Country star Aaron Pritchett will be joined by Cory Marquardt and newcomers King & Cash to kick off the west coast leg of their ‘Outlaws & Outsiders Tour’ this winter. They make a City stop Jan. 24th at Cowboys Bar & Nightclub.
Outlaws & Outsiders promises high-energy shows from both Pritchett and Marquardt, who is set to release his sophomore CD, and making their touring debut will be King & Cash, a collaboration matching Faber Drive’s Jordan Pritchett (Aaron’s son) with country singer Dan Arnold.
“We’re doing 18 shows in 21 days, going from Victoria to Winnipeg now,” Aaron explains during a chat from his home on the west coast. They’ll wrap up mid-February for a break, then likely continue over the summer and fall months.
Aaron said the tour is something he’s been dreaming of for a long time.
“Not only is it a headlining tour but I also get to be on the road with some very cool company. Cory Marquardt is a killer performer so that’s going to be a fun set to watch every night. It’s a great mix, and great way to help introduce Cory to a bigger market.
“The other reason I love the Outlaws & Outsiders tour is that my son, Jordan, will be one of the acts on the bill. He and Dan Arnold are the newcomers on the scene, making up King & Cash. It’s something pretty cool – they both play lead guitar and they both sing.
“I might be a little biased, but he’s also not a bad looking guy,” laughs Aaron of his boy. “He’s also a bit of a metal head but he loves his country music and knows it extremely well,” he adds. “So I think it will work out pretty well for them.
“All in all, so many great cities to play and for the best fans in the world with the coolest people ever. Who could ask for more?”
Aaron’s latest disc, In the Driver’s Seat, was released in 2011. An EP is planned for this spring to be followed by a greatest hits package, including a few new tunes, over the summer at some point.
Growing up in small-town northern B.C., Aaron drew his earliest influences from 1980s rock, and the transition to country music came naturally.
His growing up years weren’t overly musical, although his dad had played in a few bands in his youth and his sister sang from time to time. But for a young Aaron, it was just the desire to entertain that was the driving force.
“I remember being really young, and knowing that I wanted to entertain. I didn’t know what I was going to do – I thought maybe I was going to be an actor.
“But it was one of those things where I just wanted to make people smile and laugh, and to entertain them. I was always trying to be funny when I was a kid,” he recalls.
As he grew older, music just kind of fell into his lap, he said.
“People probably won’t believe how it happened, but I went to a karaoke in 1991 and that same night, the very first time I went up and sang a song, I was asked if I wanted to run the show.” Aaron was told he was a good singer, and it was something he should take a more serious look at. “It just snowballed from there. Eventually I got a band and 10 years after playing the clubs, I started recording and putting out videos. And the rest is, quote on quote, is history.
Interestingly, he didn’t have a lengthy interest in country music in particular.
“I didn’t start listening to country until I was in my late teens. It was Randy Travis that turned me onto the country sound – I thought this is different and kind of cool.
These days he enjoys virtually any kind of music, from Adele to Michael Buble. “I’m a huge Elvis fan from way back when, and Frank Sinatra too. I listen to it all, and I try to use it all to influence my music.”
Meanwhile, with all the accolades and success, it’s hard to believe that about a decade ago, he was considering quitting the biz. “We were still playing clubs but I couldn’t make any money and that’s not where I saw my future; my future was touring as a major act through Canada and hopefully into the States. I said in October 2003, if it’s still like this by December I’m quitting as of the first of January. So we were done.”
But things would take a turn. “I woke up that Saturday morning to a phone call – on January second – from Vancouver, with someone on the other end telling me I’m number one. They said you’ve got to watch CMT – the video for New Frontier had gone to number one.”
Still, it didn’t immediately alter his plans to not play for awhile.
Then he got another call. “They said, ‘Look, you’ve got to come back – we’ve got all these bookings for you all over the country’. So that was sort of the game-changer for me, and I’ve never really looked back since.”
Country fans are grateful he had a change of heart and delved back into the musician’s life.
He doesn’t claim to be the greatest guitarist or singer, but he knows he can entertain.
“I think that from my perspective, that’s what I always really wanted to do – make people feel all these different emotions. And at the end of the day, make them feel like they’ve been entertained.”