Upcoming this November:

We kick things off with a Buddy Holly birthday show at my favorite venue in Kansas City: Knuckleheads Saloon and November 4th where the ever-talent Jeff Bergen will open the show with his tribute to Elvis.

November 4th – Knuckleheads

A few days later, I’m flying to Vancouver for a show I’m really excited about at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre on November 9th:

November 9th – Chilliwack, BC

Here, I’ll performing many album cuts including songs by Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis and Hank Williams as well as debuting some original material.

My last show in November is on the 18th in Port Dover where Paquette Productions is producing a two act Buddy Holly Tribute show backed by the fabulous Rockin’ Royals Band.

November 18th – Port Dover, ON

An Entomologist Dream: the Beatles AND the Crickets!

I’d like to extend a big thank you to everyone who attended what I joked as an “entomologists dream line-up” – the Legends of Rock & Rock presenting a tribute concert of the Beatles AND Crickets.  We played three packed venues in BC: the Mary Winspear in Sydney,  the Port Theatre in Nanaimo, and the Cowichan Theatre in Duncan.  The shows were very well received and we hope to reunite again for a more extensive tour sometime next year.

Buddy and the Beatles

The Beatles are my long-time favourite band.  It was a dream come true sharing the stage with the Fab Fourever.  Not only was it a dream come true for me but I like to think we were living out a dream for the Beatles themselves.  They were hugely inspired by Buddy but never got a chance to meet him in person.  I think they would have gotten along nearly as well as we did 😉

Another dream came true for me on this tour.  My dream girl, Molly Dee, made her dazzling debut performing in Canada.  She lit up the stage performing highlights from Lulu and Dusty Springfield as well as forging a new act together as “the Everly Lovers”.

Processed with VSCOcam with b1 preset

Next up:  Molly Dee and I return along with the wild and wonderful piano talents of Lancy Lapinsky as Jerry Lee Lewis for a Rock & Roll Xmas in December.  See sidebar for dates!

Happy New Year, 2014!

Thank you to everyone who made 2013 such a fantastic year!  I’ve been a busy and lucky guy, I’ll tell ya.

In 2013…

  • I starred in 2 smash hit productions of “Buddy” – one at the Chemainus Festival Theatre in BC & the New Theatre Restaurant in Kansas City.
  • I premiered Mark Leiren-Young’s first one-man play, “Never Shoot a Stampede Queen” in Vancouver working with one of my favorite theatre artists, TJ Dawe, as director.
  • I scored music for my first web series, the True Heroines.
  • Went on 2 tours with the fantastic team at Legends of Rock & Roll “A Rock & Roll Christmas” and a brand new, killer concept, “The Class of ’59” featuring Buddy, Jerry Lee, Bopper, Connie, Eddie, Elvis, Don & Phil.
  • I went on an epic road trip across the western and southern states and I played in a handful of Phil Ochs Song Nights in the San Francisco Bay area.

PhilOchs-SanFran

2014 is already upon us and I’ve got some exciting announcements.

I’m beginning the year in America’s most populous urban centre, New York City, doing research to develop a show centred on the folk music scene in the 60s.  Only to fly right back to one of Canada’s most remote and unpopulated beauties, to reprise the Stampede Queen in Haida Gwaii, Jan 31/Feb.1st)

Buddy was such a hit last year that Chemainus is bringing him back again in Feb. 11th – March 8th.

AND – the Arts Club Theatre celebrates it’s 75th Anniversary season with Red Rock Diner (June 19th – August 2nd) where I’ll be rockin’ some of the greatest songs of the 50s/60s that legendary DJ, Red Robinson spun on Vancouver’s airwaves.

Also, I’ll be teaming with my sister to help create some music for Pancake Manor – a hit online series for kids!

With plenty to look forward to I’ve also made the resolution to update this website more regularly so I can share more of my work with the people who enjoy what I do.

Thanks for reading and all the best to you in 2014!

Buddy Holly is alive and well at the Stanley Theatre

Eight shows a week (and a quick trip to see the Jays in Seattle) have kept me very busy as of late.  I figured, at very least, I could share a couple interviews I did recently.  Hope to see you at the Stanley!

Here is an appearance on Vancouver’s Urban Rush:


From the Courier, July 31st:

10 Questions: Buddy-ing actor makes Holly pilgrimage

 

Photo by Dan Toulgoet

By Michael Kissinger, Vancouver Courier

Vancouver audiences know Zachary Stevenson for his Jessie Award-nominated portrayal of Buddy Holly in the Arts Club’s crowd-pleasing Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, which returns to the Stanley this summer and runs until Aug. 26. But the local rock ’n’ roller is also a talented singer-songwriter, both as a solo artist and as a member of the band the Human Statues. Stevenson took time from his busy schedule to rave on with the Courier and discuss songwriting, eyeware and his likeness to Cee-lo Green.

1. Where does one find proper Buddy Holly glasses?

eBay! Actually, you know, it’s really tough to find really authentic Buddy glasses. They have really strong angles, which few modern dark-rimmed hipster glasses do.

