Touring Insights from Road Gold Winner, Dean Brody
2016 has seen British Columbia-born country artist Dean Brody continue an impressive string of musical achievements. Earlier this month, Dean was nominated for the Fan Choice Award at the JUNOS and took home Best Country Album for his latest Open Road recording, Gypsy Road.
In March, Dean picked up two Road Gold awards at CIMA’s Toronto offices, commemorating his popular 2014 and 2015 national tours.
Road Gold is presented to artists who achieve marked success on national tours over a period of 12 months. It offers a new metric for appreciating the passion, dedication and drive that sustain many Canadian artists’ and bands’ careers.
Dean showed more of his well-honed live skills by performing at the 2016 JUNOS in Calgary. His rendition of “Bring Down the House” (off Gypsy Road) can be seen below:
Gypsy Road is Dean’s most personal and original collection of songs to date. It calls on his diverse musical influences, eclectic storytelling abilities, and proficiency with multiple instruments – including even a ukulele on tracks like “Upside Down”.
Dean originally hails from Jaffray, British Columbia. He has fostered an exciting career through non-stop touring, bringing his passionate music to audiences across Canada, major country markets like Nashville, and the rest of the world. Dean recently spoke with CIMA, reflecting on the experiences he’s had as a touring artist in Canada:
What was your initial reaction to finding out you were going to be Road Gold-certified?
Surprised for sure. I hadn't given much thought to actual touring numbers over the years. I think it's because when we're working on a tour, were thinking about production, media, fan interactions, social media, etc. So this was really cool to learn about.
What’s the hardest part of being on tour, and what’s the most rewarding part?
The most difficult aspect of touring is getting good sleep! Some guys sleep like babies on the bus, me… not so much. The most rewarding part is performing for my fans each night, there's nothing quite like it.
What advice would you give to other bands, who might one day want to find themselves in your shoes?
I'd say, As much as it depends on you, try and treat your crew like the awesome people they are. As performers- me and the band get most of the limelight, but without the crew, we'd be playing a kitchen party on the concrete floor of an arena!
Strangest place(s) you’ve found yourselves staying the night on the road?
We were doing a show in Michigan and stayed in a really sketch Red Roof Inn. My guitar player had blood in his tub and I've had blood stains on my carpet before too come to think of it... But that Red Roof Inn night wasn't too bad for me other than a roach or two but I don't mind roaches. Those were the days!
Have you ever experienced a “Road Miracle,” where against all odds you loaded in to a venue as planned?
I have the most amazing crew, they've pulled off a few of those "miracles" over the past tours. You cannot underestimate the value of a dedicated crew!
What’s the biggest misconception your friends and family have about tour life?
That it's easy for me. I'm a pretty quiet guy, so being the centre of attention is a strange place for me to be in. I still get pretty nervous before a show, most of the day really. It's a challenge, but it's worth it because I'm able to share music with my fans.
Any golden rules of advice for young bands who are just getting started in the biz and on the road?
I think it's important to be compatible as a band, to be able to be buds. That will help get you through the monotonous days of a long tour, and hopefully, they'll be part of some of the best memories of your life.
Keep track of Dean’s upcoming tour dates – and further tales from the road – at deadbrody.com, as well as on social media:
Launched in the summer of 2015, Road Gold is a new certification program that establishes an important industry standard for success that includes a band or artists’ accomplishments in Canadian touring. The inaugural recipients of Road Gold certification are: USS (Coalition Music), Big Wreck (SRO-Anthem) and Matt Andersen (True North Records).
The Road Gold certification is awarded by CIMA through an online application process. To learn more about Road Gold please click here.