Some good ol’ Canadian country

Calgary country singer Bobby Wills. (Juan Pont Lezica/Promotional image)

Calgary country singer Bobby Wills. (Juan Pont Lezica/Promotional image)

Courtney Dickson, Contributor Ω

Riverside Park’s free concert series will include the talented Bobby Wills, a Canadian Country Music Award-nominated family man from Calgary, Alta. Langley’s Dallas Smith will accompany him.

Wills and Smith have performed shows together in the past and have even followed each other on tour. Wills said they’ve even joked about stalking each other since they always seem to end up in the same place.

Wills recently played Alberta’s Big Valley Jamboree in Camrose. “What a riot,” he said, “It was a wonderful time and a great crowd.” The festival encouraged Wills to take his family along, and his older daughter, Kylie, was excited to meet fellow performer Luke Bryan.

After his performance in Kamloops, Wills will head to Toronto for the Havelock County Jamboree, another renowned country festival.

Wills’ family is his inspiration for creating music. When he met his biological family at age 20, he realized that his passion for music was not an accident.

His brothers were also serious musicians, and his father especially loved to listen to old records. In fact, that is how they spent their first evening together; instead of talking, they listened to music. It was empowering for him to feel as though music was an option as a career, since he grew up in a home that didn’t pay much attention to music. As far as his wife and three children are concerned, Wills said they are “everything.”

His most prominent song, “Somebody Will,” was written about his daughter Kylie. His upcoming single was written for his wife.

Though he spends a significant amount of time in Nashville writing songs, he maintains loyalty to the Canadian music industry.

“I feel very connected to Canada as an artist, particularly to Calgary, because of the country clubs, venues and the stampede. The Canadian industry has done a lot for me,” he said.

Wills is playing (with Smith) in Kamloops for the first time at Riverside Park on Thursday, Aug. 15 at 7 p.m. Admission is free and the atmosphere will be family friendly.