Bryce Pallister

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Bryce Pallister

It’s somewhat difficult to reconcile the soft voice of 21-year-old Bryce Pallister coming down the phone line from his family farm in Portage la Prairie with the commanding, rich vocals emanating from the tracks of his debut recording, “RDY 2GO”, released in March, 2009.

Though classical vocal training has definitely helped Bryce with phrasing and breathing, that singing voice is a natural gift. The oldest of 4 siblings, however, Bryce is the only one (so far) to have followed the musical path, beginning with the occasional role as singer in a high school-spawned band and moving on to the festival and fair circuit. Now, with 8 years performing under this farm boy’s belt, he’s getting ready for the bright lights and the big cities.

At 6’4” and bearing some noticeable physical likeness to Billy Ray Cyrus and Keith Urban, Bryce Pallister is poised to attack his musical career head-on. His supporting team includes business manager Mike Denney, a 25-year veteran of the music industry with both major and minor labels who recently opened his own MDM label/one-stop-musicbiz- shop on which Bryce’s debut is the first release. “RDY 2GO”’s title track is the first single, launched in January and is being promoted by Canadian music powerhouse Anya Wilson, who represented David Bowie in the ‘60’s as well as Bryan Adams and fellow “country”-man Kenny Rogers. The accompanying video was picked up for regular rotation on CMT. Stalwart Manitoba-bred booking agency Paquin Entertainment is in charge of touring, including Bryce’s June, 2009 opening gig with one of his personal favourites, Ricky Skaggs.

Bryce’s band members were pulled together through the recording of the album, the achievement of which he says “gave me a lot of satisfaction”. The musicians who would become bandmates include Roland Deschambault, Brian James, Jeremy Rusu and Jay Tooke, with guest appearances by Doc Walker’s Murray Pulver, The Weakerthan’s Steve Carroll and Clint Dutlame. “RDY 2GO” was produced by 20-year studio veteran and 2008 WCMA producer of the year nominee Jack Shapira.

How is the young singer coping with the demands such a music industry marketing machine can impose? “There can be a lot of pressure to ‘pop it up’”, Bryce says of his passion for pure country. “I lean to the true forms of rural music, like blues, folk, blue grass and southern rock. I think people are hungry for a difference.”

The eleven original tunes on “RDY 2GO” were written to nourish those lovers of pure country. Bryce connected with recent EMI Publishingsigned songwriter Phil Deschambault to create the 11 songs, of which 8 were begun by Bryce himself (he uses both guitar and piano when he’s composing). The influences of Bryce’s favourites Ricky Skaggs, George Strait, the Allman Brothers and K.D. lang no doubt inspired the song-writing process. “It was great working with somebody (Phil) who’s been writing his whole life. He really took me back to the basics of song structure”, says Bryce.

“RDY 2GO” boasts a solid collection of rollicking country tunes that Bryce calls “”new traditional”, starting with the title track that laments a couple’s divergent states of mind and its follow-up, “One Day” about an unattainable woman that Bryce says “may or may not be” written from experience. From love won, lost and yearned for to travellin’ and gamblin’ the traditional country music themes are re-invented through contemporary narratives. The third single, “City to City” is a powerfully melodic song that builds to its chorus with the resonant refrain “it’s not what you don’t know, it’s what you don’t know you don’t know…”

On that note, Bryce admits “If you’d asked me 5 years ago what I’d be doing now, I’d have had no clue. Now, what I really want is the notoriety and respect amongst people who love pure country music. My goal for the album is to build connections with each individual audience member and learn what they like of the songs. I’m gonna do it one person at a time and every new fan I can get, I’ll be grateful.” As any farmer knows, you reap what you sow and the most important ingredients for success are time and patience. Bryce Pallister has both in spades and he is, indeed, Ready to Go!