It is all about realization and growth for rising Canadian country singer Kelly Prescott, both with her personal life and her career.
Prescott, a native of Ottawa, is currently on tour with Alan Doyle (former front of Great Big Sea). The tour includes stops in Lethbridge Feb. 25 and Medicine Hat Feb. 26.
“I am so lucky to be touring with him. I have gratitude through the roof,” explains the amiable Prescott. “(Doyle) is a Canadian icon and one of the greatest performers of this generation. So grateful, I know lots of artists who wanted to be on this tour.”
Just off a U.S. tour with former Matchbox 20 lead guitarist Kyle Cook, Prescott is excited about touring Canada. She released a new single Church on Valentine’s Day and her new EP Love Wins was released Feb. 21. Love Wins is her second solo effort.
“I have actually been writing these songs for years,” says Prescott who signed with music label and went to Nashville about half a decade ago. “I got sidetracked and went to Nashville, but maybe was not the best thing (for my music). They wanted to make me into something I wasn’t. I needed to reconnect with my roots and it was nice to come home.
“…Nashville didn’t really know me. I thought I’d give it a try and I was glad I did, but it was all about trying to make me radio- friendly. It was cool to play a different character when I was down there but I never felt authentic… I wanted to make the music I wanted to (with Love Wins). It was all about honesty and staying true to my roots. I poured my heart into this.”
She recorded this latest collection with her band in an Ottawa studio and she said while Love Wins recording was not “polished” —generically radio-friendly like maybe it would’ve been in Nashville, Love Wins is more “authentic and organic.”
This authenticity was important to her because the new EP songs are all about her own deep emotional pain, life lessons, growth from the hurting but finally love triumphing.
Prescott went through a rough patch as she separated (and later divorced) from her husband in 2016. It was a tough time as her music career was also going through a challenging time. However, she was able to get both on track and has been with her current boyfriend for three years.
“These songs came from a real place, career and life’s up and downs, picking up the pieces and then falling in love again,” says Prescott about the rawness of the songs’ lyrics.
For example, in the classic country-sounding Church, you can hear the hurt in Prescott’s voice talking about the break-up of her marriage: “Maybe if I was stronger, I could’ve stayed by your side; you could’ve done something to change my mind; I’ll take the blame, that’s fine.”
As part of a 34-stop tour, the duo will be in Lethbridge (Yates Memorial Centre/Sterndale Bennett Theatre) Feb. 25 and Medicine Hat Feb. 26 Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre — both at 8 p.m. Fans will get a chance to see Prescott in much warmer and comfy surroundings as they last time they saw her, she was part of the CP Holiday Train initiative, something near and dear to her heart.
Her mom Tracey Brown and dad Randall Prescott who were members of the Canadian country icons Family Brown, operate Rip Roar Music, an event production company which has worked with the CP Holiday Train program for years. Kelly Prescott not only performs on the train, but is Holiday Train’s music and tour director. She is inspired by the work done on local levels and says she talks with many of the food bank representatives along the way and knows the Train’s importance both from a practical point of view and for those 30 minutes of free, live entertainment fans can experience.
Performing-wise it is unique as they are constantly moving on a train stopping multiple times a day, giving it their all performance-wise on an open rail car, bearing the elements for 30 minutes and off again to the next venue. Not to mention battling the winter elements is unforgettable.
“It’s an experience like none other,” says Prescott adding it was fun being on stage with her best friend Meghan Patrick. “It is so worth it. You try to keep in mind the people who have come out and are all bundled up. Whether it is the first show on the tour or number 70, you have to go out and perform.”
Prescott comes by it honestly. Her family is a three generational country music legends. Her grandfather Joe Brown toured with his band Hillbilly Jewels which not coincidentally was the name of Prescott’s successful 2016 release.
Prescott acknowledges the classic country icons in her past and respects the music made decades ago. She says a lot of her influences include Roger Miller and Emmylou Harris who she portrayed in a theatrical production of Grievous Angel: The Legend. of Gram Parsons while touring in the U.S. with Cook.
Prescott is happy for the new release and can’t wait to share it.
“It feels so right and a sense of relief to get it out there in the open,” says Prescott. “Want people to know they are not the only ones hurting or are going through tough times. I hope it resonates with people.”
For more on Prescott, please see www.kellyprescottmusic.com