Amero heading back on the road
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While country music artist Don Amero has always gone out of his way to deliver engaging live performances, he hasn’t embarked on a massive tour since 2019.
However, that’s all about to change starting Sunday, since he will be taking part in the Home-Town Hoedown Tour with Tim and the Glory Boys, which includes stops in Manitoba cities such as Brandon (Oct. 14), Winkler (Oct. 15) and Winnipeg (Oct. 16).
“Honestly, I feel like I have to go through the checklist from 2019 to figure out how to do this again,” Amero told the Sun Wednesday morning. “But yeah, it’s nice to be back.”
Of course, the 42-year-old musician hasn’t been completely deprived of live shows since the COVID-19 pandemic emerged two and a half years ago. Instead, he has managed to book in-person performances here and there as public health restrictions gradually loosened up across the province.
Amero even visited the Riverbank Discovery Centre grounds last June to celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day, and his own Cree/Métis heritage, here in Brandon.
However, this upcoming tour is on a completely different scale, since it involves traversing 25 venues across British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario within the space of six weeks.
As someone who has spent much of the last couple years raising his kids at home, Amero admits that this new schedule might take a little time to get used to, although he’s totally up to the challenge.
“I’m quite eager to get back on the road and connect with folks again,” he said. “I feel like there’s an increased excitement for live music more than ever before.”
Amero is no stranger to the Canadian country music landscape, having released nine albums since emerging on the scene in the mid-2000s.
Throughout that time, Amero has attracted his fair share of industry attention, recently being named Male Artist of the Year at the 2021 Manitoba Country Music Association Awards.
The musician partially credits Brandon for helping him along on his journey, since he frequented various venues within the city to fine tune his signature on-stage storytelling style.
“I played at Lady of the Lake many times when I was first starting. I played the Brandon Folk Festival twice, I believe,” he said on Wednesday. “For me, Brandon is my home away from home because it’s just down the road from where I live in Winnipeg. So [this tour] feels like a bit of a homecoming for me.”
Amero will also be using the next couple months to roll out new episodes of his podcast, which debuted earlier this month with interviews featuring musicians Robb Nash and Dallas Smith.
Calling this new project “Through the Fire,” Amero is hoping that these conversations centring on successful artists overcoming adversity will give listeners the encouragement they need to face their own demons, which is especially important now that the world has lived under the shadow of COVID-19 for almost three years.
On a personal level, Amero said he believes this new podcast also presents him with a totally different experience as a performer, since he gets to jettison his own ego in favour of letting the guests take charge.
“I think we’re doing a good job so far and we definitely want to keep doing that and keep this show rolling for hopefully a good long time.”
Once the tour wraps up in mid-November, Amero doesn’t plan on slowing down for the rest of the year.
Outside of working on new music and publishing a children’s book by Christmas, the Winnipeg-based musician is also hoping to join the CP Holiday Train and help raise money for local food banks.
And while a new album is probably a year away at this point, Amero is just happy to perform in front of people on a massive scale again, especially after such a lengthy hiatus.
“I think there’s a lot of audiences across the country that still haven’t seen me live,” he said.
“People might hear a song or hear what I can do in a recording studio, but I really pride myself as a live performer and entertainer. So … gaining a few fans through the Tim and the Glory Boys tour is definitely what I’m out there to do.”
Amero is scheduled to perform alongside Tim and the Glory Boys at McDiarmid Drive Alliance Church in Brandon at 7 p.m. on Oct. 14. Tickets can be purchased online through Eventbrite.
» Twitter: @KyleDarbyson