On June 18th Jaycee Ballpark in St. Paul will be roaring with Brett Kissel’s Hometown Homecoming. The country music sensation announced he will be returning to his roots in mid-June and bringing some major talent, Charlie Major. Kissel, who made the announcement at the Garlic Dome in St. Paul on Tuesday, says being able to perform in front of the home crowd is something truly special.
We’re going to party under the stars and mark my words, it’s going to be the biggest party, for country music, this town has ever seen! – Brett Kissel
“I love the town of St. Paul, very much. They’ve been so good to me over the course of my career,” Kissel says to be able to share his success with his family and friends is what it’s all about, “to be able to share this with the town is going to be very special.” People from the area can share in Kissel’s success because they watched him grow as a performer, quite literally. Kissel has been performing at Lakeland area venues since he was 10 years old. It may seem like a whirlwind ride to an outsider, but the hometown crowd knows there’s over a decade of hard work, determination, and that never-give-up-spirit that fosters in small town, rural Alberta.
“It was a great advantage to me, to be from a small town,” Kissel says the support of the community was intense, “to have that support of the community and the surrounding community; the whole Lakeland area, as a whole, to support me in the way that they have, was a huge advantage for my career. I can never take that for granted and I’m always very appreciative of that.”
It was a huge leg up to be from a small town and that’s why I’m circling back around. I’m 25 and I have an opportunity to come back, it really feels good! – Brett Kissel
Mayor of St. Paul, Glenn Andersen, said at the concert announcement he really pushed to support the concert, “I went to Council and I said, ‘you have to support this.'” Joking that Council was sworn to secrecy to not spoil the announcement, “they did very well keeping it a secret,” which can be tough in a small town.
“We wanted to do [this concert] specifically in St. Paul, because we have such deep roots. Keynon (Ternovoy, co-producer of the event) and I have deep roots; country music fans here have supported Calvin Vollrath for many years, you’ve supported me and my career for many, many years. So, it was a no-brainer to do it here. We couldn’t be happier that Town Council, without really knowing how we were going to do it, gave us the green light.”
Kissel is coming home with a lot to celebrate, since winning Breakthrough Artist of the Year at the 2014 Junos and moving to Nashville. Kissel has won four Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) Awards and three Association of Country Music In Alberta Awards. Over Easter weekend, Kissel sang the National Anthem at the Maple Leafs game and got a shout out from Don Cherry on Coaches Corner, “To get that kind of shout out, especially being a hockey fan was huge!” Kissel said beaming as if reliving the moment in his mind.
A shout out from the man, Don Cherry, would floor a lot of people, but the white whale for Kissel was opening three shows for Garth Brooks in Hamilton over the weekend. “Over the course of last weekend, I opened for my hero, Garth Brooks. To be on stage with him, and then for him to call me out to sing with him on stage, was what Cloud 9 actually feels like.” Kissel perform a Garth classic, Callin’ Baton Rouge, a tune Kissel is known for covering in his shows, but assures Garth his catelogue is well covered, should the mega star ever need a steady duet partner. “He should know, that if he was to ever call me out, for any of his songs, I’d be ready to go!”
If Garth ever wanted me to sing any of his songs, I know them all, I’M READY! – Brett Kissel
Kissel has a lot to celebrate in his personal life as well, married his longtime love and local gal, Cecilia Friesen on Canada Day 2011. Cecilia and Brett welcomed a baby girl, Mila in January, “it’s given me the opportunity to work harder and work smarter, because [I] have to take care of these two very important people. I love them both very much, and they travel with me, everywhere I go. They’re very supportive and they’ll be here, in St. Paul for the concert.”
Kissel is known for being open and interactive with his fans, in fact he won the 2015 CCMA for Interactive Artist of the Year. Sharing pictures of behind the scenes action on tour, crowd shots from concerts, and 15 second instagram pics of Mila is not uncommon for the musician. “Social media gives us a great advantage to really connect with everybody. If you get to know me, we can go out for a drink, a bite to eat, and really that’s the type of person I am. It’s important that we live that lifestyle of being open.”
Kissel may come back to St. Paul with even more to celebrate, he’s nominated for Country Album of the Year at the Junos, which will be presented in Calgary April 3rd.
For Hometown Homecoming tickets and information, visit brettkisselhomecoming.com. You can purchase your tickets locally at the Town of St. Paul office, Richardson’s Jewellery or Power Merchants. Tickets are $30 and the concert is rain or shine.