Canadian country singer Chad Brownlee joins forces with Bobby Wills and Jess Moskaluke on the ‘When The Lights Go Down Tour’ which arrives in Red Deer March 24th at Cowboys. “It is a huge privilege to be going across this great country, headlining this tour,” explains Brownlee. “Jess Moskaluke and Bobby Wills are two of Canada’s finest musical talents, both are taking the country world by storm and I am so honoured they can join me on this tour.
“The crowd can expect a show you’ve never seen from me before, a show that people will remember for a long time. I can’t wait to hit the road and see all my amazing fans that have been such a huge part of my success.” A singer, songwriter, philanthropist and one-time NHL draft pick, the Vancouver-based Brownlee is indeed a man of many talents. He also received his first Juno Award nomination for the 2013 Country Album of the Year. His latest disc, The Fighters, was released last June.
Brownlee’s love for music stretches back to his youth. His parents had him in piano lessons early on, and he later picked up the tenor sax and then opted for guitar. He was well into hockey at this point as well.
When he began university at 19, a gift for songwriting started to emerge.
But as his hockey career progressed, (Brownlee was a sixth round NHL draft pick for the Vancouver Canucks in 2003) repeated shoulder injuries proved an obstacle and he came to a kind of crossroads. “That’s when I had the revelation of ‘why am I doing this?’ All I wanted to do was hit the showers and go home. I knew that life is too short to do something you don’t enjoy. So I made the conscious decision to change that.”
His gift for songwriting was first acknowledged when he was nominated for the NCAA Hockey Humanitarian Award for his song The Hero I See in his fourth year at Minnesota State University. His debut CD was released in 2010.
Meanwhile, 2013 kicked off with a bang for Jess Moskaluke when she released her single Hit N’ Run’ to Canadian radio. The single eventually hit #48 on the BDS radio charts for country radio in Canada in two short weeks. A small town gal from Langenburg, SK, she celebrated her first Saskatchewan Country Music Association Award for Female Vocalist of the Year.
Wearing her signature stilettos and sporting her long dark rocker-chic hair, she released the title track and video Catch Me If You Can on June 4, 2012, and the eight-track EP on Sept. 4th of that year as well.
Of German/Ukrainian heritage, she is a Saskatchewan native, born and raised in the town of Langenburg. When she is not on the road touring, she splits her time between her home base in Saskatchewan, Canada and the U.S. writing in Nashville alongside the Identical Entertainment team.
And last but certainly not least, Bobby Wills’s last CD Crazy Enough is an intense mixture of rock-inspired country tracks featuring a musical attack of the senses with percussion, electric and acoustic guitars, balanced with his signature melodic harmonies and lyrical story-telling. As he spent countless hours in studio completing his new album, Wills enjoyed a memorable year winning the 2013 Canadian Country Music Award Rising Star title and the Alberta Country Music Associations Male Artist of the Year award, topping off the year signing with MDM Recordings Inc. (Universal Music).
Some people are born with a special talent, perhaps even a musical soul; adopted as a baby to a family in Calgary, no one knew what an impact his biological DNA would have on his life path. “My dad was a huge country music fan,” he says of the man who raised him, “So that’s where I get my love of it from, but no one ever played music in my family when I was growing up.”
Following a dare while traveling in Australia, and an unexpected phone call, the course of Wills life would literally change forever.
“We were at an open mic night and my buddy bet me $20 that I wouldn’t get up and sing with the band, so I did,” Wills says of the Australian trip. “I sang The Dance by Garth Brooks and there was a reaction from the crowd that I didn’t anticipate. It was amazing. I’d always poked around music but I’d never put any real effort into it, so I started to learn to play guitar while I was over there.”
Returning from his travels, he received a call from the adoption registry learning his biological mother had registered to request contact (as had he), resulting in their first meeting. Wills could not have anticipated the artistic genealogy he was about to discover, including five siblings and a musical streak a mile wide that ran throughout his biological family. “The first night I visited my biological father, we sat up all night listening to records. We both shared an affinity for a great lyric, and it was then that I realized ‘This is real. This is in my blood. This isn’t just a crazy dream I had; this is part of who I am.’ It really crystallized for me then.”
Falling in love with music he invested years in perfecting his craft, releasing his debut album Man With No Past yielded the Billboard Country Top 40 single A Little More Time (a major feat for a completely independent artist), with his second album If It Was That Easy received acclaim throughout the 2013 awards season.