The 143rd Annual Chilliwack Fair kicks off this Friday with Bobby Wills taking centre stage on Country Night. The Progress caught up with Bobby to ask how his summer tour’s been going and to get a hint of his plans for the show this weekend.
Wills, originally from Alberta, won the 2013 Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) Rising Star award after he released his second album If It Was That Easy (2012), and his rise to fame has certainly been a unique one.
Wills’ adoptive parents raised him listening to country music, but it wasn’t until he first met his biological parents later in life that he realized music was in his blood.
He discovered that he shared his biological father’s “affinity for a great lyric,” a skill which has translated into what Wills feels is his responsibility to his listeners – to make them feel something.
The meeting that revealed his musical and artistic genealogy was what truly solidified Wills’ serious aspirations for a musical career.
Wills has now released his third album, Crazy Enough, with MDM Recordings in June 2014 and has been on a whirlwind of touring ever since.
“I’ve been touring the record coast to coast, from PEI all the way to Victoria,” he says.
And while Wills is still building up a tolerance to all the airplanes involved (he’d rather take the bus, he says), performing in front of the fans with his bandmate ‘brothers’ is a “crazy, wonderful experience.”
Wills proudly comments on his growing success, “there’s nothing better than playing to a crowd and hearing them sing the songs back to you,” which he’s been thrilled to experience a lot on this tour.
A crazy show schedule hasn’t kept Wills from working on new material, though. “By the time people hear the album on tour, we’ve usually already been working on the new stuff for a while.”
While Wills will surely be performing the favourites, he also told The Progress that Chilliwack fans will be hearing a couple new songs. In fact “it’ll be the first time they’ve been played for anybody,” he says.
Wills says that he’s excited to be performing in B.C. again, after having an awesome time here in March. “We’ve had a big fan base out there and it’s going to be great to catch up with everybody.”
B.C. is also home to some of Wills’ favourite writing destinations, Galiano and Salt Spring Islands, where he and co-writers Walt Aldridge and Mike Pyle are inspired by ocean views.
This Friday, Wills will be joined by Danielle Marie, an up-and-coming country singer from Vancouver. “She’s working really hard and she’s doing it without a whole lot of help,” Wills says, “It’s nice to she’s progressing.”
Wills knows that “we’re gonna have a lot of fun” at the fair this weekend. Between his mix of power-house, rocking, dance-along hits, Wills will be sure to throw in “some reminiscing, some great laughs, and maybe a few beers.”
Country Night with Bobby Wills is bound to be ‘not all the way crazy, but crazy enough’ for everyone to have a blast.