Nova Scotia-born, Calgary area-based country star George Canyon celebrates Canada with his new tour “Made in Canada,” which stops by Average Joe’s Nov. 16.
“I love Canada, I was born in Canada, I met my wife and married her in Canada and had my kids in Canada,” said Canyon, boarding his tour bus en route to a concert in Edmonton.
“I don’t think Canadians toot their own horns enough. So this tour is about celebrating all of the wonderful things about Canada. I’ve been blessed to have a music career over the past 28 years mostly in Canada,” he continued.
He has won two Juno Awards for Country Album of the Year and has received over 30 CCMA nominations. Canyon has also been inducted into the Nova Scotia Country Music Hall of Fame.
“So we’re touching on a few Canadian icons like Gordon Lightfoot, Ian Tyson, Ron Hynes and Anne Murray. We’re also doing a tribute to The Tragically Hip and Gord Downie — we’re playing ‘Blow at High Dough’,” he said.
“There’s so many Tragically Hip tunes we could do, but we want to be able to do them justice.”
There is no dust on George Canyon, who released “I Got This” last year, “Southside of Heaven” earlier this year and is already working on a third CD to be released early next year. He also has a new children’s record ready to go.
“It’s in the mixing process and we‘re just deciding the right way and time to release it,” he said.
The new CD has a strong Canadian influence on the CD. It includes a cover of Stompin’ Tom’s “The Hockey Song,” as well as a cover of fellow Nova Scotia musician Bruce Guthro’s “Falling.”
“I’ve been friends with Bruce for a long time. I’ve always liked ‘Falling,’ so I called him up and asked him if I could cut it for the album. Then I asked him if he’d like to sing on it,” he said.
Canyon said he is only playing a few of the new songs on this tour including “The Hockey Song,” “Old Man’s Son” and “Better Off In Love.”
“When I was going to concerts, though I don’t have a lot of time to do that anymore, I’d always want to hear the songs I know. Though I know a lot of artists, when they release a new album, they just want to play that album. But I want to play the songs people know that they’ve heard on the radio,” he said.
He has numerous radio hits to choose from dating back to 1999 including “Seven Spanish Angels,” “I Got This,” “Better Be Home Soon,” “Drinkin’ Thinkin’,” “Saddle Up,” “I’ll Never Do Better Than You” and “Daughters of the Sun,” to name just a few.
He is pleased with “Southside of Heaven,” which has produced couple more hit singles to add to the arsenal including “More You” and Better Off In Love,” which was penned by Brett Jones, who has written songs for Justin Moore and Jason Aldean.
“We’re excited about it. It’s a deep record. And I’ve got six songs ready for the next record,” he said.
“‘Old Man’s Son’ is an Eric Church song. I didn’t get to meet him, but he was going to record it for his new album, but his record company said there was already one with a similar theme on it,” Canyon said.
Several of the songs have a religious theme, like “Falling” and the title track, but the record isn’t a religious record.
“Not really,” he said, adding there is a variety of songs on the new record.
“Old Man’s Son” is dedicated to the Humboldt Broncos. He got to know some of the survivors of the bus crash last April by getting involved with a sledge hockey game in September for the StrazStrong Foundation with them including team member Ryan Straschnitzki.
“He’s very inspirational. He was more excited to just play sledge hockey than meeting me,” he said.
He noted he isn’t touring with an opening act for this tour.
“It’s all local acts,” he said.
George Canyon plays Average Joe’s Nov. 16. The concert begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 on the day of the show.