s cross-Canada tour.
Pick Me Up displays how far Kissel has come as a singer and songwriter, most evident on tracks such as I Didn’t Fall In Love With Your Hair, a tribute to his mother, a multiple cancer survivor, as well as I Can Play Guitar, containing playful insights of life on the Brad Paisley tour, and Come Pick Me Up, a poignant rumination on a failed relationship.
Kissel, with special guest Jordan McIntosh, will be at the Tidemark Theatre on Nov.14.
Tickets are $38.50 for members and $43.25 for nnon members (plus applicable taxes & fees) and can be purchased at the Box Office on Tuesday or Friday between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. Tickets are also available online at www.tidemarktheatre.com