If it hadn’t been for a T-shirt Aaron Pritchett saw in a bar, the world would have never been introduced to his hit Hold My Beer.
“I thought people were going to hate it and I played it for my grandmother and she said she loved it, so then I knew it was going to be a hit,” Pritchett said with a laugh. “This guy had it written on the back of his T-shirt and I thought that is the funniest thing I have ever seen. I took the idea and ran with it.”
Sitting in a studio session later with Deric Ruttan and Mitch Merrett, the T-shirt slogan, ‘hold my beer while I kiss your girlfriend,’ popped into his head.
“Instantly Deric started playing it and it turned into the song you hear now,” said Pritchett who is playing at the Barking Parrott in Penticton on Thursday.
Since that 2006 hit from Big Wheel, Pritchett has had a string of anthems including Let’s Get Rowdy (2008’s release Thankful) and Light It Up (2010 release from In the Driver’s Seat). Now, he is counting on another in Suntan City, coming this month, a tune that Luke Bryan originally recorded but never released.
“That is a summer anthem that people at PeachFest are going to be singing,” said Pritchett, who lived in Penticton for a short time, having his home featured on MTV Cribs. “It is a tune that as soon as I heard it, I said this is me. This is definitely what I am like.”
While Bryan’s version has a definite American feel to it, Pritchett changed it up to make it his own, giving a nod to his roots in B.C.
“Instead I say ‘Hey there cutey with the Hold My Beer coozie, have you ever hung out with a West Coast boy? Why don’t you and your friends come over here and have a beer with the real McCoy,” said Pritchett.
The country singer, known for his energetic live shows, said whether he is playing a room of 500 or a venue of 30,000, he has one goal in mind.
“It is pretty much in your face. Lately I have been starting the shows with Let’s Get Rowdy and that is the intention, let’s get rowdy. Let’s have some fun and I don’t care if you are sitting down, you will be getting up at some point in this show and getting crazy with me because that is what I like to do on stage, just have as much fun as possible,” he said.
With the new single coming out, a potential album for the end of the year, recent hosting duties at the Saskatchewan Country Music Awards and touring, Pritchett has a busy year ahead of him. It has been one of adjustment for him, just as his twitter bio states ‘2012 was the year of change and now 2013 is going to be the year of greatness.’
“It’s a bit of a self-motivator more than it is trying to be prophetic. It was a lot of change that I made, hoping it would be for the better. This year I am seeing a lot of the benefits of making those changes. I am hoping greatness comes of it and it has already started. We are at the start of May and I have had a lot of really great things happen,” said Pritchett. “I am fortunate to be surrounded by the people that I am in the industry, as well as people that I have at home, that stable base at home. Things have been great so far and I hope they just keep getting better.”
Part of that new approach, means slowing things down to spend more time with his family and friends.
“That is the most important because at the end of the day I might have music when I am 80, but I don’t really see me singing Hold My Beer when I am 80. I see hanging out with family and friends when I am that age,” he said.
That is a different perspective than he had even just a few years ago. Pritchett said from 2007 to the beginning of 2010 he was home maybe four months in total, and those days came sporadically. The realization that he needs to separate the country-singer lifestyle from regular life at home with his three sons came after the hard lesson of having to miss graduations and not be the one to teach his youngest how to swim.
“When I go out on the road, I still get to be that guy. I play the part of somebody that everyone seems to know, but when I am at home I just want to be a regular person. I just want to be ‘dad’ and ‘honey,’ and it really comes down to that,” said Pritchett.
He has plenty to be proud of as a father. Having shown off oldest son a few times at his own live shows, Jordan now shreds on the guitar in Canadian pop-punk band Faber Drive. Pritchett’s middle son also plays in an acoustic band and in a full-on rock/pop band, while the youngest son, Mason, wants to be an actor and has a comedic side to him. Sounds almost like a variety show in the making.
“The Pritchetts will be on stage as a foursome and Mason will act out the songs we are singing, that would be great, or maybe even mime them” he joked. “But seriously, I think in the future I would love to do something with Jordan. Maybe some sort of recording and then tour down the road. This time I would actually be the supporting act for him.”
Tickets to Pritchett’s show at the Barking Parrot are $30 and available at the Penticton Lakeside Resort. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with the opening act We Change Our Name starting at 8:30 p.m. Pritchett takes the stage at 9:30 p.m.