December 10, 2014
During his 20-odd-year career, multi-award-winning country artist Johnny Reid has become known for his charismatic stage presence and crossover style of music that infuses country, soul and rock ‘n’ roll.
“I always enjoyed the performance and presentation of soul music, but I always enjoyed the storytelling and morality aspect of country and western,” Reid said.
It’s a combination that has earned him No. 1 hits, multiple platinum-selling albums, and legions of devoted fans all over the world, especially in Canada.
The Scotland-born, Ontario-bred, Nashville-based singer-songwriter has racked up six JUNO Awards, and 21 Canadian Country Music Association Awards, including the Fan Choice Award for five years in a row. When it comes to his success, the father of four said he just tries to “sing from the heart.”
“I come from a blue-collar background, my father’s a mechanic, and I grew up with a lot of people that enjoy country music,” said Reid. “I always try to sing songs with dedication, devotion, and appreciation. These are all things that country fans appreciate—you know, honesty.”
Everything the country crooner touches seems to turn to gold, or rather platinum. His second platinum-selling Christmas album, A Christmas Gift to You, won a 2014 CCMA Award for Top Selling Canadian Album of the Year, and a 2014 JUNO for Adult Contemporary Album of the Year after being on the market for a mere five weeks, and its success has spurred on the re-release of the holiday album as a platinum addition, which is out now.
Produced by the legendary Bob Ezrin (Lou Reed, Peter Gabriel, Rod Stewart), the album has all of the hallmarks of a classic holiday record with lush string arrangements and beautiful choral accompaniment.
“I always wanted to record a real reverent record to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas,” Reid said.
The platinum addition will include four new songs, and guest appearances by Canadian musical greats, such as Cape Breton fiddler Natalie MacMaster, Montreal jazz vocalist Nikki Yanofsky, and folk icons Bruce Cockburn, and The Rankin Family.
As the headlining performer at NMC Out Loud Gala back in September, Reid expressed his support for the National Music Centre’s new building, and what it will mean for music in Canada.
“I think you have to know where you come from in order to get where you’re going, and I’ve said this before that music counts,” he said.
“I know one thing for sure, the identity of our culture is usually based around art—whether it be Italy or France, there’s a lot of places you go around the world that’s based around the art that comes out of those countries. “I think (NMC) is making a huge investment in the future of Canada, culturally speaking.”
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