Kiefer Sutherland and Rick Brantley at the Bluebird Theater in Denver, CO on 4/17/18

Kiefer Sutherland and band

We needed to seek shelter from the dangerously high winds on Tuesday before the show. So we ducked into the Goosetown Tavern across the street from the Bluebird Theater. Just after my first sip of beer, actor/musician Kiefer Sutherland walked into the bar.  He joined his band in a booth while the entire establishment glanced his way.  Sutherland was very kind and gracious to everyone.  I was waiting for the perfect moment to approach him.  But he left as soon as I went to the restroom.  I am still cursing my bladder.

Kiefer Sutherland – All Photos by 
The Rock and Roll Princess

Over seventeen-years-ago Sutherland started a record label named Ironworks.  He signed Rocco DeLuca among many others (Sutherland has DeLuca’s album title I Trust You to Kill Me tattooed on his arm). The artists on his label encouraged Kiefer Sutherland to create his own music. After a successful debut album and tour, Sutherland is back on the road playing songs from his upcoming record.

The crowd consisted of fans that grew up on his movies such as The Lost Boys, Young Guns, and A Few Good Men (to name just a few). His role as counter-terrorist agent Jack Bauer from the television series 24 was being passionately discussed when all of a sudden The War on Drugs’ Under Pressure started to blast over the PA.  A few moments later, Kiefer Sutherland and his band took the stage. That’s when he transformed from an actor into a musician.

Michael Gurley and Kiefer Sutherland

Sutherland started with the autobiographical country songs Reckless & Me and Going Home.  His colorful past is perfect material for country songs.  The pace picked up with Patti Loveless’ Blame It on Your Heart. The band played the country standard with just the right honky tonk touch.  The song about his first love entitled Saskatchewan (Sutherland grew up in Toronto) made the intoxicated audience bob their heads.  It also caused the girl in front of us with a Canadian flag to lose her mind.  She waved it proudly blocking the view of everyone behind her.

The title track from his first album, Down in a Hole started the rock portion of the evening.  Guitar players Michael Gurley and Austin Valleijo traded licks while Sutherland jammed out right beside them.  Towards the end of the night, they played Tom Petty’s Honey Bee highlighting the excellent drumming skills of local hero Jess Calcaterra from Granby, Colorado.  Sutherland thanked the crowd multiple times.  He was truly grateful for the crowd showing up to support his music.

Rick Brantley

Rick Brantley was raised a Baptist preacher’s son in Macon, Georgia.  His father’s musical tastes from The Allman Brothers to Billy Joel inspired him to create music.  After high school he moved to Nashville, TN and became a songwriter.  He is now performing his own songs opening up for John Hiatt, Steve Earle, and lately Kiether Sutherland.  His soulful voice and powerful song writing almost made the too drunk for a Tuesday night crowd quiet down and listen. The begging request for love song 40 days and 40 Nights started his set off strongly.  Tumbleweeds was introduced by explaining how his dream of becoming a cowboy morphed into a hope of becoming a policeman. His song Hurt People depicts the horrors of abuse. “Everybody’s got a reason for losing faith/I guess everybody’s got a scar they just can’t erase/You live a little while, you’re gonna have one too/You live a little longer, I bet you leave a few.”  After the song, Brantley joked that razor blades could be purchased at his merch booth.  He ended with his father’s favorite song, Otis Redding’s Try a Little Tenderness complete with boot slams.

See you at the next show.  I’ll be the one missing a celebrity encounter.

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