Reid fires it up -- literally

Country singer Johnny Reid. (Stan Behal/QMI Agency)

Country singer Johnny Reid. (Stan Behal/QMI Agency)

Jane Stevenson, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:01 PM ET

When it came to the artwork for his latest CD, Fire It Up, you might say that Scottish-Canadian country-soul crooner Johnny Reid came out guns -- or in this case a diesel hose -- ablazin.'

Reid, 37, is pictured on the album cover and liner notes in front of an inferno. Turns out he was responsible for actually starting it on his farm in Franklin, Tenn.

"On the back of the property I had seven and a half thousand linear feet of fence that I wanted to remove," Reid says with a devilish chuckle while chatting up Fire It Up, which was released this week. "So (the label) phoned and said, 'Hey, we want to do this photo shoot for Fire It Up. We're going to bring you into Toronto, we're going to put you in front of a green screen.' I said, 'I've got a better idea.' "

Reid wound up with a backpack full of diesel and a hose in his hands in front of a massive pile of lumber.

"There were 85-foot flames. It was so hot and this woman that was doing the hair and the makeup said to me, 'Do you want some hairspray?' I go, 'Hairspray? Have you seen the fire out there? If you put some hairspray on my hair, I'm going to go up in flames! ... My buddy phoned me and goes, 'Man, Photoshop's amazing.' I'm like, 'That's not Photoshop!!' "

Reid reveals he was motivated to make the up-tempo Fire It Up -- which includes duets with Canadian soul singer Serena Ryder and country star Carolyn Dawn Johnson -- because of the positive feedback while on tour for his 2010 double-platinum release, A Place Called Love.

"It was almost foreign for me to go in and record anything but that," said Reid, a married father of four -- Justin, 10, Tyler, 9, Dylan, 5, and Ava, 2.

Reid also felt there were anthemic, dramatic songs missing from his set list.

"By the end of the tour, I think a lot of people expected me to be tired but I was rejuvenated. And I knew if I was going to take the next step into some of these arenas, I knew the music that I had to write in order to fill up the rooms musically. I wanted to lift the roof off some of these places."

In addition to a cross-Canada small arena tour (5,000 to 10,000 seaters) that begins in April, Reid will help kick off Canadian Music Week March 21 and attend the Junos in Ottawa on April 1, where his song, Let's Go Higher, is up for best single.

Reid, who has won two Junos and 22 Canadian Country Music Awards in the last six years alone, was surprised to be in the running in a top category.

"Absolutely, I'm in between albums," he said. "I wasn't expecting to be invited."

JOHNNY REID'S CANADIAN TOUR DATES:

April

10 Victoria, BC - Save on Foods Memorial Centre

12 Kamloops, BC - Interior Savings Centre

13 Kelowna, BC - Prospera Place

14 Vancouver, BC - Pacific Coliseum

16 Prince George, BC - CN Centre

17 Dawson Creek or Grande Prairie

19 Edmonton, AB - Rexall Centre

20 Cranbrook, BC - Rec Plex

21 Lethbridge, AB - Enmax Centre

23 Saskatoon, SK - Credit Union Centre

24 Regina, SK - Brandt Centre

26 Brandon, MB - Westman Place

27 Winnipeg, MB - MTS Centre

29 Thunder Bay, ON - TB Community Auditorium

30 Sault Ste Marie, ON - Essar Centre

May

1 Sudbury, ON - Sudbury Arena

2 Barrie, ON - Molson Centre

4 Windsor, ON - Ceasars Casino

5 Hamilton, ON - Copps Coliseum

7 Kitchener, ON - Memorial Auditorium Complex

8 London, ON - John Labatt Centre

10 Oshawa, ON - GM Centre

11 Kingston, ON - K-Rock Centre

12 Ottawa, ON - Scotiabank Place

14 Moncton, NB - Moncton Coliseum

15 Saint John, NB - Harbour Station

16 Halifax, NS - Metro Centre

18 Corner Brook NL, Pepsi Centre

19 St. John's NL, Mile One Centre


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