PEI

Stompin' Tom's musical heir, Tim Hus, plays Summerside

Tim Hus, a singer Stompin' Tom Connors himself hand-picked to follow in his footsteps plays Friday night in Summerside.

The singer was hand-picked by Connors to carry on his musical legacy

Stompin' Tom Connors handpicked Tim Hus to open a national tour for him, and they pair became good friends. (Tim Hus website)

A singer hand-picked by Stompin' Tom Connors himself to follow in his footsteps plays Friday night in Summerside.

Tim Hus, originally from Nelson, B.C., was a friend and traveling companion of Connors, a man he idolized. The feeling was apparently mutual.

The first time Hus knew that Conners had him on his radar was from and article in a local paper years back in Alberta — where Hus had moved for work.

"He had done a newspaper interview when he was out there, and was asked if there were any young musicians who inspired him," Hus explained to CBC Radio's Karen Mair, on Friday's Mainstreet. "He said 'I like Corb Lund and Tim Hus from Alberta, 'cause they're writing hometown songs.'"

B.C.-raised, Alberta-based, Tim Hus writes songs about Canada. (Tim Hus website)

Hus was pretty impressed by that, and kept doing what he was keen to do — which was put on a Stetson and write songs about Canada.

"I thought that would be the perfect life, to be a travelling cowboy singer, singing songs all across the country," he said.

"When I first tried writing songs, they were kind of like, forestry and salmon fishing songs. I guess basically British Columbia songs, that what was all around me, and was familiar to me. It was like all those singers from Texas, they were singing hometown songs, so I started doing that."

His next run-in with Connors was equally impressive.

Playing Canadian country music with  Stompin ' Tom, it's like getting to play hockey with Wayne Gretzky .- Tim Hus

"I had built up quite a catalogue of songs and had a little band together, we were playing every little town, and one night we were playing at a little hotel saloon in Oak River, Manitoba," remembered Hus.

"They said, 'Hey Tim, telephone for you,' and I thought, 'who would be calling me here?' It was Stompin' Tom, how cool is that?"

Very, said everyone in Canada.

"He said he'd been kinda keeping his eye on me, and he liked all the songs I was writing about Canada, and he appreciated that we were working hard to bring our show to every little town," Hus said.

"He said 'I'm going out on tour, and I want you to come out and open the show.' So that was a very exciting phone call for sure. Playing Canadian country music with Stompin' Tom, it's like getting to play hockey with Wayne Gretzky."

Stompin' along with Stompin' Tom

Hus hit the road with his hero soon after.

"I remember touring with him, and in the audience, it was always Dad, son and Granddad all in a row, all stompin' along and singing to every word," he laughed.

"We played coast-to-coast and I got to be good friends with Tom, and Tom appreciated that in a lot of ways I was kind of carrying on in his vein. He liked my approach and hoped I would carry on his thing to a certain degree, I guess."

That's pretty much what has happened with Hus.

His latest album is called Western Star, and he's still playing all over the country, and loving it.

It's not the first time he's played in Stompin' Tom's spiritual home province, so he has some brand-new songs ready to test out at the show.

Tim Hus is playing at the Harbourfront Theater Friday night in Summerside, with a showtime of 7:30 p.m., part of his Never Ending Highways Tour 2016.

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