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Actors turned singers: Kiefer Sutherland, Johnny Depp among those performing locally this summer

by jmaloni
Fri, Apr 22nd 2016 11:00 am
Kiefer Sutherland (Photo by Beth Elliott)
Kiefer Sutherland (Photo by Beth Elliott)

Kiefer Sutherland interview

By Joshua Maloni

Managing Editor

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, "24" star Kiefer Sutherland said he rolls his eyes when he hears of actors turning into singers.

But that didn't stop him from adding his name to that list.

Sutherland has joined the ranks of Kevin Bacon, Kevin Costner, Russell Crowe, Jamie Foxx, Juliette Lewis and Jared Leto, expanding his stage talents into another realm of creativity. The actor is working on a debut country album, "Down In A Hole," and recently debuted a music video for lead single "Not Enough Whiskey." Sutherland's 11 songs were produced by Jude Cole, his best friend and Ironworks record label partner.

Initially, "I had no intention to make an album," Sutherland said on a conference call Tuesday.

He intended to sell the songs to a full-time musician. However, "I had written a few songs that I actually really liked," Sutherland said.

"(Cole) really liked them a lot and he said he thought I should keep them, and he thought I should give him the rest of the songs that I had - and potentially make an album," Sutherland said. "And I remember laughing and going, 'Oh, that's ridiculous.' ...

"We did two more songs, and I started to like the way they sounded. And I started to like the way they flowed together. And at that point I had to make a choice to do the record and make the record."

Sutherland reiterated, "I am completely aware of the stigma attached to an actor doing music. And where I got to was I actually really liked my songs. And I know they're not going to be for everybody. And I'm fine with that. What I really love doing are playing small clubs."

Sutherland will perform May 16 at (ironically) Buffalo's Iron Works.

"It's the closest I'm going to play to Toronto, which is where I'm from," he said. "I used to visit down in Buffalo, playing hockey when I was a kid. I was always so jealous that you guys got so much more snow than we did."

Kiefer Sutherland (Photo by Beth Elliott) 

Kiefer Sutherland (Photo by Beth Elliott)

Sutherland's first full-fledged tour began April 14.

"It's been amazing," he said. "But I have to say it's been an education. When you do a film or you do a play, you're in the same town and you have parameters. And I've worked within those parameters for almost 30 years. So, I know what time I have to go to bed. I know what I can do on six hours of sleep. I never had to worry about my voice going out. I never had to worry about air conditioning before. And the rougher my voice sounded, certainly within the context of '24,' the better.

"This is not that experience. (I've learned) in the last three days that this is not a sprint. This is a marathon, and you have to take care of yourself."

Learning about different audiences in different markets "is really exciting," Sutherland said.

He admitted some will come to his shows just because of his TV and film fame.

"I've always likened our show to kind of that of a NASCAR race," Sutherland said. "I think people are coming out, you know, to see a crash. And it's our job to just try and show them a really good race. And so far, we're doing our best in going really well. We'll see what happens.

"We're going to end up, by the time we're finished, doing close to 55 dates, because they keep adding them on, which I'm really excited about.

"I'm just glad they show up, you know? I don't care why anybody comes to see the show - if they're coming for a laugh or not. It's our job as a band to give them a great show and try to make it a night that they're going to remember for a while. And so, that's the challenge that we've taken on, and that's what we're trying to do."

Hollywood Vampires 

Hollywood Vampires

Sutherland is not the only actor taking the microphone at local venues this summer.

On Tuesday, Seneca Resorts & Casinos announced a Seneca Niagara outdoor show July 9 with the Hollywood Vampires. The band, which made a national debut at the Grammy Awards, includes Alice Cooper, Joe Perry and "Pirates of the Caribbean"/"Edward Scissorhands"/"Black Mass" star Johnny Depp.

The hotel and casino also will welcome "The Partridge Family" son David Cassidy on July 16 and "Grease" heartbreaker Olivia Newton-John on July 23. Across the river, Fallsview Casino welcomes "General Hospital"/"Ricki and the Flash" actor Rick Springfield on June 9-10.

"The excitement at Seneca Niagara and Seneca Allegany this summer is going to be at a fever pitch," said Melissa Free-Marshall, senior vice president of marketing, Seneca Resorts & Casinos. "Not only are we continuing to bring superstar acts into the Seneca Niagara and Seneca Allegany events centers, as well as the Bear's Den Showroom, we also have incredible outdoor shows, including Ringo Starr and The Hollywood Vampires, lined up as well. Our properties are going to be the hot spot for summer entertainment."

Olivia Newton-John 

Olivia Newton-John

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