Country performer Collin Raye found success throughout the 1990s and early 2000s with hits such as Love Me, If I Were You and Little Rock.
With country music becoming more pop-oriented and so much alike though, those hits have become popular again, leaving nostalgic fans of the era ready to embrace it again.
“There has been a real resurgence in nineties’ country in the last couple of years,” Raye said.
“I think people are really missing those days and I believe they are starting to realize what a great time that was for country music. Everybody sounded different and you could tell who it was right away, which I think has changed with mainstream country today.”
Now Raye, along with country music headliners Sammy Kershaw and Aaron Tippin, have hit the road for the Roots & Boots tour. They stop in Truro to perform a selection of their decade-defining hit songs this Friday at the Rath-Eastlink Community Centre.
“Roots and Boots is a tour that has been going on for about five years, and has evolved a bit over time,” Raye said of the show.
“I think the model of it is really good because the fans get to see three hit makers perform the biggest of their biggest hits. We also get to perform together, which I think people have responded well to, as they like seeing us all on stage at the same time, singing in each other’s songs and sharing stories.”
The show features Raye, Kershaw and Tippin on stage in a writers’ circle setting, where the musicians share stories about their careers and songs before performing their biggest hits.
“People love to hear those behind-the-scenes stories they haven’t heard about before,” said Raye.
“They are going to get a little bit of everything when it comes to us. Sammy, Aaron and I are very different musically. A lot of Aaron’s stuff is very blue collar, working man kind of stuff; Sammy is more classic country and a traditionalist in how he plays, and my stuff is more fun, rowdy but can also be heavy and have a strong message.”
While most of Raye’s time is spent touring, he recently wrapped up recording his a greatest hits album called 25, which features re-recorded hits from the last 25 years of his career and will be released in May.
“It’s taken about a year, and I’ve never spent so much time on an album in my life,” Raye chuckled.
“I think I sing these songs better now than I did when I originally recorded them. Love Me, for instance is 26 years old, so I definitely sing it better now having sung it thousands of times than I did when I was recording it in 1991. We’ve created kind of a time capsule of Collin Raye with this album. I’m really proud of these new versions and I hope they long outlive me.”
After the Roots & Boots tour and the release of 25, Raye is looking forward to recording an album featuring fresh, new songs later in the year.
“Another pet project I’d like to take on is a Hank Williams tribute album. I love Hank, and I feel like his songs would fit my voice very well,” he said.
“People talk about the greatest county musicians of all times and list off George Jones and such, but the greatest of all time was Hank Williams. Period. I think the catalogue of unbelievably good songs he wrote in such a short time, people take that for granted.
“There will never be anyone like that again, and I just want to remind people how great he was.”
IF You Go
Roots & Boots 2018
Featuring: Aaron Tippin, Collin Raye and Sammy Kershaw
Friday, March 23 – 8 p.m.
Rath Eastlink Community Centre
Tickets start at $45.99