Thirteen Canadian Country Music Association Awards, two Junos, multiple nominations and several chart-topping hits make Dean Brody one of Canada’s biggest country music stars. The artist, who came away with multiple wins at the 2016 CCMA Awards last September, released his sixth album, Beautiful Freakshow, a month later. The video for the title track was released today.
From rap to reggae to a repeat collaboration with Alan Doyle of Great Big Sea, in true Dean Brody style, this newest album pushes the boundaries that define country music while balancing it out with a few classic country ballads. But Brody is traditionally consistent on two things: his producer, and his songwriting. Matt Rovey, who produced all of Brody's previous albums, also worked on Beautiful Freakshow. And the songwriting is all Brody.
His penchant for taking creative risks made us wonder: what music influences Dean Brody? So when he recently stopped by CBC Music, we asked. Below, Brody recalls the five songs that had a profound impact on his life.
'The Ballad of Davy Crockett' (1954)
"When I was a kid I had a little Mickey Mouse turntable, like a record player and the first 45 I ever bought was 'The Ballad of Davy Crockett.' It used to be a TV show I used to watch as a kid. And so, I remember listening to that over and over and over again. It got me excited about recording. It got me excited about music."
'Summer of '69' (1984)
"Bryan Adams was huge. I got to see Bryan live as well that same summer  and it was amazing. Just the way he interacted with the crowd ... and how the song is so simple but just timeless. It had a big impact on me."
'Ain't That Lonely Yet' (1993)
"I wasn’t really into country music until Dwight Yoakam. I was 14 and in a garage band playing rock songs. We played Metallica, Guns ‘N’ Roses, and AC/DC. But I heard this guy named Dwight Yoakam and I thought, 'Wow. This is really interesting stuff.' It wasn’t like the cookie-cutter Nashville stuff that was coming out at the time. And I really got into it."
'Three Little Birds' (1977)
"I love Bob Marley. I love 'One Love.' But I would say 'Three Little Birds' though was the one that would have the most impact on me. As a songwriter, the thing I appreciate about it so much is its simplicity . And it’s timeless."
'California Girls' (1965)
"I grew up listening to Beach Boys. My dad had a record player and an 8-track player out in the garage and I had Endless Summer on a loop. Over and over and over again — Beach Boys’ Endless Summer. And so a lot of those songs impacted me. I, still to this day, love writing about the water, the beach. I’ve lived on the ocean, I’ve lived in the mountains and I sing about both. I think it’s easy for me to sing about the beach because of those years growing up listening to the Beach Boys."
Dean Brody will go on tour starting April 25 with his most recent album, Beautiful Freakshow.
Follow Tahiat Mahboob on Twitter: @TahiatMahboob
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