Chad’s Blog

Dierks Bentley Tour 2012

Dierks Bentley Tour 2012

 

It’s 20 below and I’m standing in the middle of a Canadian winter. The wind is swirling snow directly into my face as I step off the bus. I can barely see where I’m walking, but I know that I’m exactly where I’m suppose to be…

It’s the Dierks Bentley “Country and Cold Cans Tour 2012” and I’m about to open the show in front of a sold out arena. This is the first time playing in a building like this without a sheet of ice in it.

“10 minutes to show time”. This is the moment where butterflies overtake my entire stomach. I pace back and forth, sing a couple lines, and take a few deep breaths. Excitement and anticipation become the theme of my emotions.

“5 minutes”. The band starts to make their way out to the side of the stage.

“2 minutes”. The MC grabs his mic and starts to walk on the stage. The crowd starts to buzz in anticipation as the arena goes dim and the spotlight shines bright.

“30 seconds”. I start to sway side to side like I’m standing on the blue-line in my hockey gear waiting for the National Anthem to finish.

“1,2,3,4.” My drummer Corbett counts in Carried Away….It’s go time!!

I can’t really put into words what happens next. It’s like I step into a different realm and get swept away by the energy and joy that people are giving off. It’s a moment that I try to soak in as much as I can, but I know in 40 minutes it’s all gonna be over. However, it feels more like 4 minutes to me.

I look in the front row to see a girl singing at the top of her lungs like she’s been waiting to sing this song her whole life.

A few rows back I see a guy in a cowboy hat, dip in his bottom lip, raising a beer to the sky in a toast to the melodies my guitar player Hayley is pulling out of her…..amp. The place is alive!!

Here is to all of you that came out to support Dierks and I on this tour! You were nothing less than amazing and made memories out of these last two weeks that I will forever replay in my mind. You’re the reason we do what we do and why we leave home to play our music. Thanks for making all of this so worth it.

Here is a fun video that Dierks and his crew put together after the tour. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to hit the road with.

Ps The prank at the end is amazing….I was completely stunned!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdsjAPW0DV4&feature=youtu.be

 

~CB

 

Tim Thomas

Annually the Stanley Cup Champions are invited to the White House in celebration of their success, an opportunity arguably thousands of individuals would desire.  During the occasion, the President usually picks out a few key players to talk about and then congratulates the team on their achievements. The only glitch this year was that one of those “key players”, for political reasons, decided not to go.

Tim Thomas is one of the NHL’s top goaltenders (to much of the opposing teams chagrin) but also a bit of a political activist.  As an American citizen, he does not stand behind the current administration that is steering his country, nor does he stand behind either party for that matter. He feels the problem is consistent throughout. So, Thomas decided to take the option on this trip. Where the real argument lies is whether or not his actions were disrespectful to his teammates or of a greater movement all together.

Here is his quote, perhaps this will provide you with a better sense of where his heart is at:

“I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People.

This is being done at the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial level. This is in direct opposition to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers vision for the Federal government.

Because I believe this, today I exercised my right as a Free Citizen, and did not visit the White House. This was not about politics or party, as in my opinion both parties are responsible for the situation we are in as a country. This was about a choice I had to make as an individual.”

Whether you agree with what he said or not, the man makes sense. Thomas obviously feels his fellow citizens are being mistreated and wants to use his voice to make a difference. Shouldn’t this type of behavior be encouraged instead of criticized?

His decision only seems like a big deal because it’s rare to see professional athletes take such action.  If Thomas were noticeably ignorant in his reasons for not attending then I would have a hard time supporting him, but he is not. His quote is professional, calculated, and frankly it makes sense.

However, the argument still remains; did he abandon his team?

If you look at this situation from a traditional sense it would look as if he broke “the code” of hockey ethics and selfishly turned his back on his teammates. But let’s open our minds for a moment and exercise the fact that maybe he was simply being human in a world that’s only beginning to accept this kind of movement.

Anyone who stands his or her ground, in a true belief, for the betterment of humanity is courageously making a difference. So maybe it’s time we all take a step outside the box and evaluate what’s really going on in the world around us. I believe it is in this place, that clarity can be found.

~CB

A New Chapter

A lot has happened since my last blog, and I have to apologize for being so absent on here. I promise to post at least once a week to keep you informed on what is going on. I might even post something completely irrelevant to music just to keep you on your toes!

I’ve been using Twitter a lot lately so if you have an account feel free to follow me because I will post these blogs on there to keep everyone in the loop.

