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McCoy, Wright, Doc Walker, and the Great Canadian Road Trip

Country stars’ tour has a classic, old-time Country vibe about it
Jason McCoy

There is something classically old-time Country about the Great Canadian Road Trip. Think of those great artists, travelling around the nation by bus from town to town, playing sold-shows of great songs and stories.

Well, here is that old-time musical adventure set in modern times, with three iconic Country artists bringing Canada’s rich musical heritage on the road, and stopping in Cranbrook.

Michelle Wright, Doc Walker and Jason McCoy are taking the stage Tuesday, January 30, at the Key City Theatre, for what bodes to be a great night.

“I’m a fan of Michelle and Doc, so I get to take in the show as much as get to be part of it,” Jason McCoy said in an interview with the Townsman. “So there is a classic kind of feel to it.

“Plus, as far as a concert-goer goes, you get all these hits in one package. It’s pretty special.”

McCoy is iconic in his own right — a songwriting and recording artist for more than 35 years, with a long list of albums, singles, and Country Music awards — Canadian and U.S. — on his resume. Not to mention singer, songwriter and guitar player with the hard rocking Country group the Road Hammers.

Lately, McCoy has been busy with his radio career back home in Ontario. But for the moment, he’s on the road and having a blast.

“They’re just exactly like you’d expect,” McCoy said of his tour mates. “On and off the stage they’re the same people. Michelle is very iconic. Getting to play alongside her each night is fun — she’s a Canadian female trailblazer in a lot of ways. So I get to hear those stories.”

Michelle Wright is indeed one of Canada’s most recognized and awarded Canadian Country artists, charting more than 25 hit singles in this country, including several number ones. And Manitoba’s Doc Walker (Chris Thorsteinson and Dave Wasyliw) have been at the top of the scene for 20 years.

“I wrote ‘Rocket Girl’ for [Doc Walker], but I’d never had a chance to sing it with them before,” McCoy said.

While the Great Canadian Road Trip does have that classic old-time vibe to it, a lot has changed in the industry in general over the past 30 years that McCoy has been in it.

“It’s gotten younger, faster,” he said. “It used to be that careers in Country, once you were established, could last for decades. Now it seems like Country music going the way of Pop — the turnover is so fast and the appetite is so voracious from the listener. There are very few that stay. I think that’s why artists that do have deep substance stand out more than any others now.”

What hasn’t changed is the synergy between performer and audience, the current that flows from the stage and back during a show.

“That’s the number one thing I do get from it still,” McCoy said. “And I don’t care if it’s two people or 2,000. The thing you find when you get a little older is the novelty of seeing yourself on a poster is gone. Which is wonderful, because you’re set free from that ‘pride’ trap. I care nothing about that part of it, but I really enjoy playing songs and seeing people sing along, or people requesting things. I don’t like just talking — I like it when audiences talk back and they have questions.

“And that’s what this show allows us to do — get a two-way conversation going. That’s the most special thing about it.”

Michelle Wright, Doc Walker and Jason McCoy are at Cranbrook’s Key City Theatre, Tuesday, January 30, for an exciting stop along the Great Canadian Road Trip, with the full band, iconic hit songs, and stories of the road to share.

“It’s going to be intense,” McCoy said. “And we’ll maybe wrap up the show with songs that influenced all of us, and that’s a cool part. So it’s definitely about the music. But the one things fans always take away is they love the stories that we share, and that’s what we love to do.”

Barry Coulter

About the Author: Barry Coulter

Barry Coulter had been Editor of the Cranbrook Townsman since 1998.
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