Photos provided via PR team
Kicking off in October and continuing into 2024, The Great Canadian Roadtrip Tour will be making stops across Canada, including performances in Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
Part of the tour’s epic lineup is one of Canada’s most recognized and awarded female country singers, Michelle Wright. In 1992 she became the first Canadian artist in the modern era of country music to have a Top 10 hit in America, a #1 video on CMT‐USA, and to win a major US music industry award (the Academy of Country Music Top New Female Vocalist Award in 1992).
Michelle has graced concert stages around the world and accepted more than forty major awards, including her 2011 induction into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame. In 2022, she released her latest studio project, Milestone and celebrated the 30th anniversary of her hit album, Now & Then.
I had the opportunity to chat with Michelle about her musical journey so far, what fans can expect from The Great Canadian Roadtrip tour and more.
Kat: Can you share with us a bit about yourself and your music journey so far?
Michelle: I grew up on a farm in the small town of Merlin, Ontario. My mother and father were also country singers and musicians on a local level. They both had their own bands, and although they divorced when I was very young, I remember watching my mom going off to her gigs on the weekends, and if I was at my dad’s, he would be doing the same. This led me to my own musical journey, which started when I was 12 years old, playing the drums. Then I started playing guitar and played in a few bands in high school until I went on the road after college, where I played club six nights a week until I got my record deal with Arista Nashville. Needless to say, that was the break I needed. It allowed me to record several albums and travel the world sharing my music and having the time of my life.
Kat: You recently announced that you will be hitting the road with acclaimed and award-winning country artists Doc Walker and Jason McCoy for The Great Canadian Roadtrip Tour. How does it feel to head out on your first-ever co-headline tour with these amazing other artists?
Michelle: I’m thrilled. This is, in fact, my first ever co-headline tour, and to be able to do it with these guys is something I’m really looking forward to. We have shared the same stage many times throughout the years with our own bands, but performing together night after night on this tour is so exciting for me. Jason is now the newest member of the Canadian Country Music Hall Of Fame, which means we now have two Hall of Famers, and I predict future Hall of Famers Doc Walker on the same stage. It is going to make for a fantastic show.
Kat: What can fans expect from The Great Canadian Roadtrip Tour kicking off this October?
Michelle: This is going to be a very special night of music and storytelling. There will be hit songs that the fans know and love a few new songs, and a lot of fun.
Kat: In 2022, you released your latest studio project, Milestone and celebrated the 30th anniversary of your hit album, Now & Then. Can you share the inspiration behind Milestone and how your music has evolved since your first hit album?
Michelle: Writing and recording new music is always a part of my vision, and with the 30th anniversary of the release of Now & Then approaching, which had my breakthrough single “Take It Like A Man” on it, we wanted to get back into the studio to celebrate. We re-recorded “Take It Like A Man” along with nine other songs. A few of the songs such as “Faithless Kind,” “Lovin’ This Day,” and “I’m With You” I have held onto for a number of years waiting for the right album to include them on, and this was it. I’m very proud of this record and so glad we recorded it. The fans have been celebrating along with me, and I really appreciate it. There has no doubt been an evolution in my music since I first started recording. I am recording more of my own songs, and my voice has evolved as I have grown as a singer and songwriter.
Kat: What do you find is the most challenging part of your creative process?
Michelle: Songwriting is the most challenging part of what I do. I’m so thankful for the great co-writers I get to work with who help me put my thoughts and feelings down in song and not be too hard on myself. I always want to write and record the best songs I can.
Kat: What has been a career highlight for you so far? What have you learned along the way?
Michelle: That’s a difficult question to answer. I have been fortunate to experience so many great moments in my career. Signing my record deal with Arista Nashville. That’s what really started it all for me after playing clubs six nights a week for nine years and hoping that would happen. Singing the Canadian anthem at the World Series. Doing the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Becoming a member of the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame” Winning Top New Artist at the ACMs (Academy of Country Music) in America. Being named Female Vocalist of The Year at the CCMAs and the JUNOs. Being named Entertainer of the Year at the CCMAs.
What have I learned along the way? I could write a book with what I have learned along the way, but I believe it’s very important to surround yourself with good, honest, hard working people with integrity. I also think it’s important that you set the example of what you expect. You have to work hard and keep showing up. You also have to hang in there if you can through the peaks and the valleys because there will be both if you’re lucky. I’ve been able to do that with the support of my husband and good people on my team throughout the years who helped me keep my dream alive. In a lot of ways, I’m having the best time of my life when I am on stage with my band and doing the shows for the fans.
Kat: What else are you currently working on now, and what else do you have planned for the remainder of this year?
Michelle: I am on the road through the end of October. November and December is filled with songwriting appointments as we prepare to go back into the studio in January of 2024.
Great Canadian Roadtrip Tour Dates
October 11, 2023 – Wingham, ON – Wingham Town Hall
October 12, 2023 – Guelph, ON – River Run Centre
October 13, 2023 – London, ON – London Music Hall
October 14, 2023 – Chatham, ON – Capitol Theatre
October 16, 2023 – Brantford, ON – Sanderson Centre for the Performing Arts
October 18, 2023 – Lindsay, ON – Flato Academy Theatre
October 19, 2023 – North Bay, ON – Capitol Centre
January 25, 2024 – Whitecourt, AB – Allan & Jean Miller Centre
January 26, 2024 – Camrose, AB – Cargill Theatre
January 27, 2024 – Fort Saskatchewan, AB – Dow Centennial Centre Shell Theatre
January 28, 2024 – St. Albert, AB – Arden Theatre
January 30, 2024 – Cranbrook, BC – Key City Theatre
February 1, 2024 – Regina, SK – Darke Hall
February 26, 2024 – Lloydminster, AB – Vic Juba Theatre
February 27, 2024 – North Battleford, SK – Dekker Centre for the Performing Arts
February 28, 2024 – Prince Albert, SK – EA Rawlinson Center for the Arts
February 29, 2024 – Swift Current, SK – Event Centre
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