On the heels of a hit new single Worth a Shot, country star Aaron Pritchett is gearing up to hit the Westerner Days stage next month.
Pritchett, who performs July 18th on the Centrium mainstage, continues to churn out gritty yet polished, modern country tunes while refusing to abandon the sincerity that has been his trademark with cuts like Dirt Road In ‘Em, Let’s Get Rowdy and Hold My Beer.
He’s also appealed to the softer side with hits like Done You Wrong and his top five smash When A Momma’s Boy Meets A Daddy’s Girl.
“I was always surrounded by music, but not because of my parents playing or the family influence that way,” he explained during a recent interview. “My dad was a singer when he was younger but he never really pursued it or anything like that.
“But I was surrounded by music – when I was younger, I grew up with Motown and a lot of Elvis Presley influence – sort of that kind of vein. But not country at all.”
But when a guy by the name of Randy Travis released his landmark CD Always & Forever back in 1987, Pritchett was struck by the compelling sound that was reflected via his music.
“I heard that Randy Travis song Forever and Ever, Amen. I remember thinking, why is this different? There was something about him – he had this charisma, this interesting sound, this deep voice.
“I bought the album and I was hooked. And after that I was listening to a lot of country radio, hearing guys like Travis Tritt, Diamond Rio. All of these cool bands started coming out, and they were progressive from what country was known as.
“So from there, it sort of took off. That’s also about when Garth Brooks came along and changed the world of country music.”
Still, Pritchett didn’t really see his own music career launch until he was in his 20s.
In early adulthood, his life followed a more domestic path. He married at 19 and was a father by the time he was 20.
“I had to sink or swim – I was doing everything from being a waiter to carpet laying and cleaning, working at a gas station.”
But he did find his way with a little bit of luck and as he puts it, “Listening to my instincts and going with what I believed was a better option, which I thought was being a singer.”
Pritchett eventually worked as a DJ in a club in Pitt Meadows, B.C. “I was playing with my band a bit as well, so we started playing there regularly and we were later asked to do a Sunday night thing.”
Step by step, it was becoming clear Pritchett had a gift to entertain a packed house. From there, he was pretty much unstoppable.
His most recent disc – The Score – was released shortly after Pritchett opened multiple shows for Garth Brooks.
The first single Dirt Road In ‘Em landed inside the top 10 on the country radio singles chart, and the next single Out Of The Blue scored a top 15 spot at radio in late 2016.
The aforementioned When A Momma’s Boy Meets A Daddy’s Girl soared to number five on the Canadian country singles chart and was the number one most played Canadian track as well.
“You are always trying to advance, develop and progress,” he says of the stream of projects he’s released over the years.
“I’ve always said I’m not the best singer in the world, I’m not the best guitar player, I’m not the best songwriter – but I try to be the best entertainer that I can be. That includes putting out music that I know the fans are really going to bounce around to. That’s what I’ve gone for with Let’s Get Rowdy, Hold My Beer, Light it Up and Worth a Shot.
“Country Music always appealed to my soul because the songs (also) tackled subject matter that may have been taboo for other formats and told real stories about real people,” he explained.
“It’s everything to me – I’m a huge fan of music and I’m a huge fan of ‘live’ music. And I’m a huge fan of artists who are good people as well as great artists onstage and offstage. It’s also all about the fans.
“Making them happy is really my goal,” he said. “That’s really what keeps driving me.”