There’s something about being a Christian that makes Christmas more meaningful, says Michelle Wright, one of Canada’s pioneer voices in Nashville.
It wasn’t until she was baptized as a Christian 13 years ago that she really took on Christmas music, now a staple of her yearly routine and part of the magic that’s won her a space in Canadian homes from coast-to-coast with timeless tunes that transcend genre and illuminate her talent for speaking from the heart.
“I felt somewhat like if you’re going to stand there and sing about Christ you need to believe in order to do it,” she explained. “(Once I did), then I just couldn’t wait to make a Christmas record.”
In 2006, she put out a Wright Christmas and her Christmas tour became a Canadian tradition. Speaking to the Capital News from her Nashville home this month, she confessed she is a “Martha Stewart” of decorating back home, spending her last few days before she hits the bus literally decking the halls.
With a 16-date tour that brings her to Kelowna early in December, she won’t be State-side until Dec. 23 when the tour finally wraps, so she needs to break with tradition and put the tree up well before Dec. 1.
Then her early Christmas continues in Canmore with a visit to her mom and let her band compose itself in the heart of ski country before braving blizzards and ice slicks to visit her Canadian fans.
“My mother was a single, struggling parent quite a bit, but one thing I always remember was how much she tried to make Christmas special for us,” said Wright, who remains close with her family though she’s been in Nashville for 20 years.
“We always had a tree and something under the tree and she was a great cook and we always had something delicious to eat,” she said.
When Wright arrived in Nashville, winning a music contract after touring Canada for 10 years, she was only the third Canadian musician to win the trust of the American music executives, behind Anne Murray and k.d. lang.
Since then, several Canadian country singers have made it in what’s affectionately called the Peach Capital, including Paul Brandt, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Shania Twain, to name but a few. Wright said she’s lucky that they all get to hang out together and have formed a tight bond.
Working with other musicians is a big part of her life and she’s currently courting a song she’s just co-written that she may play on the Christmas tour.
Wright gave us a taste of the lyrics and, to put it like a country crooner, it goes a little something like this:
“These are the pieces, the colours and creases, the choices that change who we are
“The tears and the sweetness, these are the pieces of my life.”
Wright has just released an acoustic album as well which should feature prominently in this set of dates (www.michelle-wright.com to listen).
Michelle Wright’s Christmas tour begins on Dec. 3 in Kamloops before she plays the Kelowna Community Theatre Dec. 4 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are $35.84 from www.selectyourtickets.com or 250-762-5050.