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Clay Walker is about to release a new record this summer. The album will be called "Long Live Cowboy" and the singer promises it would be pure traditional country music. Yee Haw!

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Country Sisters Taking Over In Canada

Posted by: Petr Mecir

News 12/17/2006

The fact that the Country Sisters perform more often abroad than in the Czech Republic doesn't surprise anyone these days. Every year the band tour all over Europe and they even have their own fanclubs in Denmark and Switzerland. They toured Australia back in 1998 and 1999, but hadn't visited America until this summer. July 5th, 2006 the Country Sisters took a trip to Canada for two weeks and during their Canadian tour they also performed at the Merrit Mountain Festival, the biggest music festival in Canada. Recently I made an interview with the band about this outstanding tour.

How did you get an invitation to Canada?
"Absolutely by coincidence. One of our band members, Wendy, used to work on a ship and she got some contacts for us. We succeeded in contacting a famous Canadian manager, who used to work for the Eagles and Kiss. We sent him a lot of materials and he managed to push us though, as a completely unknown band, to the biggest Canadian festival in Merrit Mountain. When we arrived in Canada, our performance really impressed the audience and we were already invited to come back next year."

Country SistersHow long were you preparing the tour? Did you arrange your repertoire for the Canadian audience somehow?
"The preparations took a very long time. We play US country music but in an European way. Our music isn't so hard and American bands usually play harder than European bands. Our recordings impressed our Canadian partners but they wanted to mix the music by themselves and add some more basses and drums to it. We had to put together these recordings and
adjust our repertoire at the same time. We usually adopt country hits and arrange them in our own style. People love it no matter where they come from."

How was your journey to Canada?
"The flight took 12 hours. Two hours from Prague to Amsterdam and 10 hours to Vancouver. We were transporting only a half of our sound equipment because they had their own in Canada. Our luggage had to match weight limit precisely but, of course, it was over limit and we had to pay an extra fee. We were also carrying some special luggage which must have not broken up and, as expected, something really damaged. When we arrived in Canada, we had a difficult time at the immigrational department at the airport. We spent a couple of hours there until they checked everything we had. There was a huge queue of people who were also waiting to check-in and there was bunch of people who weren't accepted and they had to go back. We were worried about the possibility of having any problems because there might be just an incorrectly filled document and you're in trouble. Those were really scary moments for us. Finally everything ended up OK because when we said the name of our manager who we were going to meet in Vancouver, everybody knew his name and they said 'Everything's fine, you can go. Bye.'"

Country SistersHow many shows did you play in Canada?
"We had two concerts in Merritt Mountain and four concerts outside. Every show was in the vicinity of Vancouver. We played one show at the horse racing in Hastings and three shows in clubs. One of the clubs was run by a Slovak who cheerfully welcomed us as a Czech band at his place."

How many people did you play for?
"The Merritt Mountain Festival was huge and there were superstars such as Martina McBride, Travis Tritt, Randy Travis and Big & Rich. The festival lasted for 5 days and we played two shows. The whole festival was visited by the total of 100,000 spectators. We had two own shows there. The festival started on Wednesday and the major shows took place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Next year we'll be playing the main stage. This year we opened the festival, thus there weren't so many people at our shows. Anyway, about 1,500 people came to see our first show and about 7,000 people the other day. We were said it wasn't usual that so many people came to see a new and unknown band. When we were selling albums after the show, there was a very long queue and the manager of the festival came to see us. He was watching us for about half an hour and then told us he had never seen such a long queue for CD's in 15 years. There is a traditional survey and fans vote for their favorite act at the festival. We were voted as the #1 act! We couldn't believe it at all! The artists at the first three positions in the survey are usually asked to come back again, so we were also invited for the next year. Next time we'll be playing the main stage together with Shania Twain and the Eagles."

Country SistersDid you notice any difference in approach to your music from what you can see in Europe?
"No, I wouldn't say that. People took us in the same way as they do here in Europe. When people know us, they usually respond to our music from the very first song, from the very first moment of our show. But when we play somewhere for the first time, sometimes we can feel a kind of suspicion. But after three songs it is gone and people are excited and want to book us for the next time. We can say the reactions of the audience in Canada were the same as in Europe. The managers of the Merritt Mountain Festival told us not to be surprised in case the crowd wouldn't react. We told them not to worry because we have never seen a crowd which wouldn't respond to our music. The audience accepted us and enjoyed the show very much."

Did you have any free time in Canada?
"Not too much. We were in Canada for 14 days only. We played a show in Denmark, went home, packed everything and the other day flew to Canada. When we came back, we spent two days at Country Sistershome and headed for the Netherlands. In Canada we had free time for about three days. One day we made a trip to the mountains. We wanted to see some bears, but unfortunately we didn't see any. Wendy nearly got lost when she decided to reach the top of a huge mountain on her own. She took a cableway up the hill and she wanted to get back on foot because otherwise she wouldn't make it for our photo sessions. She's a sort of a crazy sportswoman. She went out through that wasteland on her own, she was walking for hours but finally made it. She told us where she had been when she got back because, of course, we wouldn't have let her go. It was very courageous of her, but Wendy can afford it, because she speaks fluent English and she has travelled around the world. If it was Linda, I wouldn't let her go in my entire life. Not even Lucy, no one. We also visited the vicinity of Vancouver. The travel from Vancouver to Merritt Mountain took the whole day, so we made a detour to see at least a small piece of the country."

How long are you going to stay in Canada next year?
"Next year we'd like to spend one month in Canada. Our performance at the Merritt Mounain Festival has been confirmed and our manager tries to arrange some more shows for us. One of them might be at the Calgary Stampede, which is a really huge festival and lasts for about 10 days."

Was there anything that surprised you in Canada?
"Every time when we do a longer tour than usual, some of the girls falls in love and wants to get married. We have already lost one girl in Switzerland, one in Germany, two in Australia, one in Denmark and unfortunately, there's one in Canada now. If we were planning a tour in the USA for the next year, we should expect that we may lose somebody in America. But what really surprised me was that when we played Greenland, no one was interested in staying there…"

Thank you.

 

Country Sisters

 


(C) Petr Mecir 2006. All rights reserved.