Brody stops at Casino Rama May 5
Dean Brody performing at Boots and Hearts 2016 in Oro-Medonte. Patrick Bales/The Packet & Times
Canadian country music fans are able to set their watches by when Dean Brody releases a new record.
For the past eight years, Brody has put out a new album about every 18 months, from his self-titled debut in 2009 to last fall's Beautiful Freakshow.
Another might not be too far behind.
"I was just in Mexico for a couple of weeks and wrote six or seven songs," he said in an interview last week. "You just get on these little streaks, where you're like 'well, OK, I guess we could do another album if we wanted to.' So, we'll probably start the next album this summer."
But before you hear any of those tunes, Brody is facing down a tour in support of Beautiful Freakshow, taking him across the country, playing 26 shows in about six weeks. The run begins April 25 in Hamilton, before hitting Casino Rama May 5.
With such a vast catalogue in such a short period of time, part of the pre-tour preparation is creating a set list that has that right mix of new album promotion and and all the songs people will travel a good distance to hear. The peril of any successful musician, particularly those already on album number six, is cutting a classic hit for a new song.
It's a good problem to have.
"I remember when we just had one song, and you had to do a 75-90 minute show," Brody recalled. "It isn't that long, now, looking back, in hindsight. But with just one song people are familiar with, you have to fill up the rest of your show with covers and make it exciting in different ways."
It's hard to think of Brody as just having one song. The songwriting credits on each of his records feature his name on at least 90% of the tracks, usually as the sole songwriter, a bit of anomaly in country music. On Beautiful Freakshow, the only song he didn't pen was a cover of Sam Cooke's Another Saturday night.
Brody credits the support of his record label, Open Road, in being able to share his thoughts and ideas through his music, with the help of producer Matt Rovey. The label has given them an "unheard of" creative freedom to make the albums they want to.
Part of that likely stems from the success Brody has found in the past decade. Twice, he's taken home the Juno for Country Album of the Year, in 2014 and 2016. He's also won nine Canadian Country Music Association awards, dating back to Single of the Year in 2009 for Brothers, his first hit on Canadian radio.
While the spring tour of Canada won't be Brody's first cross-country jaunt, it will likely be his most ambitious. He's currently mired in pre-production and promotion meetings to ensure everything goes off as smoothly as possible when the lights dim on opening night, and the other 25 nights afterward.
His show at Casino Rama, with the James Barker Band, is the eighth Radio for Cardiology benefit, to support Royal Victoria Health Centre. Tickets are scarce for that show, as are plenty of the shows on the tour. It could give a lesser person a really big ego.
"I'm really hard on myself, so I don't have to worry about that. You ask anybody around my inner circle and they'll tell you, 'he's really hard on himself,'" Brody said. "It's hard to be arrogant when you think you're not doing as good as you could be doing. I think that will always keep me grounded."