By Stu Salkeld The Stettler Independent
If you were at the Royal Canadian Legion Stettler Branch #59 Saturday, Nov. 25, you very likely were having a rocking time. That’s the time and place where Diamond Forever featuring Jason Scott was on stage.
Scott, a longtime singer-songwriter whose Neil Diamond tribute shows are watched across the country, said performing his acclaimed show at the Stettler Legion was as good as it gets. “the show was fantastic,” said Scott by phone Nov. 27. “We had a blast.”
He said he puts on a very audience-oriented show, and usually starts right off with explaining to the crowd the vital part they play. Diamond Forever features sing-along, dancing and prizes. “The audience was fantastic,” said Scott. “They were ready to party.”
Scott said his Diamond tribute show is not a “first person’ experience where he tries to channel Neil Diamond, but rather a celebration of the man and his famous music.
How did Scott end up as a renowned Neil Diamond tribute artist? “I didn’t used to be,” he said. “I was aware of Neil.”
After a recording career in the 80s and 90s, Scott toned it down a bit and was semi-retired from the music industry. Then, he decided to go out on the town one night with family, and ended up in a pub with the dual specialization of sports and karaoke.
After the sing-along session went on the big screen, Scott’s sister was busy looking at karaoke music available and suggested he get up and perform “Love on the Rocks” by Neil Diamond, from The Jazz Singer soundtrack.
“So I said okay, I’ll do it,” said Scott. Scott said singing Neil Diamond is different from rock artists, as Diamond’s voice is down low, much lower than most rock music. Starting off, Scott knew he nailed it. “There was a huge whoop in the crowd,” he said. “I thought the Canucks had just scored. I looked down at the crowd and they were on their feet.”
Diamond Forever has a very special relationship with Royal Canadian Legions across the country, as the shows are typically fundraisers for the Legion. From his home base in Cranbrook, B.C., Scott hits Legions across the country. Scott said he enjoys shining a light on Legions, as he himself comes from a military family.
So what was the Stettler audience’s favourite Diamond tune? “Sweet Caroline,” said Scott. “Everybody’s looking for Sweet Caroline.”
He finished them off with Song Sung Blues, and listened to the crowd singing it themselves.
“Outstanding,” added Scott. “It was so much fun.”