He's a Scot who lives in Nashville and calls Canada home, and his just-completed national tour is one of the biggest success stories there is this year.
Johnny Reid swept the country from end to end with his big-tent Revival tour that had all the props one might expect at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. Beyond the big sound and light rig, he carried a 13-piece band he calls the Soul Providers, featuring horns and backup singers, and helped to launch co-billed Jessica Mitchell on the national stage in advance of her May 4 debut album release. He also smartly included fellow Scot Alan Frew and Glass Tiger on the bill, wisely because Reid just happened to produce the band's latest album that reinterpreted a catalogue of past hits with a couple of new ones for good measure. Alan Frew never sounded or looked better, and Jessica Mitchell's vocal prowess left no doubt she is bound for glory.
All in, Reid played 45 shows in 36 cities, winding up at Mile One Centre in St. John's on April 24. All in, the Revival tour sold over 150,000 tickets and, by my calculation, took in more than $7-million at the box-office. Probably a conservative guess, and not including VIP sales or merchandise, which his die-hard Tartan Army fans likely swooped up by the crate load.
He is an incredible success story. Self-contained, self-managed, he owns his master recordings, his song publishing and, over the past decade, has gracefully glided from pop crooner to country star to a soul man with more than a wee bit of a brogue.
He has had eight best-selling albums, 10 #1 Adult Contemporary hits, 11 Country top tens, garnered close to 19 million audio streams, and sold the better part of 2 million albums in the country he calls home. His latest album has sold just shy of 50,000 copies, and generated 1.34 million streams, according to stats provided by Nielsen Music Canada.
On stage, he exudes a kind of old-world charm, thanking his audience incessantly for "supporting me in my career, for "spending your hard-earned money" to purchase concert tickets, and freely making references to his wife and four kids whom he is evidently attached to.
His next project is a musical, about his grandmother. A Scot who taught him about what really matters in life. He's five foot nothing, but he stands taller than most in an industry that's as fickle as the weather in March.
Ron Sakamoto's Gold & Gold Productions was the tour promoter, and SFA Sr. VP Vinny Cinquemani was the directive agent on Reid's Revival tour.