Johnny Reid determined to bring holiday tour to St. John’s

Tara Bradbury
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A grand piano, backup singers and candles — that’s all the fanfare Johnny Reid will have when he performs in St. John’s next month, and it’s all he’ll need.

Johnny Reid brings his A Christmas Gift to You” tour  to Cochrane Street United Church in St. John’s Dec. 19. — Submitted photo

Earlier this week, Reid announced he would be bringing his “A Christmas Gift to You” tour to town, and unlike every previous time he’s played in this province, the show will see less screaming fans and more reverence.

Reid will be hosting an intimate, stripped-down version of his current tour performance at Cochrane Street United Church Dec. 19.

The idea came about out of necessity, Reid told The Telegram in a phone interview. Earlier this fall, when he was given the dates for his Christmas tour, the first thing he noticed was Newfoundland and Labrador wasn’t on it.

“My first question was, ‘where’s Newfoundland?’ The response to that was, ‘Well, you were just in Newfoundland with The Eagles (for the Salmon Festival last July), and we’re not sure because of the weather, and there’s not anywhere for you to play. The arena and everything is booked,” Reid said.

“I said, ‘Guys, we need to figure something out.’ It went on for a few weeks … and I called my managers and said ‘Why don’t you start looking for an alternate location? I’ll play an outdoor concert if I need to.’”

Eventually, one of Reid’s managers suggested they start looking for a church, and decided on Cochrane Street United — its dome-roof sanctuary is known for its acoustics and is a popular concert space.

Reid says he has a special connection with people in this province, because of his upbringing. Born in Scotland, he moved to Canada with his family at age 13, though he has retained a thick Scottish brogue.

“I grew up in a very blue-collar, coastal kind of city, so I have a lot of connection with the people of Newfoundland. This thing is called ‘A Christmas Gift to You,’ but every time I come to Newfoundland it feels like it’s a Christmas gift to me. I enjoy getting down to the pub and having a pint and sitting down and having a cup of tea. I enjoy the people.”

The “A Christmas Gift to You” CD — which Reid describes as “Braveheart meets Christmas” — was released at the beginning of October, has reached the No. 1 spot on Canadian seasonal chart.

Tickets for Reid’s performance at Cochrane Street United are $25 plus a $4 service charge, and go on sale at the church this morning at 9 a.m., with a limit of two per person.

Admission to the show will require a ticket and a non-perishable food item, to be donated to Bridges to Hope.

Twitter: @tara_bradbury

Organizations: Cochrane Street United Church, The Telegram, The Eagles

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Scotland, Canada

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Recent comments

  • dololres doiron
    December 18, 2013 - 22:29

    Just came home from the show at the Metro Center in Halifax it was of the best shows I ever saw, he puts on a great show.

  • Suzette
    December 01, 2013 - 18:36

    Went to the Johnny Reid Christmas concert in Regina, Sk last night...was soooo amazing!

    • Suzanne
      December 08, 2013 - 18:20

      Did he play Christmas music only or some of his other hits?

  • Sandra Findlay
    December 01, 2013 - 00:14

    Went to see u in Saskatoon My husband and I enjoyed the Christmas concert very much awesome show

  • Patricia
    November 30, 2013 - 17:35

    Someday would you consider a concert in Maple Ridge, BC. Just love your music moved out here about a year ago from Manitoba it would be a great joy to see you in person. Patti

  • Judi
    November 30, 2013 - 17:04

    That's who Johnny Reid is...and what he will continue to be. He truly appreciates his fans every where, and making sure this concert happened was a priority for him. Will be seeing him the night before in Halifax, and this show will be the icing on the Christmas cake.

  • Charlene
    November 30, 2013 - 13:14

    So happy I got my daughter and friend braved the cold and wind 6:00 this morning to stand inline for tickets. Best Christmas present ever. Love Johnny Reid and his down to earth personality...fame is definitely not gone to his head. And to make sure Newfoundland got on his Christmas tour is an amazing gesture for us fellow Newfoundlanders...can't wait to see and enjoy him.

  • Holley Simmonds
    November 30, 2013 - 12:06

    Wish I could be there, I love Johnny Reid.

  • albert hillier
    November 30, 2013 - 11:40

    where can we buy tickets???

    • Judi
      November 30, 2013 - 21:17

      Albert.....Both shows are SOLD OUT...sorry.

  • Judi
    November 30, 2013 - 11:24

    This is why Johnny Reid is so awesome! 2 shows at Cochrane SOLD OUT in less than an hour.