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Country music star wows crowd with acoustic show at the Orillia Opera House

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Canadian country music singer Tim Hicks took over the stage at the Orillia Opera House Sunday night on his Campfire Troubadour Tour.

The Ontario-born singer says he's excited to be back playing in his home province.

"I love Ontario. I feel like I built a little bit of a fan base even prior to having songs on the radio and whatnot, so it's nice to see old faces and get to some towns that I haven't played in a long time," says Hicks.

This tour is a more intimate experience for fans, with acoustic arrangements and stripped-down versions of his biggest hits.

"When I was out playing in bars, typically front of the week I was playing on my own or with a buddy of mine so it's really natural to do things stripped back. That has afforded us the opportunity to play in some towns that we wouldn't normally get to play," says Hicks.

Joining Hicks on the Ontario leg of the tour is up-and-coming artist Dayna Reid.

The singer is originally from Elmvale and just released her first single in January.

"The first single I released was called 'She's Me' and it's really about, when I was writing that song I was writing a tune that was going to make me kind of like believe in myself enough to actually take the leap of faith and pursue this business," says Reid.

Reid says Tim Hicks has been a mentor to her, and they even collaborated on a song on his new album.

"Tim is such a down-to-earth guy both on and off the stage, so it's been awesome," says Reid.

Hicks says he isn't surprised that the country music genre has grown incredibly popular over the last few years.

"I think that in my humble opinion it's sort of replaced a genre of music that we once called soft rock. You can kind of fill that void a bit with country. Plus, it's just great musicians, great singers singing great songs, which to me always wins at the end of the day," says Hicks.

With three shows left, Tim Hicks will wrap up his Campfire tour in Ottawa this week.

He'll head back to Nashville in the new year to start working on new music.

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