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Tim Hicks remembers his roots

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Rising country star Tim Hicks doesn’t take anything for granted.
 Even when his  first hit “Get By” was  making its way up the charts,  Hicks and his band was still playing cover gigs in bars.
“Just because I had a song on the radio, I didn’t want to cancel those gigs. Those people, the bar owners and fans were depending on me,” said the Niagara Falls born country musician from a tour stop outside of Toronto.
 Tim Hicks plays Lethbridge this week. Photo SubmittedHe and his long time touring band play  a sold out show at Average Joes with Shane Chisholm, on Sept. 28. He is touring on his major label debut “Throwdown.” His first Single “Get By” was an immediate hit.

“ The first time I heard it , I was in the car with my wife and two kids and it was a freaking out kind of moment,” he said.

“ It’s been a nice transition. It still is. I’m more interested in what the DJs say about it. They’ll play Keith Urban, then my song, then Lady Antebellum, it’s a great feeling,” he said.

 Being on a major label has made life easier for him, though he still spend much of his tim on the road.
“It’s a lot easier to get a song played on the radio with a great team behind you. It’s almost impossible otherwise.”
 He was surprised and pleased to learn they wanted him to write his own songs.

“I was surprised.  I thought they’d just give me a list of the songs I was going to record.”
 Instead they set him up with producer Jeff Coplan.

“He  came with a  guitar in hand and before we’d even said hello, we had started writing a song together,” he said adding they wrote a batch of really fun sounding and fun themed songs together.

“As soon as we chose them, we knew the record had to be called ‘Throwdown,” because that’s what it was, ” he said.
 one of his most fun songs, “Stronger Beer”  is about the differences between Canadians and Americans.

“It started as a bit of a joke. I was with Jeff Coplan and told him I wanted to stop at a Shoppers to get some Smarties and he looked at me like I had three heads. I So I told him I wanted to write a song exploring the differences an as soon as I l told him about the longer fields in CFL football, he just about died and said we had to record it. So we didn’t mean to offend anyone, it was just us being silly. You should read some of the Youtube comments,” he chuckled.

 The songs have a very much classic rock sound to it.
“ I was born in 1979, so  I grew up on a lot of that kind of music. Guys like Jason Aldean and Eric Church and from our country, Dallas Smith, have paved the way for guys like me,” he said.

“ I wear my influences on my sleeve. I grew up listening to Blue Rodeo but also the older guys like George Strait.
 One of the more classic rock influenced numbers on the  CD is “Sure Ain’t Tough Tonight,” which is one of his favourite live songs to play.

“I love singing that song. Everybody sings and claps and they go away feeling like they have been part of the show which is what I try to do,” he said.

“ And we follow it up with a Cheap  Trick cover, which is perfect, though I don’t want to spoil anything,” he said.
 They still remember their bar band days, so they will pull out favourite covers and or audience requests.
“The best part of  it is the live show. I’ve been playing with these guys for a long time and we have fun together. That makes it a whole lot easier to go to work,” he said.

 They didn’t perform on the album though, as is the Nashville way, they used studio professionals.
“They have a blueprint for doing things down there. I  told Jeff I trusted him 100 per cent.,” he said.

 I’ve been in studios from the start to the mixing and it is a tedious process though fun. The first time I heard the CD was when I flew down to record the vocal tracks and it was playing through my headphones. Though I knew what they were going to sound like because we demoed the tracks,” he said. Once again, he had already booked shows and didn’t want to cancel them to record the album.

“Just because I had a song on the radio, I didn’t feel like I should just bolt,” he said.
“ I’m a so excited to play these songs live. It’s been an interesting year. I’ve got two young kids and I’ve known my wife since we were children, so she kind of expected this would happen. But I didn’t expect it to happen all at once.  So I’ve been learning how to balance between the two.”
 Tim Hicks and Shane Chisholm  begin their show at 8:30 p.m. Tickets cost $20.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 24 September 2013 10:09 )  
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