Once the Rascal Flatts heard Aaron Goodvin perform, they knew they had to have him come on tour with them.
The Alberta-born country singer and songwriter said he and his agent were looking for the next big tour for him to join after the success of touring with country music legend Gord Bamford.
“Ron Sakamoto (my agent) is really good friends with the Rascal Flatts’ management and when he brought me up, and they went and checked me out they were like ‘Man, this guy’s awesome, we’d love to have him’ so it was one of those really cool things where relationships met opportunity,” said Goodvin. “We wanted to shoot higher and I don’t think we could have shot higher than this. It just feels like the perfect time and the perfect group to tour with.”
Goodvin is relatively new on the country music scene, releasing his self-titled debut album in 2016, but he has already made a huge splash in the industry, including being named the 2018 CCMA Songwriter of the Year. He has already racked up a handful of hits that his fans have come to know and love and plans on delivering them during his high-energy set.
“I learned through Taylor Swift via George Strait that you gotta play the songs that you know your fans want to hear. It’s crazy to think now that we’re in a place where we have five songs that people know,” said Goodvin. “For so long I’ve been the underdog and I had like one or two that maybe people have heard of, but to have five hits it really changes our set.”
Being a songwriter, Goodvin can’t pass up the chance to play some never-before-heard songs for this fans on this tour, to sort of test them out and see how they will be received. He said creating a setlist is about balancing his hits with his new music and throwing a few covers into the mix to give fans a memorable experience.
“I’m a writer, and that’s where I found my way in the industry, so during the set, I want to play a song that nobody’s ever heard and give them an opportunity to hear it, so later when they’re at home they can remember that moment,” said Goodvin. “We’ll squeeze a couple of covers in there, a couple more covers people haven’t heard before.”
Goodvin said his mind is always tuned to writing songs, so being on tour with some other legendary songwriters seems like the perfect chance to get the creative juices flowing. He said his main priority will be the tour though since it can get hectic going from city to city.
“(Writing is like) a muscle that I’ve worked every day for the last four to five years, so it’s hard to shut off. And sometimes it’s good not to shut off because inspiration can come from anywhere,” said Goodvin. “But tour life is a little bit crazy, even in the past when I’ve brought writers on the bus to write, it’s almost like distracted writing because people are running in and out and doing stuff. So it’s just one of those hard-to-focus times.”
When asked which songs seem to get the most reaction from his fans, Goodvin said three songs come to mind because they seem to resonate with people.
“Bars and Churches, I’ve been so blown away by that song. It just seems to be like this whole other animal, we play it and people sing along, and maybe it’s just because I hear them more because it’s a quieter song. But people just really identify with that song and it’s been really awesome to see,” said Goodvin. “The no-brainer is obviously Lonely Drum, it has really been the song for us that kind of put us over the top. The other one that kind of surprises me is You Are, we have a lot of people that are, interestingly enough, more into You Are than Lonely Drum or anything else.
“So it’s kind of a variety of songs, so as an artist and a writer, I’m always trying to write things in a different way with different grooves and just try to find something that really fits.”
Goodvin said he’s not used to the recognition that comes with his level of success, so much that he may need to make some wardrobe changes.
“It’s been really crazy. I have to remind myself not to tuck my jeans into my boots while I’m travelling. I always take my boots off – doesn’t matter if I’m in a van or in a plane or in a bus. I never have my boots on,” said Goodvin with a laugh. “So when I go to slide them on, my jeans go right in my boots and I walk around like that. And it’s funny because people see me and go ‘Well that might be Aaron Goodvin, but why the hell is he dressed like that?’ so I have to remind myself to look my best at all times.”
He promises he will have his boots firmly on when he performs on stage at the South Okanagan Events Centre on Oct. 30, not that would stop his fans from having a boot-stomping good time.
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