Flat Lake

Rising country star to take Tidemark stage

Influenced by the likes of Johnny Cash, Glen Campbell, Buck Owens and George Strait, Brett Kissel is still very much his own man

When you come from a place called Flat Lake, Alberta, it’s pretty tough to get noticed.

For Brett Kissel, it’s pretty tough to be ignored.

The 22-year-old singer/songwriter has released two independent albums, sold out countless shows, and earned two Canadian Country Music Association Award nominations, becoming its youngest nominee ever.

This fall Kissel released his major label debut album through Warner Music Canada, Started With A Song. The song Started With a Song is #1 on the CMT Top 20 Countdown.

But even before the album’s release, Kissel has already made radio history.

With more than 93 per cent of Canadian Country stations adding the first single Started With A Song, the track eclipsed the record for most adds at Canadian Country radio in one week, a record previously held by Taylor Swift.

The album, co-produced by Kissel with Ted Hewitt (Rodney Atkins) and CCMA Award-winner Bart McKay, is an exhilarating collection of music that can be best described as the New Wave of Old Country: each song a slice of real-life sentiment; emotional touchstones that run the gamut of highs and lows and explore such subjects as deep love, trying moments and poignant reflection, measured out by party anthems and a sense that something special is happening here.

Listening to the rousingly playful title track, the invigoratingly catchy “321” and the modern country gem “Something You Just Don’t Forget,” it is no wonder why Bob Doyle, the manager behind Garth Brooks, proceeded to sign Brett to a co-management and publishing deal upon meeting him in Nashville.

Last summer, Kissel headlined Canada’s largest country music festival – Big Valley Jamboree in Camrose, Alberta. After a late set and a long autograph line, he returned home to the ranch at 3 a.m. At 6:45 a.m. there was a knock on his bedroom door.

It was his grandfather (“who we affectionately call Grandpa Bear”).

“I said, ‘Grandpa, I’d really like to sleep in. I just played Big Valley Jamboree last night and I’ve only had two hours of sleep.’

“And he said, ‘Wake up, because you’re no country star on the farm!’”

Kissel realized at that moment, “My Grandpa was right. No matter what I do, even if it’s playing in front of 25,000 people, once I get home, work needs to get done.

“It doesn’t matter who I am onstage.”

Influenced by the likes of Johnny Cash, Glen Campbell, Buck Owens and George Strait, Brett Kissel is still very much his own man: a dynamic, charismatic performer, singer and songwriter and ready to make an imposing impression on the global country music scene with Started With A Song.

Kissell will perform at the Tidemark Theatre Nov. 9.

Tickets are $27 plus applicable fees & taxes, and can be purchased at the Box Office from Tuesday – Saturday between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m., or found online at www.tidemarktheatre.com.