Aaron Pritchett
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Aaron Pritchett

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
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VANCOUVER, B.C. — Aaron Pritchett wants to get the word out: his native Vancouver is not
just a rock 'n' roll town.
Though the city is perhaps best-known for such rock exports as Bryan Adams and Loverboy, the
Juno-nominated Pritchett says country is alive and well in his hometown.
"Vancouver's always been stuck basically with the stereotype of a rock town," he said.
"Vancouver's not known for being a country market, but just to the contrary, the country music
scene here is quite vast, more vast than anybody would expect."
Pritchett points out that there's a myriad of country bars in the city - which hosts the Juno
Awards on Sunday (CTV, check local listings) - and he says the scene is well-established.
"The country community in the Vancouver area has been alive for many, many years," he said.
Pritchett's "Thankful" landed a Juno nod for country recording of the year. It's his second
nomination - he was up in the same category for 2007's "Big Wheel."
He says the recognition was actually a bit sweeter the second time.
"It was a surreal feeling for that one, but this time around, it just feels a little more worthy to me,
you know?" he said. "The first one I thought: 'Wow, this is awesome, but my chances are nil.'
"But this one, I really feel like I have a shot at it."
Meanwhile, he's just soaking in the Juno weekend in his hometown.
The 27-year-old was one of the more competent players in Friday's Juno Cup hockey game, skating around with surprising speed in the musicians' upset shootout win over a team of retired
NHLers.
He says he's planning on recording another album soon and mentions an ambitious tour plan that
would see him visit Australia, Europe and Japan. But he also notes that he'd just as soon stick
around Canada where he's comfortable.
"I always say this - and they say you've gotta give up that story, but it's true - if I couldn't release
in other countries and Canada was my only option, I would not be upset about that at all.
"I've definitely carved out something here that has produced quite a career for me." - Canadian Press - March 28, 2009


The last time West Coast country singer Aaron Pritchett was in
town, it was an intimate little gathering of tens of thousands of fans
on Halifax Commons last summer for Country Rocks 2008, with
headliners Keith Urban and Gretchen Wilson.
Returning to Halifax to play the Rodeo Lounge in Burnside on
Thursday and Friday nights might not have the same intensity, but
the man who made it big with Hold My Beer (While I Kiss Your
Girlfriend) is looking forward to checking back in on his East Coast
fans since the fall release of his second Juno Award-nominated
album Thankful.
"(Country Rocks) was definitely a show that’s gone down in my
memory as one of the best. One of the shortest for me, but still one
of the best," chuckles Pritchett, who says the day-long extravaganza
was like old home week, with the chance to hang out with fellow
Canuck country icons Charlie Major and Johnny Reid.
"I’ve met these guys along the way a number of times over the years, Charlie Major especially for me, he’s a guy
that I listened to and always wanted to be like; a Canadian country star. And now he’s a friend. And obviously
Johnny and I started pretty much around the same time, and we don’t get to see each other much because we’re
both pretty busy doing our own things, but when we can catch up on each other’s lives it’s pretty cool."
After this string of East Coast dates, which includes P.E.I.’s Kings Playhouse on Saturday and Moncton’s Rockin’
Rodeo on Sunday, Pritchett will be gearing up for the Juno Awards weekend in Vancouver, March 26-29, where
the more multi-faceted and introspective approach of Thankful — now on its third single, Hell Bent for Buffalo — is
up for country recording of the year.
Pritchett has high hopes for his chances, but notes it’s been a strong year for Canadian country music all around.
"I was up for a Juno once before (for Big Wheel), but I was up against George Canyon, who’d had an amazing
year," he says. "Not that this year is any different; George is up there again, with Crystal Shawanda and Tara
Oram, and Doc Walker have had a great year with their album, but to me it seems this album is the one where I
have the best shot.
"I’m just going to keep my fingers tightly crossed, plus it’s in my home town so that can’t hurt."
The home-town advantage also means Pritchett will get to enjoy the weekend more and not have to worry about
flights or hotel rooms and dig into several days of enjoying music that are "not just about getting hardware."
"The weekend goes from Thursday to Monday morning — well, hopefully Monday afternoon — but the Juno Cup is
going to be a big deal for me. I’ve played hockey all my life, even just the other day, and I’m looking forward to taking part in that as much as getting to the awards," he says about hitting the ice in the charity game with
musicians like Great Big Sea’s Alan Doyle and Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy against NHL pros including Paul Coffey
and Mark Napier.
"Then there’s the songwriters’ circle and numerous parties to attend where you get the chance to meet not only the
artists, but also the industry people you’ve heard so much about over the years. It’s a great opportunity."
Pritchett will also be on the Juno Cup bench at UBC Thunderbird Arena with Canyon, whom he last teamed up
with for a CMT Christmas special shot in Whistler in mid-January. Besides sharing the stage with his friendly rival,
Pritchett also got the opportunity to perform with his son Jordan on guitar, appearing together on TV for the first
time.
"It was CMT’s suggestion, and I said sure, if he wants to do it," he explains. "He’s a rock kid, he’s not part of the
country scene. Mind you, he knows all the country music, he grew up with it, but he doesn’t play it or study it. But
when I asked him he said, ‘I’d love to do it, of course!’
"It was nice to pull him up there and show the crowd what the proudest achievement of mine in life really is."