It has been a busy summer with touring and I first off have to thank ALL of you that came out to our shows and supported country music in Canada (and of coarse those in the US for my small but mighty following down there!). I’ve said it before and I will say it again; none of us could do what we do without the support of our fans! You guys are the foundation to which we stand on. If you keep coming to shows then I promise to keep bringing you music! Deal? Ok!

Now that I’ve gotten all that off my chest here is an update on what is to come!

Fall is basically here and it is time to get into the studio to finish recording the new album. (Which I am EXTREMELY excited for). It is going to have a bit of a different vibe than the first, but I feel it defines me more as the artist I am evolving into. My latest single off the upcoming album “Love Me Or Leave Me”, is a perfect example of this. You can catch that song on country radio across Canada right now or you can grab it on iTunes tomorrow (October 4th)!!!

Side-note: Thanks to Radio it was the #1 most added song in Canada and #3 across all genres! I’m very humbled and fortunate to be having such amazing support. Thank you Country Radio!!

Well that’s the latest! Keep checking the website for upcoming shows and tour dates so we don’t miss each other the next time we swing through your town!

Cheers!

~Chad

Trail In Life

You’re 5 years old, and sitting in your very first day of Elementary School. The teacher calls attendance and you slowly start to learn everyone’s name. Although, at that age it really only takes hearing someone’s name once or twice before you have it etched in your tiny little memory bank. It’s not like there are any other “Dylan’s” or “Tracy’s” you have to confuse them with, because you’ve only been on this earth for half a decade.

You look to your left and see the person that will soon become your best friend. The one you invite over to play street hockey and O.D. on sugar with until finally passing out face down in your sleeping bags.  The one person you think will always be there for you until the end of time…That is, until High School comes crashing through like a wrecking ball into an abandoned warehouse. People now look different, act different, and smell different. Even your best friend was different.

You now find yourself standing in a circle unlike the one you’ve always known with new faces, new words, new feelings, and a whole new set of friends. Life sure changed in what felt like an instant.

Those years come and go and you find yourself sitting in a lecture hall preparing yourself for a final exam that will potentially propel you into the “real world”. And that circle you use to stand in at High School? Well, it’s more like a couple of dots that include one or two of your closest friends you actually kept in touch with through University.

Weren’t we just sitting in our Grade 1 class learning how to tie our shoes?  Weren’t we just singing songs about farm animals and the alphabet? If only we could have been able to comprehend time, and our teachers knew a way to explain how fast it really goes. But then again, that might have robbed us of some precious innocence.

Looking back it almost feels like a different life, and in a way it was. As we grow older we change. Some for better, some for worse.

In my case I moved away from home at the age of 17. Hockey was my one true love. I left it all behind: Friends, family, and the place that I called home. My passion was driving me so intently that I seldom looked back. It was a force so strong that I couldn’t help but feed it. I was going to play in the NHL and there was no other way around it.

I went from Junior to College and then finally Pro, all the while forming new friendships along the way. There were some I would keep in touch with and some I have yet to speak a word to since I left. I guess this is just how guys are: Seldom picking up the phone to catch up. I really hope there are no ill feelings for my lack of communication. I guess life just happens, and before you know it’s been 3 years since we last talked.

I guess the reason for all of this is to let those people that have touched my life know that I often think of them. If you are one of those people that are reading this right now I want you to know that each and every one of you have made an impact in my life whether it be big or small. My only regret is not telling you this enough.

My whole life I have been a dream chaser, now chasing/living a dream of music. I really can’t envision it being any different. I’ve often said that life is too short to do anything besides what you love to do. Unfortunately, this motto has caused me to lose touch with some of the people I had grown so close to.

My only hope is that whatever path you have been traveling on, that it has been good to you. If some day our lives end up down the same road yet again, then I hope we can continue from where we left off. (Unless of coarse that was singing songs about farm animals and the alphabet, then we can always start somewhere else).

If I didn’t quite say the words I was trying to say I hope this song by Dean Brody helps explain it a little better.

“Sometimes I wonder what it would have been like, if we had wandered the same path in life”

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODbBHYIQcGg

Hope everyone is well!

Chad Brownlee

Something To Tweet About

Five years ago I wasn’t signing in to my Twitter account so I could tweet. I wasn’t posting videos on youtube for the whole world to see. And I wasn’t updating my status on the king of all social media sites; Facebook.

I feel I am old enough to know what life was like before social media really took a strangle hold on society, yet young enough to be able to ride the wave and speak its language. Although, it seems even pets are starting up their own accounts these days.

