As Canadian country music star Dallas Smith prepares to kick off what is arguably the biggest tour of his career, a trek that will be touching down in 26 cities before wrapping up in Abbotsford, B.C. next month, he can’t help but reflect on how building his career one brick at a time over the last five years has brought him to this point.
Last month, Smith brought home three Canadian Country Music Association Awards. The wins came for Album of the Year and Top-Selling Canadian Country Album of the Year for his latest record, 2016’s Side Effects, while his win in the Single of the Year category was for his hit song “Autograph.”
The singer also recently claimed his fourth No. 1 single at Canadian Country Radio with “Sky Stays This Blue,” a first for a Canadian male country artist.
With such significant milestones in his back pocket, some might argue Smith’s upcoming tour is simply just the natural progression of the career that kicked off with his 2012 solo debut Jumped Right In. While his 2014 release Lifted built on the momentum generated by his debut, it was Side Effects that has helped solidify Smith as a bonafide country superstar here in Canada.
That success doesn’t mean that he is immune to the pressures of mounting such a high-profile national tour, however.
“The logistics of mounting a tour like this can be pretty stressful, but I’m nothing but grateful for even being in a position to undertake a tour of this size. It’s exciting, but it’s also a bit nerve-wracking,” Smith says from his B.C. home in an interview last month.
“I’m fortunate that I’ve amassed a respectable catalogue of radio singles over the last five years, but over the last two years or so, we’ve been playing fewer shows, but for bigger audiences, so everything is great in that sense. I have total faith in my team that we aren’t biting off more than we can chew. It’s going to be an intense tour in terms of the amount of shows we are playing over such a concentrated amount of time, but every one of us is up to the challenge.”
Among the many highlights of Smith’s career to date was having the opportunity to open six shows for international star Keith Urban in Western Canada just over one year ago. The two first crossed paths at Ottawa’s Bluesfest in the summer of 2015.
“We played two shows with Keith that summer. I was direct support for him at Bluesfest, and noticed some of his band members hanging around watching our set. From what I’ve gathered, Keith’s band told him about our show, which resulted in him checking us out the second time we shared the stage.”
Noting that sometimes meeting your heroes can be an eye-opening experience, and not always a pleasant one at that, Smith says Urban’s down-to-earth attitude was refreshing.
“A lot of people caution against meeting your heroes, but I learned that what you see is what you get with Keith. The guy you see in interviews is the exact same guy whose hand you shake. In the music business, that’s always a pretty good indication of someone’s character.”
What: Dallas Smith, with special guests Cold Creek County
When: Saturday Oct. 14, 8 p.m.
Where: Casino New Brunswick, 21 Casino Dr., Moncton
The show is sold out