Canadian country music star Jason McCoy rolls into town later this week for an intimate show at The ACT.
The 42-year-old Ontario-born recording artist is bringing with him a handful of crew members who are accompanying him on what he describes as an exciting and unique cross-country one-man concert tour.
But it’s who he’s going to connect with in Maple Ridge that has McCoy most psyched.
The award-winning singer and songwriter has collaborated with Maple Ridge’s own Natasha Zimbaro in past, and is looking forward to reconnect with his young friend when he gets to town this Saturday.
After kicking off his Christmas-themed tour, The Perfect Gift, on Vancouver Island this week, McCoy left behind Campbell River and Nanaimo for what he calls a home-away-from-home in Maple Ridge.
“It’s a second home – in B.C.,” McCoy told The TIMES, in part because he’s performed a series of concerts in the Lower Mainland over the years, and because he’s worked closely with the up-and-comer from Maple Ridge who he’s convinced is on the verge of stardom.
He managed and produced Zimbaro for the better part of three years. But when the local teen reconsidered her singing career, and opted to pursue pop instead of country music, the two parted ways.
While they’re still friends, and talk or email frequently, it has been more than a year and a half since they’ve seen each other.
“I’m looking forward to hearing some new music from her,” McCoy said, so charged about seeing the 19-year-old Silver Valley resident that he extended a personal invitation to her family a few weeks ahead of his visit.
Zimbaro isn’t the only special guest that McCoy has invited to join him at the Maple Ridge concert.
He has a few “guys from Vegas” coming to check out the technological aspects of his “unique new concert” that will also see McCoy joined by a few of his Juno-award winning celebrity friends.
The Perfect Gift is an evening of country carols to warm up the winter during his solo performance, with a hi-tech twist, McCoy explained.
Armed with a guitar and a dream, McCoy set out at the age of 19 to follow his own path to stardom. Well, McCoy has collected a lot of hardware over his 25-year music career, enjoying performing and recording as the creator and frontman first of The Road Hammers and later as a solo artist.
But music is only part of the story for McCoy.
He’s been writing songs for himself and a number of other artists, helped produce some up-and-comers – like Zimbaro – and used his charm and entertaining personality to engage people as a host on a series of shows, including the CMT Smashtown and two CMT Christmas specials.
Preparing to release a new album in the new year, he said The Perfect Gift Christmas tour draws on his past successes while adding a new dimension to his multi-faceted entertaining talents.
The one-man show (requiring a crew of only five) is a new challenge – a way to reinvent himself again, and to let the “goofy guy” that he is shine through with a bit of a comic component added in.
McCoy will share the stage with a giant video screen, which gives life to “live” interactive duets and guest appearances from celebrity friend, providing the backdrop for a touching walk through Christmas time.
He said the first half of the set offers new and original music – along with some of his famous hits – that will be followed by a collection of Christmas classics.
“They’re not just coming to see Jason,” he said, noting he plans to bring in a series of different country artists to the stage with him during the 28-stop tour.
“No days off. It’s just go, go, go,” McCoy said, noting that his family – his wife and their six-year-old daughter Grace and three-year-old son Caleb – will be joining him on the last leg of the tour. They’re all expecting to return to his hometown of Minesing –and their family farm – just in time for Christmas on Dec. 24.
The Maple Ridge concert is Saturday, Nov. 24, 8 p.m. at The ACT. Tickets are $38.50/adults, $35.50/seniors, and $15/students at www.theactmapleridge.org or at 604-476-2787.
How to win a pair of tickets to see Canadian country music legend Jason McCoy perform at The ACT:
Two lucky TIMES readers will each wina pair of tickets to the Nov. 24 concert
How do you win?
• Visit the TIMES website at: www.mrtimes.com, find “More Ways to Connect,” and click on “send us your letters, photos, videos.”
• Fill in your name, email, and number.
• Then write a short note explaining why you want to attend this show. Please note your community, and include the keyword “Jason” at the top of the note. Preference is given to Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows residents.
Entries must be received prior to 12 p.m. (noon) on Friday, Nov. 23. and winners will be notified by telephone and/or email. Note: submitted comments could be used in future editions of the newspaper. No staff or family of The TIMES or Glacier Media are eligible. This contest is restricted to online participants, 19 years or older only.