Together, Brad Mates, Danick Dupelle, David Pichette, Patrick Bourque, Dale Wallace,
and Mike Melancon are Emerson Drive, and they are hot on the scene with their third album, Countrified, on which Brad
and Danick have three collective co-writes. Their production team includes Teddy Gentry of Alabama, alongside Brad Allen,
Keith Follesť, and Josh Leo. The best treat, though, is that this album is a true reflection of Emerson Drive: as individuals,
all are top-notch musicians, vocalists, and galvanizing entertainers; as a band, they are unrivalled. In fact, at last week's
Canadian Country Music Awards, Dale and David were each awarded "All Star Band" awards for their skills on piano/keyboards
and fiddle, respectively. (It is Dale's third consecutive win in that category and David's second.)
The show opens
with A GOOD MAN, where playful fiddle solos, meaningful lyrics, and an overflow of energy take center stage. Go on, play that
air guitar or air fiddle!! (You know you want to!) The momentum continues with their adrenaline-driving, electrifying performance
of TESTIFY. If you aren't already on your feet, this one will do you in! The band takes an introspective breather in MOMENTS,
a ballad that appreciates how life has a way of coming full circle and how the littlest of shared words can make a lifetime
of difference. SWEET NATURAL GIRL is a mid-tempo feel-good song; the mastermen behind it are Jeffrey Steele ("Everytime I
Hear Your Name"), Craig Wiseman ("Live Like You Were Dying"), and Kip Raines. Check out the instrumental outro, where the
guys showcases what each does best! Next is a tune that finds a man heading west after an implied romance heads south. But,
distance doesn't provide much of a buffer, because, he reasons, YOU STILL OWN ME. David's dancing fiddle introduces LUCKY
MAN, where the man in the song pays homage to the love of his life. Next, that "lucky man" continues his beautiful tribute
to his EVERYDAY WOMAN. Bask yourself in the magnificent melody and glorious harmonies of this uplifting ballad! For COUNTRIFIED
SOUL, it's back on your feet, where we get to indulge in three minutes of non-stop musical fun! They're right, "Everyone needs...
a little countrified soul," and who better to give that to us?! PAINTED TOO MUCH OF THIS TOWN has much of the sentiments of
"You Still Own Me," minus the move across country. A BOY BECOMES A MAN wins my heart for being the sweetest inspiration ballad.
The soaring ballad (in which Brad and Danick share writing credits) tells the story of a boy coming into his own throughout
the course of his life. The best is saved for last as the guys close shop with THE DEVIL WENT DOWN TO GEORGIA. It comes complete
with a guilt-inducing organ and a little white noise popping intro! Oh, and did I mention that Charlie Daniels, who recorded
the original version, makes a "cameo appearance" in the song?!
Countrified is not only a highly-anticipated
album, but it is possibly this year's best release, in my opinion! The whole album plays like a live Emerson Drive show that
you can enjoy right in the comfort of your own living room! Of course, you can't beat the exhilirating experience of
seeing them live in concert. But, if you don't have that opportunity anytime soon, purchasing yourself a copy of this album
will do in the meantime!