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Johnny Reid News

  • Tuesday, September 13, 2011Johnny Reid announces new tourOver the course of the past 6 years, Johnny Reid has been inspiring many with songs that stand the test of time as demonstrated by the success of his past three albums and DVD's - all certified platinum in Canada and totaling...
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Johnny Reid Biography

The driving force behind Johnny Reid’s, A Place Called Love, is as universal as it is straightforward. With his first release on EMI/Johnny Mac Entertainment in Canada, Reid takes on love in all its myriad forms; exploring both the intensity of his feelings for his closest family, and the enduring gratitude he has for those who have helped him become one of Canada’s most successful recording artists of the past decade.“One of the greatest relationships I have, apart from my family, is the relationship I have with the people who come out and see my shows and buy my records. The longer I’m given the opportunity to record songs and sing them, the deeper that relationship becomes. My hope is that this record will take them to a place of peace, or to a place that’s a great memory, someplace that resonates with them as A Place Called Love.”As Reid himself discovered over the past year, however, that place often holds equal measures of joy and pain. “It’s been a beautiful year anda tough year, a year of sunshine and rain,” he says. On A Place Called Love Reid explores both kinds of weather, alternately celebrating the joy of perfect love with songs like ‘Doesn’t Get Better Than You’ and ‘Let’s Go Higher’, as well as the emptiness left in the wake of love lost on ‘Tell Me Margaret’, a song inspired by the death of his grandmother.“Before the passing of my Granny if someone had asked me, ‘do you believe in a place called love?’ I would have said, ‘yes’, but in no way would I have understood how deeply.” It’s the first time Reid has felt a loss so personally and profoundly. An experience made all the more powerful by the news that he, his wife and three sons would soon be welcoming their first daughter into the world. One that prompted Reid to consider his own mortality, and the kind of legacy he’d like to leave behind with his life and music. “It’s not about number one songs, tour buses and having your face on a billboard,” he says. “It’s about writing songs that help people. Songs that help them cry when they need to and help them laugh when they can.”With A Place Called LoveReid achieves that like never before, with all the characteristic grace and humility that is such an enduring part of his appeal; showcasing both his personal growth as a songwriter, and his capacity to speak to his audience’s most deeply held hopes, fears and dreams with an authenticity few can muster.At a time when many artists are finding it difficult to build lasting ties with listeners, the Canadian bred, Scottish born singer/songwriter commands a degree of loyalty from his audience that deepens with every record. Over the past five years, Reid has sold in excess of 500,000 copies of his recordings in Canada alone. His debut DVD, Johnny Reid, Live at the Jubilee was certified triple platinum within three weeks of its February 2010 release and remained #1 on the Soundscan Music DVD Chart for months. A perennial favourite on the biggest night in Canadian country music, The Canadian Country Music Awards, Reid has been nominated in five categories for 2010. In recent years he has won a total of thirteen CCMA’s, including the 2009 Fan’s Choice Award and the Top Selling Record and Male Artist of the Year Awards two years running. In 2009 he was also nominated for a total of four JUNO Awards and took home the JUNO for Country Album of the Year.

Out of the box A Place Called Love’s first single, ‘Today I’m Gonna Try and Change the World’ hit the Top 10 at Country Radio and garnered some interest from A/C radio. When Reid begins his A Place Called Love tour in Canada on September 13th he’ll be playing over forty largely sold out shows, often multiple nights, in some of the country’s largest venues from coast to coast. But awards and accolades aren’t what motivate Reid’s audience to return to his shows time and again. What does draw them is Reid’s commitment to speaking the truth, and his ability to reach out as both a songwriter and a member of their community – only one of a many in a group of friends and neighbours who celebrate with each other in times of joy and lean on one another in times of need.

It’s just that quality, explains Ian Ralfini, President of EMI/Manhattan Records that so enthralled him when he was first invited to watch Reid perform in Halifax in 2009 by EMI Canada’s President, Deane Cameron. For Ralfini, translating the immense success Reid enjoys in Canada isn’t complicated. “Our job is to put him in front of a new audience. You can leave the rest to Johnny Reid. There isn’t anybody doing what he is doing today and we are totally, totally, committed to him.”

Although some songs on A Place Called Love may dwell on the heartache and struggle that comes with the loss of love, the bulk of A Place Called Love concerns itself with throwing a party in love’s honour. A call to get up, find strength in the beauty of living and tear up the dance floor at your earliest opportunity.

Whether it’s the down home stomp of opener, ‘You Gave My Heart A Home’, the upbeat soul infused, horn heavy, ‘Love Thing’, or more somber offerings such as ‘Hands Of Working Man’ and the album’s title track, on A Place Called Love Reid settles ever more comfortably into a sound that is uniquely his own. A fluid mix of country, smoky Memphis soul and R&B that depends as much on the morality and storytelling of country music as it does the instrumentation and fiery performance ethic of soul.

Recorded in Nashville’s Blue Room and Toronto’s famed Metalworks Studios with returning producer and co-writer, Brent Maher, the album reunites Reid with many of the players who’ve brought such musical depth to previous releases like 2007’s Kicking Stones and 2009’s double platinum smash, Dance With Me. Among them: guitarists Mark Selby and Richard Bennett; bassist Glenn Worf; drummer/percussionist Nir Z; former Faces keyboardist John Jarvis; and vocalist Vicki Hampton, who’s backed the likes of Garth Brooks, Dolly Parton, Bruce Springsteen, Kenny Rogers and Billy Joel.

As always, there’s plenty of space between the lines of Reid’s lyrics for listeners to find reflections of the pleasure and pain of their own greatest loves and losses. But on this record Reid also speaks directly to his audience, telling them in no uncertain terms that finding A Place Called Love will always be a dream worth chasing and that – as far as he’s concerned – in doing so we are all in this together.

Nowhere does he do so more clearly than on ‘This Is Not Goodbye’, an expression of thankfulness for the support he’s received from family, friends and fans alike that he intends to close every show with in an effort return the gift in kind. “When we were putting this tour together I said to myself, I’ve got ninety minutes on stage. My goal is to have people walk in to a show and, if they don’t believe in a place called love at the beginning, to make sure they do by the end.”

More than anything A Place Called Love reads like a love letter. Both an intensely personal exploration of our common human need to inhabit A Place Called Love we can call our very own, and a challenge to everyone who finds a measure of peace and inspiration in Johnny Reid’s music to help each other to find it.