Dean Brody

We are only a few days away from Dean Brody's anticipated release of Dirt on April 24th, 2012.  Expectations for Dirt are high as The Country Music Association Award winner brought home awards for Album of the Year, Songwriter of the Year and Single of the Year in 2011 with Trail in Life.  However, we are already witnessing a greatly positive response to his first single "Canadian Girls" which debuted at #1 on the Nielsen Soundscan Country Sales Chart, and hit #1 on the iTunes Country Chart upon release.  For his third album, Dean continues to explore the art of story telling with a mix of traditional country songs and others that push the limits of the genre as well.  He is proud to have collaborated with some members of Great Big Sea on the song "It's Friday".  Dirt was recorded in Nashville with the help of producer/mixer Matt Rovey.  For more information on this artist and tour dates, visit:
Interview by: Valerie Bastien
Valerie: Tell me about your latest album Dirt coming out on April 24th. What inspired your writing?

I’m inspired by people, characters. Usually they are people I know but sometimes they are ones I hear about or see in a movie. I take that inspiration and then morph it with my own personal experience and use that to write a song.

Valerie: Why did you feel the title represented the overall delivery of this album?

When you think about it - nothing is more basic, more country than dirt. I wanted a title that represented what this collection of songs was about: the perspective of a life lived from the country.

Valerie: Dirt is your second album following the highly successful Trail in Life; what have you learned about yourself as an artist, working on new songs for Dirt?

Dean: I’ve learned that I have songwriting ADHD!  I can’t sit still when it comes to a particular style of music. I love experimenting with the edges of our genre. We have a song on Dirt that is East Coast inspired and one that is Mojave Desert themed and then a crazy one about the dangers of small town dating called "That’s Your Cousin". I travel a lot and see many different types of places and people and I love to explore different ways of telling those stories.

Valerie: I like your tribute to "Canadian Girls" with the first single off Dirt.  It's very sweet!  Tell me about the most important women in your life.

Dean: My wife and daughter. They wear toques, listen to Gordon Lightfoot, play hockey... I basically wrote about them and the women I know who are close to me and hoped it would ring true for other girls across the country - and fortunately it did. It was a risk though because women are so diverse. How do you decide what to put in the song and what to take out?

Valerie: Right!  What makes you proud?

My kids. The other day my daughter found a new freckle on her arm and totally freaked out! It was a BIG deal. She loves freckles. The way my kids see life is inspiring.

Valerie: What is your favourite song on this album and why?

: A song called “Nowhere USA”. It’s a journey, a story about an volatile romance. It has a hitchiker, a gun-toting girl  driving a truck and a midnight drive. I tried to embody the sound and feel of a Chris Isaak song with the imagery of a 1970’s California - Rock City - desert movie. And the guitar stuff JT Cornfloss played on this track is totally sick.

Valerie: Very cool Dean!  You are said to write from an autobiographical standpoint.  Why is it important to you to write meaningful lyrics? Explain what song in particular resonates with you on a personal level. 

Dean: "Flowers In Her Hands" is a song with an emotional turn that says a lot about the kind of men I grew up around - tough guys that worked hard and kept their feelings to themselves. The kind of guys who loved the women in their lives but didn’t know quite how to say it. They said it in ways that didn’t use words. But in the end, sometimes those words need to be said. Some of us learn the hard way that “I love you” is something we need to say. You don’t ever want to regret not saying those words to someone you can’t say them to anymore.

Valerie: That's beautiful...  What are your future touring plans? Where can we buy your music and see you play? What are you looking forward to the most?

I leave in two days for a month-long promotional tour of the record. After that we hit the road for all the summer festivals and then on to a headlining tour in the new year. My favorite thing in all this? It’s connecting with my fans, singing for them and helping them make memories. Sharing those times with them.

Valerie Bastien is a vocal coach, teacher, musician and freelance journalist.
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