Country singer Jaydee Bixby is heading to Central Alberta to perform in support of a fundraiser for the MS Society.
The ‘Paint the Town Red Cabaret’ runs Jan. 21 at the Lacombe Memorial Centre. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with the concert set for 7:30 p.m.
It’s a packed night of activity, with DJ dancing and a two-step competition until 2 a.m.
Originally from Drumheller, Bixby, who later moved to Red Deer with his family released his latest CD Easy to Love last year. His debut disc, Cowboys and Cadillacs was released in 2008.
His career really began when he was a kid via being raised in a very musical family. His folks are performers themselves, and he grew up surrounded by the classic country sounds of Buck Owens, Johnny Cash and Buddy Holly to name a few. He started singing when he was just five years old and was performing with the family band by the time he was 10.
Following dreams of taking the big stage, Bixby paid many dues, most notably during a stint on Canadian Idol’s fifth season.
He made his mark on the show, and has been cultivating a loyal following of fans since.
Penning virtually all the tunes on his last CD, Bixby has clearly found the vehicle for both his voice and ambition.
“I always thought you had to be born a writer,” he says. “I was a frustrated 14 year-old kid trying to write songs, not understanding why they didn’t sound like the ones I loved. I was trying to write about what I thought people wanted to hear.
“But the secret is to write about what you go through; what you want to hear. Everyone will have had those experiences and they can relate. That’s what Easy to Love is all about: I just had to find what I can write about: life.”
Collaborating also proved to be a goldmine when it came to the disc’s formation. Bixby co-wrote with Nashville’s best ranging from Anthony L. Smith and Gill Grant to Ralph Murphy and David Klinger.
“The album features so much great stuff because we were bouncing ideas off one another,” he says. “Something that didn’t connect with one of us inspired the other. It’s a lot smoother and I find I’m the hook-line guy. I can come up with a hook and build a song around it, which was how a lot of Easy to Love came about.”
For Bixby, music isn’t just an artform, it offers a means of expression and comfort. “Music is a stress-release; escapism from the realities of life,” he asserts. “When you go to a concert, are you worrying about paying your bills the next day? When people hear this album, they won’t be thinking about responsibilities and life. They’ll have a great time with some honest music.
“If everybody leaves my shows or hears my albums forgetting about their difficulties and feeling great, I’ve done my job.”
Meanwhile, Bixby is pleased to lend his support to the MS Society. The disease is described a chronic, often disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord. It is also the most common neurological disease of young adults in Canada.
Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 40, and its unpredictable effects last for the rest of their lives. Symptoms include vision disturbances, extreme fatigue, coordination problems, pain, depression, bladder and bowel problems and short term memory loss.
According to the MS Society, Canadians have one of the highest rates of multiple sclerosis in the world. MS is also the most common neurological disease affecting young adults in Canada. Every day, three more people in Canada are diagnosed with MS, and women are more than three times as likely to develop MS as men.
As for Bixby, touring is clearly where his heart is. “I’m all about the live show. And that was the mindset going into writing the new album. Let’s think live show. Let’s think about the audience.”
His latest CD certainly resonates with themes of love, but Bixby has dug deeper into what makes him tick as an artist and a young man.
“To have the opportunity to take the experiences I’ve had, sit down with some of my values, look at things that happen in the world and what I garnered from my parents and put it into music makes it way more personal to me.”
For Bixby, it all boils down to the foundational things in life. “Everybody around me right now is allowing me to do what I’m doing,” he says gratefully. “My fans, family and friends mean everything to me.
“I’m grateful I have these fans and as long as they’re around, I’ll keep performing if they let me with all my heart.”
Tickets are available the MS Society (Central Alberta chapter) at #105, 4807 – 50 Ave. They can also be purchased Head Hunters Day Spa & Salon in Lacombe.