She's the Jann-of-all-trades.
Calgary singer and songwriter and upcoming Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductee Jann Arden may be an author, a podcast host and the star of her own hit CTV series, but this May, she's returning to the medium she loves most: music.
At a press conference held at Live Nation Lounge in Toronto on Tuesday morning, Arden announced a 19-date cross-Canada tour in support of her upcoming Universal Music Canada greatest hits package, Hits & Other Gems.
The album, out May 1, will consist of 12 tracks - including the Arden smashes Could I Be Your Girl and I Would Die For You; a live version of Insensitive that was recorded for her Jann Arden - One Night Only TV special and a cover of The Cure's Lovesong with Scott Helman. There's Good Mother, Mother Mine, an original song featuring Zoie Palmer from her top-rated TV series Jann and You Don't Know Me from the soundtrack for My Best Friend's Wedding.
No matter the number of other career pursuits she squeezes into the calendar, Arden told the media that music has a special place in her heart.
'"I think my all-time favourite will always be music - the writing of music, the recording of music...that whole process in the studio is really magical," the 57-year-old, eight-time, Juno Award winner explained. "We laugh a lot. I've worked with so many great producers over the years, namely Bob Rock this last decade... working with him has been fantastical.
"He is a mythical, very unique man and he's very musical and very funny - so I always look forward to spending any time with him and the way he turns songs into magical artforms."
The Jann Arden Live tour will kick off on May 7 in St. John's, Newfoundland's Mile One Centre - approximately eight weeks after Arden is inducted into the Canadian Music Hall Of Fame at the Juno Awards in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and six weeks after the second, eight-episode season of Jann premieres on CTV - before it wraps June 18 in Vancouver.
"I'm touring again, which is always amazing," Arden stated during a Q&A. "I'm not touring in the dead of winter, so thank you so much. We will not be out on a bus at the end of November and December praying we get through the Rocky Mountains."
Arden joked that she hadn't played Newfoundland since she was 40, "so it's been over three years," but she recalls that the power went out mid-show and suddenly "in islander fashion, we had thousands of people break into song."
She also joked about remembering the May 1 release date of Hits & Other Gems because it fell on both her friend's birthday and the day her friends Stephanie and Cal also got married "by a lesbian pagan vegan."
"I thought, 'I"m going to that wedding,'" Arden quipped. "I wish I was kidding, but I'm not. And I'm sure she's available to do your wedding too, if you're thinking about it."
It's been a busy year of Jann Arden activity: earlier this year, UMC released the 20th-anniversary edition of her platinum Blood Red Cherry album with five additional tracks, a cherry-coloured vinyl pressing and liner notes written by the artist. UMC also issued her seminal album Happy? on vinyl and Arden says she'll be going back into the studio at some point this year to work with Bob Rock on a brand new album.
If that weren't enough, she hosts the weekly Jann Arden Podcast on iHeartRadio and will be releasing her sixth book, If I Knew Then...in the fall.
Here are a few more Jann Arden nuggets from the press conference:
About Jann, her TV show:
"It has been exceptionally fun to work on, and probably the hardest I've ever worked. But with the acting part, the hours are horrific. They tell you that your pick-up is at 4:47 a.m. and you're like...' what?' And then you get on that set until 8 p.m. at night. Also, learning 15 pages of dialogue every single day is challenging to say the least - but I work with people who help me a lot."
About unfulfilled dreams:
"I've always wanted to work at a zoo - but I hear they're becoming quite unpopular. But anything to do with animal welfare. I've gotten involved more with animal welfare recently."
About her social media posts, some of which tend to be unpopular due to Arden's opinions:
"I"m not bothered by negativity on social media at all. I've always said Twitter is my bitch and I'm very serious about it. When I tweet something, I'm very aware of what the blowback is going to be. I'm never caught unaware."
About life after the death of her mother Joan in 2018:
"I have good days and bad days. I miss my mom a lot. It's not easy - grief is a very tactile thing. There's not one way of going through it...I often burst out crying...it happens often on planes... I don't know if it's because I feel like I'm closer to heaven or expect my Mom to suddenly appear on the wing and say, 'Hi, we're fine! They have cabbage rolls up here!" I miss my Mom a lot but I'm glad she's gone; I'm glad she's off and running. She made up her mind and she was outta here. And I think my Mom's illness - and bringing awareness to memory loss diseases through (my book) Feeding My Mother - was a much bigger thing than I ever thought it would be. I"m probably most proud of that book than anything I've ever done...When people come up and talk to me on the street, it's because of Feeding My Mother...
On her reaction to learning about her Canadian Music Hall of Fame induction:
"I think I cried. The great thing for me is that Allan Reid, who signed me on A&M Records..., was at my crash pad I have here to tell me. It's very weird because I''m not possibly old enough to be inducted... But what an honour! I'm very proud to be Canadian...."
On hosting advice to 2020 Juno Awards emcee Alessia Cara:
"Be yourself - and don't do it nude. I would go with an outfit."
Here are the dates for the Jann Arden Live Tour, with tickets on sale Friday, February 7 at livenation.com
May 7 – St. John’s, NFLD @ Mile One Centre
May 9 – Halifax, NS @ Scotiabank Centre
May 10 – Summerside, PEI @ Credit Union Place
May 11 – Moncton, NB @ Casino New Brunswick
May 14 – Montreal, QC @ MTELUS
May 15 – Toronto, ON @ Roy Thompson Hall
May 19 – St. Catharines, ON @ Meridian Centre
May 20 – Kitchener, ON @ Centre in the Square
May 22 – London, ON @ Budweiser Gardens
May 23 – Hamilton, ON @ FirstOntario Concert Hall
May 24 – Kingston, ON @ Leon’s Centre
June 8 – Winnipeg, MB @ Club Regent Event Centre
June 9 – Winnipeg, MB @ Club Regent Event Centre
June 10 – Saskatoon, SK @ TCU Place
June 12 – Calgary, AB @ Grey Eagle Casino
June 13 – Enoch, AB @ River Cree Casino
June 16 – Lethbridge, AB @ Enmax Centre
June 17 – Penticton, BC @ South Okanagan Event Centre
June 18 – Vancouver, BC @ Queen Elizabeth Centre