BC country star Aaron Pritchett is headed to Chatham for what he believes is his first official performance in the city – after more than 15 years as a touring performer. He’s ready to rock the Chatham Capitol Theatre on Saturday (January 27) with a brand of country music that often rocks a little harder than the average cowboy.
“I’ve always had more of an edge in my country music,” Pritchett told YQG Rocks in a telephone interview from BC earlier this week. “I grew up back in the rock world in the 80’s and 90’s. When I got into country, I really wanted to add those reflections. As I’ve grown and evolved, my music has to change a bit, but that’s the one element that seems to stay and even gets a little heavier at times. I try to rock out as much as possible.”
His latest album is 2016’s The Score is an eight-song trip into modern country music with rock, pop and electronic elements built-in. On the album, Pritchett rocks out with songs like Dirt Road In ‘Em and the powerful Lifeline.
“Lifeline was a really cool song to record,” Pritchett said. “My producer Scott Cook said that he loved the demo and wanted to turn it into something like a spaghetti western meet Quentin Tarantino. So, we did it and it’s one of my favourite tracks on the album.”
On the other end of the spectrum, the blue-eyed singer got a little personal with the emotional track When A Momma’s Boy Meets A Daddy’s Girl.
“I’m a momma’s boy for sure,” he revealed. “I’m very close to my mom even though she lives 9 hours away from me. It still feels like she’s right here with me. When it came down to choosing the one slow song I wanted to have for the album, this was an easy one because it could be a wedding thing or it could turn out to be one of these eternal songs that people always play because it hits so close to the heart.”
It’s not just his mom that’s important to him. Pritchett actually plans his tour schedule around family time so he can be there for birthdays, anniversaries and other important dates.
“I always say that there are many great things about the music industry, but the worst part is that you lose time away from your family,” he said. “There were times I lost focus with my family and friends and the worst part is you don’t really realize it until later. I noticed the summer is always busy, so I consciously decided not to tour in the summer for the last couple years. Last summer I took three weeks off in July when there are so many opportunities to play.”
“I need to be with my family, I want to enjoy the summer and go camping, take long drives and not have to worry about it being in the winter. And I want to connect and reconnect with my family. These last couple years have been overpoweringly amazing. So that is the thing, I make time now – I just put it in my calendar and say I’m not working those weeks.”
His three sons often enjoy touring with their dad when he’s not home. His oldest son, Jordan or JP, is the lead guitarist in the BC pop punk band Faber Drive and has his own country solo career. He can often be found performing with his dad at shows. One of his other sons is currently working on his music and the youngest has taken an interest in photography and flies a camera-mounted drone at his dad’s concerts.
“To them, I’ve always been dad first and foremost,” he said. “I work really hard at separating my work life from my home life and make sure the two never mix.”
After years of performing across the country, we asked the star if he recalled ever playing in Chatham.
“I’ve been through Chatham many times, but I think this might be the first official time I actually get to play there,” he said. “I certainly remember playing in London and Windsor, but there is a possibility I was in Chatham years and years ago – if I was, it got lost in all the craziness that we were in at that time.”
Whether he’s a country star, a rocker, a momma’s boy or a family man, Aaron Pritchett is certainly a Canadian treasure. He hits the Chatham Capitol Theatre stage on Saturday (January 27) at 8pm. Tickets are still available at the Capitol Theatre Box Office.