YORKTON – The Yorkton Arts Council presents modern country artist — Chris Henderson — who is set to take the stage at the Painted Hand Casino Event Centre on Nov. 19.
"I've played in Yorkton many times over the years—it's been a few years since I've been there—given everything that's happened in the world," said Henderson in an interview with Yorkton This Week, adding, "I'm looking forward to making a return to the casino."
Henderson, who has played to thousands of people at the likes of Country Thunder in Craven, Dauphin Countryfest and Big Valley Jamboree in Camrose, has seldom performed over the last two years due to the COVID-19 mandates that were in effect for places all over the world.
"It certainly threw a wrench into everything—I had released a new album in October of 2019—so in 2020 I had plans to be on the road a lot and I think I ended up cancelling a little over 70 shows when everything came down," said Henderson of the fallout the pandemic had on his career.
"The first year really—it was just sort of recovery—I mean the world was sort of in a weird place at that point in 2020 and my father passed away early in the pandemic, so it really kind of shut down my career for a while," said Henderson.
After suffering through the pandemic and loss of his father, Henderson said he was feeling better in 2021.
"Once 2021 rolled around it felt like I was kind of getting a chance to almost start over in some ways—not to say that I was starting over completely by any means—but when it came to new recordings and stuff like that I almost took a little bit of a different sound and a different approach and I feel like my career has kind of evolved in the last couple years – in a good way," said Henderson, noting his musical evolution was "sort of forced in that regard."
"These days it's certainly more exciting because we're getting back to doing a lot more live shows and planning for this coming new year and it feels like finally we're getting back to normal," said Henderson.
People who attend the show can expect to hear old and new songs alike.
"I'm looking forward to presenting some new material—but also kind of recovering a bunch of songs—I've got four albums that I've released over the years – I'm working on a fifth one right now, so I ended up going back and making sure there was at least one song from every album...I'm looking forward to kind of revisiting the songs that I've played and that I've recorded and released over the years," said Henderson, adding, "I've had some great support in the community of Yorkton, so I feel like people will actually recognize [the songs] there."
"Henderson's blend of a modern country sound, with strong traditional roots has quickly helped him become one of Canada's busiest Country Recording Artists. Since his debut album released in 2008, the former high school teacher has been touring the prairies and Canada relentlessly, and has released 16 singles to National radio," read a biography from Henderson's website.
Henderson said that not being able to tour during the pandemic took him back to teaching for a time.
"For the time being I'm on a contract—until the end of January—which might work out really well for me music-wise – because I might have time to prep for summer and then go nuts again," said Henderson in regard to touring.
"I was very lucky...it was 2011 – I resigned from teaching...and went to doing music full time," said Henderson, adding, "I was fortunate that I had a soft place to land when the pandemic came up and cancelled all my gigs – I applied and I've been working as an online school teacher for the last couple of years, but that might be coming to an end and hopefully so is all the pandemic changes in life."
"I'm looking forward to playing a lot of tunes that will hopefully be familiar to folks but also presenting some new stuff and presenting a new lineup of my band – I'm working with some guys these days that are really talented and I'm excited for it."
Chris Henderson plays at the Painted Hand Casino Event Centre on Nov. 19. For tickets and information visit the Yorkton Art Council's website.