It's been 10 years since pianist Jim Brickman released the recording of "Valentine," sung by Martina McBride.
That was the song that shot the song's album "Picture This" into the Top 40 of Billboard's Top 200 album chart. The song, itself, reached No. 3 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart and No. 68 on the country chart.
"It's been fantastic," Brickman said about the song during an interview from Los Angeles, Calif. "To be able to celebrate 10 years with the songs reminds me how evergreen the song is and the loyalty of the fans."
To commemorate the release, Brickman reissued the 2002 compilation CD called "Valentine" last year. The reissue features two never-before-released songs.
"The new version of 'Love of My Life' is the original demo recording sung by me and songwriter Tom Douglas," Brickman said. "The version of 'Destiny' is the original solo demo sung by Jaci Valesquez."
Throughout his career, Brickman has become fond of certain cities. Salt Lake City is at the top of his list. That's why he chose Utah's capital to play his Valentine's Day concerts.
"The fan base has been amazing here throughout the years," he said. "I wanted to give them a gift for their support. I haven't played there for a while and this was a good way to celebrate.
"Valentine's Day has always been dear to me," he said. "The idea of this romantic holiday is unique. There isn't any religious connotations and it's the most emotional of the holidays that allows you to express your feelings.
"It's a day for those who have a hard time showing emotions a chance to try it out," he said. "It's a time for everyone, even young, 10-year-old children who get over that uncertainty about giving a Valentine card to someone they like."
Brickman said his music is romantic in nature, because of the melodies.
"The lyrics of the songs I do perform are romantic, but the music and arrangements go with the moods. And music is another way for people to express or feel romantic emotions."
Brickman's performances on Thursday and Friday will essentially be the same, he said. In addition to having his childhood friend and vocalist Anne Cochran join him on stage, Brickman will introduce a new violinist, David Klinkenberg, who will be replacing longtime Brickman performer Tracy Silverman.
"I'm excited to bring David to Salt Lake," Brickman said. "He approaches music differently than Tracy does. While Tracy is more of a '70s rock violinist, David is more acoustic Celtic."
The performance will also feature the second-half requests segment where the musicians perform requests from the audience. And there will be a little lottery.
"We will be doing a drawing for people who will be eligible for my cruise performances next year."
For three years, the pianist has held romantic Valentine cruises where he plays concerts and meets his fans. There's also a songwriting session."The session is like a 'behind-the-scenes' thing we do," said Brickman. "It's not like we teach people how to write songs, but we show them how we do it. It's like watching a cooking show on TV."
If you go ...
What: Jim Brickman
Where: Kingsbury Hall, University of Utah
When: Thursday and Friday, 8 p.m.
How much: $30-$45
E-mail: [email protected]