Welcome back to the Holiday Train! This is your second year on the HT. What is your favourite memory from last year and what are you most excited for this year?
Seeing the kids’ faces. The Holiday Train is a wonderful cause. It’s just a feel-good atmosphere all around but the kids get so excited at the magical nature of it, I just love that part so much.
What’s your favourite holiday song?
Baby it’s Cold Outside.
What’s your favourite holiday story?
How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
Congratulations on the release of your most recent album and your induction into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame. What is the theme behind this album and do you have a favourite song on the album?
The album is called Raising the Bar. There’s a theme running throughout involving adult libations. It is also a culmination of a lot of hard work on the album and constant checks and balances. I went back in the studio with new material three different times trying to “raise the bar” so to speak. I’m also at a point in my life of striving to be the best person I can be, so that title covers a lot of ground.
What does it mean to you to be the only female Canadian member of the Grand Ole Opry?
Being a part of history is surreal. I honestly can’t believe I’m the only one. We have some pretty talented Canadian women on the horizon so I’m sure that will change in time, but it blows me away to get to carry that torch for Canadian women for a while.
Who is someone you’ve always dreamed of performing with and where?
Bonnie Raitt – I’ve always been a fan of hers. I love that she didn’t become a household name till she was in her 40s and really hit her stride on the mainstream level. I’ve always loved strong women who can shred!
What piece of advice do you give young people both personally and professionally?
Stay true to yourself. Find someone to work with who genuinely believes in you, shares your vision, and isn’t afraid to dare to dream.
The Canadian music scene is very close-knit and your relationships with long-time HT performers Kelly Prescott and Dallas Smith (as well as others) is well known. Why do you think Canadian musicians are so close and connected?
I think we all support each other and share the same dream to make music and bring joy to people. There is an unspoken camaraderie.
It’s easy to be friends with good people who I genuinely adore being around like Kelly and Dallas, so that part is easy.
You have a storied career taking you all over Canada and the U.S. What do you find most special about traveling by train?
It’s magical. There is no other way to describe it. You kind of have permission to be in this cocoon with a bunch of fun and like-minded people. It’s hard work - a lot of shows in a day in sometimes freezing temperatures. But the reward far outweighs those things. When a day of that hard work and making people smile and kids laugh and sing along is done, you have a bunch of people to share it with.
When you’re not touring, what do you like to do in your free time?
Same stuff anyone else does: fishing, a little golf, cuddling with my doggies and watching Netflix.