- STEPHEN COOKE Entertainment Reporter Mar 18/09


His first city performance was as a relative newcomer, but Aaron Pritchett's upcoming return concert in Swift Current will be as a bona fide Canadian country
music star. "May 4th is going to be a part of our brand new show that we just started rehearsing for," said Pritchett during a phone interview of his upcoming performance at the Palliser Pavillion. "Three years ago I think when I was there we were pretty new to the industry and
kind of flying by the seat of our pants. Now we know what we are doing. I would like to say that we will put on one hell of a show and anybody from any age group
is going to be extremely entertained and should be ready for in your face country that is basically non stop fun." Pritchett recalls three years ago when he preformed at the Frontier Days that Swift Current fans are very outgoing. "It was so awesome. That was one of the first big shows that we had. It was crazy, with all the screaming girls up front. It was so much fun," chuckled Pritchett.
Being raised in the Vancouver area, the Canadian born singer says his
entertainment career started when he was a young boy. "I started singing years ago just on my own in the tub when I was little. When it
came to singing in front of people I started doing karaoke years ago, just on a whim, because my Mom dared me. From there I entered talent searches and ended up winning the BC one. Then I went to the Canadian one and didn't do well there but didn't really care because I just wanted to start my career. Then from
there I started a band and the rest is kind of history." Even though he started his career when he was young, Pritchett had no idea
what to sing until his Mother pushed him in the direction of country.
"I have been listening to country music since I was like 15 and loved it. I didn't realize I could even sing until I was 20-21. When it came to choosing the genre that I was going to be in that was again kind of my mothers decision only because she came up to me one day and said, 'there is a talent search for
country music in Langley BC at this club so you have got to go in it.' I said I wasn't really interested and she said 'well, I've already entered you into it, so you're going.' I think she just wanted to see me be successful in my music
career and I love her for it."
Pritchett now has three CD's under his belt, Consider This released in 2002, Something Goin' on Here in 2002 and Big Wheel in 2006, and a long string of awards. Pritchett won Breakthrough artist of the year and Independent Male Artist of the year at the CCMA's. "Awards are important in a lot of respect for the business. It's not what I rely my
career on that's for sure. I don't expect them for any reason. The CCMA's this year were my biggest to date and my most exciting. I'd love to win a Juno or a Grammy obviously, but I don't base my career on winning that's for sure." - JENNA WANNER Southwest Booster April 25/08


Discography

Consider This - 2002
Something Goin' On Here - 2002
Big Wheel - 2006
Thankful - 2008

Photos

Bio

For all the good things that have come Aaron Pritchett’s way the past few years, for all the accolades and awards, the airplay, the video play and the fans showing up everywhere he goes; for all that and the mere fact he can make a living at this music thing, he takes none of it for granted.

And it’s for all that he decided to call his new, fourth album Thankful. It’s the best thing he’s ever done, he thinks, and he’s right. It is. But there’s more than a touch of angel-dust serendipity that gives it life.

The exponential growth of Pritchett’s career is the result of a lot of solid planning and arduous work. He’s tenacious as a pit bull, is Aaron. But there was a time, and not so long ago, when he’d actually quit the business. Kaput. Outta here.

“Believe me, I was done,” he says. “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.

“And the next day, January 2nd 2004, the video for “New Frontier” went to number one and I got all these bookings coming in literally that week. From that moment everything changed.”

And like spring follows winter, the nominations and awards started coming in too. He and the band were knocking audiences out from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island, slamming it every night, and by now it was a question of maintaining the momentum.

Big Wheel, the third album after Somethin’ Goin’ On – home of “New Frontier” – and the debut Consider This, managed that superlatively. From the title “Big Wheel” and “Done You Wrong” to the rabble-rousing, suds-spilling, barroom anthem and the Canadian Country Music Association’s SOCAN Song Of The Year, “Hold My Beer”, Pritchett and Big Wheel had kicked down the barn door.

Now with Thankful he’s taking the time to pause and take stock a bit, smell the roses. “Yeah, it’s reflective,” he says, “a little more introspective. Instead of worrying about writing another “Big Wheel” I needed to write something more reflective on my life and me as a person. And I didn’t put the pressure on myself, I wanted to write because I wanted to, not because I needed to.”

There’s the lush, panoramic testament to the power of love in “After The Rain”, the anthemic, exhilarating “How Do I Get There” with a put-the-top-down rhythm like a set of all season radials rolling fast and hard down a ribbon of blacktop while the declarative “Unravelling” is the heartland tune Bob Seger or Mellencamp would have pounded their chests and thanked the Song Gods for.

Then there’s “Hell Bent For Buffalo”, the hard rolling tale of the guy driving his rig through a winter squall to get to his lover. “Hard To Miss” is about the head turning beauty the protagonist can’t get over. “Nothing But Us” is the paean to shutting the front door on the world and unplugging for a while. On the flip side, we all know “Let’s Get Rowdy”, the call to party arms for all the college girls and cowboys.

The sound on Thankful is rich and driving, immediately infectious, thanks to the collective production efforts of The Franchise: Aaron himself, his guitarist/sidekick/strategist Mitch Merrett, multi-instrumentalist Mike Norman and studio wiz Dean Maher who has shared control rooms with everybody from Bryan Adams and Michael Buble to AC/DC. Now there’s a team to make a great record.

But none of it would matter without the fans to embrace it, to make it part of their lives. That’s the point that has been driven home continually for Aaron Pritchett one electrifying performance after another ever since that pivotal January 2nd just a few years ago. And he hasn’t forgotten.

“It sounds so corny sometimes but it’s honestly true,” he says quietly. “The help of fans wanting us to play and coming to see the shows is what’s kept me in the industry. This album really is a tribute to them. If I didn’t have them I wouldn’t have anything. I really am extremely thankful.”