Hot Ticket: A teenage contestant on Canadian Idol, Jaydee Bixby says he no longer has anything to prove

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An entire generation of music fans has come of age since Canadian Idol went off the air in 2008 after six seasons.

If you ever wondered what happened to runner-up Jaydee Bixby from the fifth season, he’s been working hard at honing his country-music chops, opening for well-known recording artists like Taylor Swift and Kenny Chesney in the process.

The eternally baby-faced performer was only 17 when he appeared on Canadian Idol.

“Now, it isn’t a competition and I’ve got nothing to prove — I just want to play music,” he told his official website.

He likes country music for its honesty.

“I can sit down and talk with any­body, whether they’re 90 or 42,” he says. “It doesn’t matter — we all go through the same problems. These are all genuine experiences, whether it’s a breakup or just going out and having some fun.”

Among his tunes are such songs as My So-Called Life, Old-Fashioned Girl and Dream Bigger. He has also recorded a countrified take on the Tom Cochrane hit Boy Inside the Man.

Now fans of new country in London can see him in their own backyard when he appears at Thorndale’s Purple Hill Country Hall on Sunday. The show starts at 2 p.m. and the $40 ticket price includes a “delicious” roast-beef dinner at 5:30 p.m.

Bixby also takes his cues from the classic rock and roll of the 1950s, which is similarly direct to classic country and western.

“It’s a story and a song, and I like that you can hear every word I say when I sing,” Bixby said.

Also on the bill are Donny Bentum, Michael Warren, Debbie Turner and Harold Bere of the County Road Band.

There’s also the venerable house band fronted by Guy Melanson, the Purple Hill Show Band.

“In its eight years of evolution, the aggregation known as the Boys of Purple Hill has become something like an all-star team among country music show bands,” Hall management said in a statement.

The Purple Hill Show Band includes players such as Juno Award-winning fiddler John P. Allen.

“Allen believes the group has become  a truly elite country show band in Ontario, if not in all of Canada,” the venue said.

The key to band’s sound, leader Melanson said, is that the group has stayed true to old-school country music — even truer than many artists working in Nashville today.

“Lately they have strayed away from the real country music that we play at the Purple Hill Opry.  Much of the music they play now in Nashville is more of rock and modern influence,”  said Melanson, who hails from Yarmouth, N.S.

With files from Club Scene columnist Lori Mastronardi

If you go

What: Jayden Bixby comes to Thorndale for an afternoon of country music

Where: Thorndale’s Purple Hill Country Hall, 20903 Purple Hill Road, Thorndale, ON N0M 2P0

When: Sunday, 2 p.m., dinner at 5:30 p.m.

How much: $40 per person, includes show and dinner

Info: Online at or call 519-461-0538

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