Canadian country music sensation Dean Brody has some nervous anticipation as he embarks on his first national tour as a headliner.
Brody began his 26-date Dirt Tour 2013 in Victoria on Jan. 24 and will work his way east where he makes his ninth tour date in Swift Current on Feb. 2.
"I'm a little nervous. It's my first headlining tour," Brody admitted during a recent phone interview with The Booster. "But I'm super excited too. Me and the guys have been looking forward to this for a long time. We're raring to go! Ready to take a bus across Canada in the middle of winter. There's nothing more Canadian than that!"
The Canadian Country Music Association Male Artist of the Year for both 2011 and 2012, Brody has become a mainstay on Canadian country music radio thanks to 10 Top 10 singles, plus four of his videos have reached the top of the charts on CMT's Top 20 Countdown. His third album release Trail in Life was nominated for a Juno for Country Album of the Year and cleaned up at the 2011 CCMA awards, winning Album of the Year, Single of the Year, Songwriter of the Year.
His most recent release, Dirt, has produced a quartet of high charting singles, with the most recent Underneath The Apple Trees making its debut earlier this month.
Brody, who grew up in Jaffray, B.C. but is now based in Nova Scotia, admitted he never thought he would ascend to these heights.
"No I didn't, man. When I got into this it was all about the song writing so I don't know if I ever thought about actually being the one on the stage singing the songs," he said. He has a passion for crafting songs, and he hopes that the themes and emotions in his songs resonate strongly with listeners.
"It's always my hope when I sit down to write a song is that other people can relate to it, and the feeling and the emotion that I'm having when I write it is something that people can also experience when they hear the song, whether it's funny or sad or kind of nostalgic. The goal is to create something that people want to experience, and it enhances their life some how."
"I've always been interested in music and telling a story, whether it's my own or other people's."
Brody has had an exciting start to 2013, heading down to Los Angeles to shoot a video with Terry Clark, and also to do the video for Underneath The Apple Trees, the fourth single from Dirt which was released early in the year.
He is now busy with last minute tour preparations, and he is thrilled to know that he has already sold out 12 dates of his 26 concerts between Jan. 24 and Feb. 23. Brody's Feb. 2 concert at the Living Sky Casino was sold out just a few weeks after tickets went on sale.
In rehearsals for the tour, Brody and his bandmates work on some new stuff and are trying to deliver a different element for the show.
"We're going to try and almost give it a kitchen party kind of a feel. A campfire kind of vibe. We're going to have a part of the show where we play unplugged, and hopefully people will get a more intimate experience of what it's like to hang out with musicians."
Admittedly, Brody is feeling the pressure of delivering a good show for all his audiences following his numerous award successes.
"I feel like they're big shoes to fill," he admitted. "It's the part of being an artist that's kind of insecure you almost feel like you've got to work hard to fill them, even though you're already in them. I'm really hard on myself so I'm always expecting better of myself and more things from myself."
Regardless, he did not shy away from the challenge of a national tour, as he has a rigorous touring schedule with only a handful of days off during the five week tour.
"It's relentless but it's a challenge, and I'm up for a challenge."