The Living Sky Casino Event Centre was packed to the brim with folks who came out to enjoy the heartfelt country repertoire of Chris Henderson.
Last Saturday, the Swift Current Arts Council hosted the concert, bringing in the two-time Saskatchewan Country Music Artist of the Year for a crowd of nearly 500.
Henderson managed to not only perform heart-grabbing songs of hardship, friendship and companionship but also lit up the room with humoured anecdotes from his life. All of that combined into a lively and fun performance.
"A great crowd out there, that's always the most important part," said Henderson. "This is a beautiful venue, and you have a great crew that works here. We walked in, and everybody treated us like gold. Anytime I go anywhere, and you got an appreciative crowd and venue to treat you well, I'll come back anytime."
The show even featured a guest performance via impersonation by Henderson from Willy and Waylon. Later on, he would also show off his skills with the brass, playing the trumpet during the Ring of Fire.
But as fun, as his tributes to country greats were, it was his own music that left a sense of genuine soul and country in the room. Henderson managed to capture the feeling of the "other" with 'Kissing Sadie' and was able to highlight absent-mindedness with 'Bad Memory'.
A highlight of the night was a song he and a friend had written, all about the beautiful sights in Saskatchewan. In it, they managed to make the word Saskatchewan not awkward in the rhyme scheme, a feat he was more than proud of. Sadly, the song doesn't appear to be on streaming services at the moment, with it being as of yet unreleased.
"I'm from Estevan, so we did do a little homage Estevan there," said Henderson. "There's a line about the hockey and Estevan with the rinks, and I just tried to get as many references to Saskatchewan as you can. Whether it was the Original 16 references in Saskatoon or to Clear Lake, we just wanted to capture as much of the spirit of this province as we could in a three-minute song, and I think we did okay.
Perhaps his most poignant piece of the evening was 'Point of View'. Henderson revealed he had written the song for his close friend who had attempted to end their life. The inspiration for the song came after Henderson realized that even though she had made an attempt, she had decided to call the ambulance herself, choosing to live.
"It used to be a really hard song to sing, but the whole point of that song is to, instead of mourning something bad that happened, look at the bright side and celebrate it," said Henderson. "In my head, I try to go to a place where I'm thankful that she's still here and that she's healthier today than she was back when that song was written. To me, I try to really think of it as a celebration more than something sad."
The night ended once the band decided to come out for an encore, playing a George Strait classic, 'Here for a Good Time'. Henderson then came out to thank the crowd for their support, taking photos and speaking with his newly acquired devotees.
If anyone wants to find his music, it is available online on streaming services and on chrisandersonmusic.com, where folks can contribute to him directly.
"If you want to order one directly off of Chris Anderson Music, I will personally mail it out to you myself," assured Henderson.