Emerson Drive arrives

The award-winning country band and their friends Doc Walker and Aaron Pritchett will perform at Salmon Arm's Shaw Centre, Thursday March 7.

Emerson Drive and Doc Walker perform at the Shaw Centre on Thursday, March 7. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Emerson Drive and Doc Walker perform at the Shaw Centre on Thursday, March 7. Doors open at 7 p.m.

They’re big on the country music scene and they’re coming to Salmon Arm.

Launching their Hitlist Tour, Emerson Drive, Doc Walker and special guest Aaron Pritchett will perform at the Shaw Centre March 7.

Bringing down the house night after night with songs from Emerson Drive’s fifth studio album, more than 20 top-10 tracks from Doc Walker and chart-toppers from Pritchett, the 2013 Hitlist Tour presents the strongest CMT hitlist lineup to date.

Emerson Drive has been part of the country music scene since they signed their first record deal in Nashville in 2001. The band’s first two singles peaked in the top five on the Billboard charts.

But it was their career-changing and moving Moments that gave the band their first No.  1 single in the U.S.

“We found the song, we’re always looked for outside material, diamonds in the rough,” says lead vocalist and founder of the band Brad Mates, noting a lot of music sits on shelves waiting to be picked up and the band believes in giving life to good lyrics. “We were lucky to find it, we knew it was a special song, but it was up to radio to agree or not.”

Mates says it was amazing to see reaction across the country, with many fans expressing how the song made an impact in their lives.

“It hit so many chords in so many people’s lives, it is a staple of the show,” he says, noting the video also had a huge impact on listeners and fans would rebel if the number was removed from the concert playlist.

Mates says he and Danick Dupelle (guitar and backup vocals) do most of the writing, able to feed off each other’s inspiration and ideas.

Mates, who grew up to the sound of country music, says the genre has changed a lot since he began singing 17 years ago, with a lot of numbers crossing different genres and growing many more fans.

“There’s so many more new people and the thing that wins people over is the lyrics – it’s life, it’s what people live every day and everyone can relate to life,” he says.

And what is life to Emerson Drive?

Well that has changed over the years too, laughs Mates, who says the young, single experience has morphed into marriage, parenthood and responsibility – something that has been reflected in the band’s music.

“What are we? A little bit of everything about growing up and the influences on our life,” he says. “I love that about our sound; it’s a lot of different outside influences. As a band you can’t recreate that, it’s something that is just there…”

Mates is also thrilled to be sharing the stage with another group that has been friends for some 18 years – Doc Walker – and the bands will perform their hit single Let it Roll.

“This is gonna be a unique tour – two bands, friends for 17 and 18 years, sharing a piece of their lives with folks,” says Mates. “I’m kind of excited, I look forward to seeing the audience’s reaction. Both they and us feed off live performance.”

And so does Aaron Pritchett, another longtime friend from the small country music community that spans the nation.

Tickets are available during business hours at the SilverBacks box office at 250-832-3856 or at www.silverbacks.com.


Salmon Arm Observer