If you think country music appeals only to those in cowboy boots and stressed-leather vests, think again.
Nashville-based country rock band Blackjack Billy is one of three bands to hit the stage at the Capital Exhibit Centre in Fredericton this week for the Bands on the Run Tour.
“We get a lot of people [at shows] who have a very different taste in music, and they’ve reacted very well,” said Rob Blackledge, bassist and vocalist for Blackjack Billy. “It’s something you can feel and move to — if you don’t like the first two songs there’s a good chance you’ll like the third one.”
The first leg of the tour kicks off in Fredericton at the Capital Exhibit Centre this Thursday, and continues through five Canadian provinces until its last stop in Vancouver.
Blackledge, now 30, has been in the music business since he was 18. He compares being on tour to being out at sea on an epic journey, saying it’s all or nothing when it comes to committing to the tour. He says his band members are in the same boat.
“We’re, as a band, just now figuring out how to do it really well,” said Blackledge. “It’s a super exciting lifestyle, and we actually like each other so it makes it that much easier.”
Each member’s musical influences are what make up Blackjack Billy’s unconventional sound. He describes their sound as something that comes naturally with a “really cool upbeat guitar riff that would spawn a really fun, kind of scatty energetic melody,” rather than planning out their songs to sound like certain artists like Aerosmith or AC/DC.
Doc Walker and The Road Hammers will be joining Blackjack Billy for the Bands on the Run Tour. Other than the impending snowy weather, Blackledge says he’s more than excited to be bringing their energy to the Maritimes.
“I get really restless at home. I love change and I love going from one place to another place,” he said. “I love going to bed at night knowing I’m going to wake up tomorrow morning [with] a new set of buildings and a new set of people.”
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