When Scottish born singer, Johnny Reid does something, he does it with everything in him. Which is exactly what he is doing on his current North American tour, “What Love Is All About,” with special handpicked guests, Aaron Goodvin, JJ Shiplett, and Natalie MacMaster. The tour touched down in Sudbury, Ontario on March 10, 2016, and everyone played their hearts out to a very enthusiastic and loving crowd.
The show started off with newly discovered Canadian country artist, Aaron Goodvin, who took to the stage all by himself and preformed a few of his songs, one of them being his debut single, “Knock on Wood,” off of his self-titled debut album, expected on April 8, 2016. Goodwin brings a strong voice with the classic country rasp, as well as many thoughtful lyrics and complimentary guitar skills. As Goodvin has already had quite some practice, he is able to joke around with the crowd and show his appreciation for everything that Johnny Reid has done, the crew, his fellow musicians on the tour, and the fans. It will be interesting to see where Goodvin takes his career.
Next up was JJ Shiplett, another Canadian country artist who describes his style as being roots rock, but some may say that he has the feeling of indie country as well (as at times his voice sounds like a mix between Mumford and Sons, and KONGOS). Shiplett brings a rough raw voice with a strong low octave range that create a wholesome and heartfelt feeling to the songs that he has written and is singing. Each of the songs that he preformed were written with great skill and they all have an excellent smooth beat from both JJ’s guitar and his band, in which their current EP is on sale now, entitled JJ Shiplett – The EP, featuring the song “Something to Believe In.”Once again, Shiplett was deeply appreciative of everything that everyone has done to get him to where he is and where he stands on stage almost every night. With some witty jokes and impressive songs, JJ Shiplett was a crowd favourite of the night, and he will be closely watched by many for his upcoming projects.
Then came the act that everyone in the arena seats had been waiting to see, Mr. Johnny Reid. Everyone has heard amazing things about the concerts that await them after they purchase tickets to see one of his concerts, but no one tells you that he does not play concerts, he performs shows, and does not settle for anything less than what he wants. With his high energy and Oscar worthy stage with an exemplary lighting show to accompany it, it was like watching a Broadway production rather than a concert in the local hockey arena. Reid strides from one side of the stage to the next within seconds, then later on, he travels all around the arena to get more personal with his fans, giving the show a high amount of energy. After fixing a slight issue with his microphone (which he handled with the utmost dignity and pride), the show went on with his numerous jokes and stories that had the audience laughing and applauding. Not only does Johnny Reid put on an amazing show, the amazingly talented band that he has on stage with him is something to see, especially with his two backup vocalists and dancers, Saidah Baba Talibah and Miku Graham, who can both belt it out and give you chills down your spine. During his performance he brought on stage Canadian fiddler, Natalie MacMaster, who enchanted the stage with her emotional music and her lively stage presence, especially when both her and Reid are side by side dancing and having a wonderful time. With a few minor issues that occurred throughout the performance, the show was something unlike Sudbury had seen before, and will since be something to aspire to. Johnny Reid’s latest album, What Love Is All About, is currently on sale now.
All four performers and their awesome bands put on one heck of a show for all that attended, and it made many audience members in the crowd quite happy to see someone that they enjoy preform, as well as show just how down to earth he can be. For the three other artists that were properly introduced to the community during the show, they will have quite the number of eyes watching just what they do next. Here at RMR we wish them all the best in their future’s and hope to see more from them soon.
Alyssa Lashbrook (Rolling Music Reviews)