2. Having played Buddy Holly and performed his songs so many times, do you feel your performance has evolved or changed?

Absolutely. When I was first cast as Buddy, I was a shaggy-haired, side-burned hippy coming off a production of Hair. I played a decent folk guitar but had never played blues or rock on an electric. I worked really hard to get it off the ground. Every production since has given me another crack to dig a little deeper and get more detailed. Also working with multiple directors and actors contribute a lot to refining the character as well. A couple of summers ago I finally went down to Lubbock, Texas; Clovis, New Mexico; and Clear Lake, Iowa to do some hands-on research and reflection on the trail of Buddy Holly, which deepened my connection with him. There’s a really cool video my sister made of the trip called “Searching for Buddy Holly” on YouTube.

3. What was it like to actually see in person the towns, recording studios and concert halls portrayed in the production and even perform a song with one of Holly’s backup singers?

Unforgettable. I had already logged over 200 performances of the Buddy Holly Story before I finally was able to head down and see some of the locations that we portray onstage. I’d spent so many hours visualizing these places that it was really surreal to actually be in the presence. It was quite emotional to actually step into that studio floor. I’m not a “spiritual” person per se. But I could really feel the presence of energy and the vibrations that Buddy and the boys had caused in those walls all those years ago.

4. How has playing Buddy Holly influenced your own songwriting?

Editing. Most of Buddy Holly’s songs are not much longer than two minutes. No self-indulgence here. Helps me to edit anything that is extraneous to the song.

5. Your recently released album Smashed Hits consists of covers of Buddy Holly songs and other early rock ’n’ roll classics, and the album art looks of that time period. What about that era of music appeals to you?

I love how exciting it was for people to hear new songs on the radio. How there was a lot of mystery about the performers. That people gathered ’round the record player and listened to music and treated it with more reverence and focus. We consume so much music now on the go and with visuals on the Internet. A lot of pop music has become a little like fast food.

6. You’ve played Phil Ochs, Hank Williams, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly on stage. Which one is the hardest to play?

Jerry Lee was. Mostly because I’m not a natural Boogie-Woogie player so it took A LOT of practice to give up to a performable level. I think I naturally share more in common, personality-wise, with the other guys, too.

7. What modern day musician do you think you’d be best suited to portray?

How ’bout Cee-lo Green? A lot of people have said I look like Chris Isaac but I’d love to be Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie (one of my fav bands).

8. Have you ever suffered any Buddy Holly-related injuries?

Haha. Just last night I sliced up my finger pretty good on a broken string.

9. What kind of music do you listen to when you’re at home?

I listen to a lot of different styles. I just bought Hey Ocean’s latest album. It’s really good.

10. I assume there are times when you must get tired of playing the same songs night after night. What is the key to warding off Buddy Holly exhaustion?

The look in an older lady’s eyes as she tells me how she couldn’t keep still during the performance and how much it meant to her to hear those songs that flooded her with memories of her youth. It reminds me of the power of music and why I love it so much. Though, I may not wake up every morning thinking “I can’t wait to play ‘Peggy Sue’ yet again tonight!” I do go to bed every night thankful I did.

mkissinger@vancourier.com

Fire is extinquished. But the damage was done!

We have firefighters for good reason.  When something is ablaze, much is destroyed.  Well, it seems, performing the theatrical play- Fire can be destructive for an actor as well.  Yes, emotionally speaking, the character, Cale, (based on Jerry Lee Lewis) is fairly self-destructive, but I’m actually speaking quite literally in this case.

Within the rehearsal process and short run of Fire I managed to break: Two tables, two belts, a radio, a pair of shoes, a piano string, a thumbnail, nearly a finger and on the final flourish of the closing night encore of “Great Balls of Fire”- a piano key was knocked sheer off.  Mind you, I was stomping on the piano 😉

Thank you to everybody at Blue Bridge – Brian Richmond, Darcy Stoop and especially Justine Shore; a fantastic cast and to all the people who attended and came with us on our journey.  Amen.

Vinyl Heart

It’s no April fool’s joke, The Human Statues have finally released a new single called “Vinyl Heart”.  It’s the sentiment of an analogue man in a digital world, grappling with the tough decision to depart with a dearly held record collection.

Released- April 1st, 2011

You can buy it at CD Baby by clicking HERE.  And will soon be available on iTunes.

Jailhouse Rock

It’s 30 degrees below; it’s starting to snow; where else could I go but to the Prairie Theatre Exchange to set the dance floor on fire and create a little warmth with “Burnin’ Love”.

Yes, I’m here in Winnipeg, one of Canada’s most notoriously chilly cities, fittingly rehearsing for a show with a reference to fire in it.  Winnipeg playwright, Sharon Bajer, has written a heartwarming and hilarious piece about love, death and Elvis and I’m providing the Elvis.

As if Phil Ochs, Buddy Holly and Hank Williams wasn’t enough, I feel like I’ve finally arrived doing my first “Elvis” impersonation.  This is not the path I imagined for myself, but it sure is interesting.  There has been no better way for me to learn about the roots of pop music than to really explore the lives of those who have made such an impact.

The show opens in two weeks, March 3-20th.  More info here: www.pte.mb.ca

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...