I hope I’m not the only one that has a love-hate relationship for this endless supply of cyber stimulus. And now with smart phones we can be anywhere at any time without having to cut our Internet umbilical cord. I’m still trying to figure out if this is a healthy diet or not.

Don’t get me wrong though, I am very grateful to be a part of this era in the sense that my music can reach out to more people than ever before. If someone hears my song on the radio they can now “Shazam” it from their iPhone and it will tell them what song it is. We can find the answer to almost anything we want, it’s just a matter of typing in the right keywords.

What you can’t do, however, is find a real life experience through a computer screen. You could watch Garth Brooks sing Baton Rouge to a crowd of thousands, but what if you were sitting in the front row of that show?  Heart pounding, eyes wide open, wearing a smile that you didn’t even know you were wearing because you were so darn happy to be alive! THAT is a real life experience. A moment you can take with you forever.

Garth may not be doing those things these days, but I have been to enough shows here in Canada to know that you don’t have to go far to see great entertainment. Doc Walker, Dean Brody, Johnny Reid, Ridley Bent, are just a few of Canada’s talented artists I have seen perform live. Each one of them gave me an experience that has made me a life long fan. An experience I would have never had if I wasn’t there. And that’s something to tweet about…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yezW7c_Qe8E&NR=1

“Oh Canada”

This past Sunday I was lucky enough to set foot on an NFL field to sing the national anthem. The Seattle Seahawks were playing against the Carolina Panthers, and before the game they honored us neighbors to the North. I really don’t remember too much while I was singing because I think I went to a different place. With 65,000 eyeballs staring at me, I started to think if I brought an extra set of underwear.

Fortunately, it was well received and I wont be on the latest top 10 list of flubbed anthems. Let’s hope it stays that way…

Check out this cool video we put together and hopefully it will give you a sense of the atmosphere.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4wTVIYCGXI

For The Love Of The Game

I was reminded a week ago why I quit hockey to play music. Not that I need constant reminding, but it was just one of those moments that makes you say, “this is what it’s all about.”

We were on our way to the gig in Edmonton when Hayley McLean (my kick-ass guitar player) said, “I’ve got a good feeling about tonight” and I had to agree with her. There was just this electricity in the air that you couldn’t deny.

We opened up for Aaron Lines at a place called Bar None. It was put on for all the Agriculture college students at the U of A, and it was the most fun I have ever had on stage. Jo Hikk came on before us and they always know how to get the crowd fired up.

During our set, I looked out into the audience and saw people singing along to almost every song. All the while, dancing carefree wearing a genuine smile on their face. If you are an artist/musician/entertainer/etc and don’t realize how cool that is, you are doing it for the wrong reasons. The fans give back what you give to them. You can’t expect people to love you for just being there, because chances are they won’t catch you when you fall. (Metaphorically speaking of course, unless you are into crowd surfing).

When I was playing in my last year of hockey, I was putting my skates on without a purpose. There was no drive, no love for the game, and that was no way I wanted to spend my life. Last Saturday let me know that I’m right where I’m supposed to be…

The Road to Music

This being my first blog, I figured I would give a quick introduction to better understand the person behind the words…

Three years ago, if you asked me what my ultimate goal was, I probably wouldn’t have said “Country Music Singer”. I had just graduated from Minnesota State University with a Psychology degree in my back pocket, and was preparing for my first NHL camp with the Vancouver Canucks. The things I had worked so hard for my whole life were now becoming a reality.

Lets go back even further for a moment…

It’s Christmas 2002, and sitting under the tree is a brand new guitar. I’ll never forget pulling it out of its case and not knowing what the heck to do with it. I was determined to learn how to play. So, when I wasn’t playing hockey I was practicing that 6 string. Of course along with all the other things junior hockey players do, like, reading and….arts and crafts. Ya that sounds about right!

As time went on, I got further and further into my hockey career, but never left that old guitar behind. It was my release. My sanity. A place where there were no rules, no stress, and no limitations. I could write songs about how I felt and what was on my mind. I began to carve myself into a more confident songwriter, but still never saw myself doing it professionally.

As my love for music grew, the opposite was happening with hockey. After already having surgery on both my shoulders, I re-injured one of them half way through my first pro season. It didn’t help, that as a rookie, I was the team grocery stick. (Player that sits in the middle of the bench the whole game separating the defensemen from the forwards). So, as that season drew to an end, so did my career. It was time to take the reigns and steer my life in a new direction. Down a road to who I truly am: The road to music.

…CB