BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Country-pop artist and TV personality Lindsay Ell will be performing a free-to-attend concert at Helena’s Old Town Live on April 15.

Lauded as “one of the most exciting and talented young artists” by Forbes, Ell is best known for “What Happens In A Small Town” with Brantley Gilbert, a U.S. Platinum-certified single released in 2019.

This spring, Ell will join Shania Twain’s “Queen of Me” tour, performing in numerous cities in the U.S. and Canada from the end of April through June. As the host of Canada’s Got Talent, Ell’s excited to showcase her own skills as the star of the stage.

“We’ve been kind of revving up the engines ever since the beginning of the year, getting ready for the Shania tour and all that,” Ell said. “So it’s been a lot of fun and also it feels nice to get the whole band back together.”

Ell’s latest shows in Alabama took place at Birmingham’s Zydeco on March 19 and Huntsville’s Sidetracks Music Hall on March 20, 2021. She says celebrating her 32nd birthday in the Rocket City left both her and the audience starstruck.

“Those shows are just such a fond, warm place in my heart because that was shortly into 2021 when shows had just started resuming,” Ell said. “And so it felt very special, you know, just to get everything on the road again.”

Her enthusiasm for the upcoming Helena show is made sweeter by her love for her Southern fans and newest single.

“We love playing Alabama so much and it’s so nice to play a show that’s relatively close to town,” Ell said. “We’ve been rehearsing a lot. I just dropped a new song, ‘Sweet Spot’, so it’ll be the first time the bands ever played that on stage. We’re really excited to bring it all to life.”

As a native Canadian, Ell says there are two Alabama staples she always looks forward to during her visits — barbeque and deep Southern accents.

“I just love hearing a really Southern accent,” Ell said. “In places like Nashville, you get a little bit of that depending on where people are from. But when you go down to Alabama, it always just like warms my heart to hear like the country, country accent.”

As an artist who’s performed for almost a decade, Ell says one of her favorite aspects of touring is choosing from a wide array of songs, both from her line-up and classic country covers.

“One of my favorite parts about making a set list is you can take the crowd through a story,” Ell said. “You can have the songs that make them want to party and get up on their feet and dance, and then have songs that you have them in the palm of your hands and you can talk about something really, really special and really heartfelt.”

The country artist has experienced a lot of changes this year alone, from parting ways with her record label to opening up about her eating disorder. Ell believes that being vulnerable with her fans and herself to connect better with her music.

“Any time we can connect deeper into ourselves and who we are, I think that allows us to better connect to other people,” Ell said. “My job as an artist is to connect with people for a living and the more work I do on [myself], the better able I am at writing about it in songs that can connect with others.”

After finishing the Shania tour, Ell says she will be working on an upcoming album and has plans to release more new songs this year.

Old Town Live starts at 5 p.m. at the Helena Amphitheater Park on Saturday and will also feature performances from Drayton Farley and 49 Winchester.