Canadian country music star Brett Kissel was back in the Border City for a one-night show.
Kissel was at the Vic Juba Community Theatre, where he was was performing to raise money for the Lloydminster Community Youth Centre (LCYC).
Coming off a year of award win after win and touring with one of country’s hottest musicians, Brad Paisley, Kissel said that while 2014 was a superb year, 2015 will be great if not better than the last.
“It’s going to be a busy year, if not busier than 2014,” he said. “I was so happy that I got to relax because there isn’t going to be much R&R between now and the end of the year.
“We are going to go guns a blazing, especially when the new album comes out.”
Kissel said that his new album that brought him into the recording studio last month, will be coming out sometime in the late summer, potentially early fall.
Kissel was last in Lloydminster in October performing at the Ladies Night for the Lloydminster Region Health Foundation, and then went on tour with Paisley.
“It was a great way to kick off the tour, first for friends and family and long term supporters were at the Ladies Night, and most importantly for a great cause,” he said.
“For me to get to play that and get some of the pre-game jitters out, it was still an exhibition game.
“It was great to get that first concert out of the way and then the very next night perform with Brad (Paisley), in Victoria, B.C. I had no nerves and it was great.”
Kissel said that coming back to Lloydminster and helping a great organization like the LCYC was a special moment for him.
“When I heard about the history of the organization and back in 1994 community members said that something had to be done. And still to this day, sometimes I consider myself a youth even though I’m in my early 20s, but if there is a centre out there or a community support centre who can help out the younger generation I’m all for it,” he said.
“For me to get to play a show and help fundraise for a good cause is the best of both worlds.” As to why he comes back to Lloydminster, Kissel said that the Lakeland Region, and particularly Lloydminster, has been a big supporter of his music.
“This community and this region have been really, really good to me, and I have made a lot of friends here. One of the things is that Lloyd FM, the country music station, has done a great job promoting my music and the music of lots of my friends.
“This is a great country music market, as we all know there have been great concerts that have come through here, George Canyon was here in December, Tom Jackson’s Huron Carole was here, and here I get to do this fundraiser. It just goes to show that country artists, like myself, want to come to Lloydminster and country towns like it.”
During the concert, Kissel played a range of music, including from his own catalogue, some new songs that will be released on the new album expected out later this year and covers from artists he grew up listening to, including Garth Brooks, Johnny Cash, George Strait and Def Leppard.
“It’s the new year and it’s time for me to start celebrating how well we did with my last album.,” he said. “But I think also do my best to get people excited about the new music that will be on the album.”
Les Hansen, president and chair of the LCYC, said in an interview after the concert that having Kissel perform for the youth centre was a great way to promote the facility.
“It was an amazing concert, with Brett, with it being sold out,” Hansen said. “It was probably one of the best concerts the youth centre has put on since we started the concert series.”
Money raised during the night’s concert will go toward the operational costs of the LCYC, Hansen said “Money will go towards keeping the doors open,” he added. “Bringing Brett in was about giving residents a chance to see a country star in person, and raise money for the youth centre.”
Hansen said that he and the board will be getting together soon to discuss the highlights of the concert, as well as discuss what could be changed for next year’s concert.
“Our committee will be doing an assessment of this year’s concert, and what we can improve on for next year’s concert,” he said. “They will begin planning for next year soon after.”
Hansen said that getting an artist is always the first step in the process.
“That process could take a few months because some artists aren’t sure about their schedule, so it could take time to hammer down their schedule,” he said.
Previously, the LCYC has held concerts with Carolyn Dawn Johnson and George Canyon.