Kiefer Sutherland is one of the most talented people on the planet earth. The idea that he can juggle two difficult careers is mind-boggling. The man who plays Jack Bauer is a lot deeper than the characters he portrays by far. While some actors may have careers in music as a hobby, this isn’t that. Kiefer Sutherland is a serious musician and delves deep into his personal pain and bares it all on stage.
The Kiefer Sutherland show at The Urban lounge sold out the Salt Lake City venue. The show started at 8 p.m and by 7 p.m the venue had a huge line that made me wonder if the fire Marshall might shut down this event. Fortunately that didn’t happen and I got to speak with some longtime fans of Kiefer who told me that “he has one of the sexiest voices in music”.
Inside the venue it was standing room only which made the event super intimate. Kiefer Sutherland had an opening act who was talented and when he finished Kiefer’s band came out and set up and then Kiefer came out stroking his fender and singing the song “Can’t Stay Away” from his highly anticipated debut album “Down a Hole”.
Every song was met with thunderous applause from the crowd. Kiefer would sometimes go into stories introducing the songs, for instance on his most personal song “Truth In your Eyes” which almost bought tears to my eyes and was a moving story of a woman he took for granted that passed away. He thanked the crowd and spoke about loving coming to Salt Lake City and had been here previously to film movies.
Kiefer talked about recording the album and coming to his long time collaborator Jude Cole with about 25 songs. The interesting part of that story is that Kiefer because of the stigma of actors trying to be musicians had no interest of recording the songs himself and wanted to shop it around to BMI for other artists. However, because of Jude’s insistence he ended up putting out the album himself.
A lot of the songs draw on Kiefer Sutherland’s love affair with whiskey he mused before his song “Not Enough Whiskey”. He also talked about being influenced by Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, and Willie Nelson. Particularly Johnny Cash who wrote about prison but gave the prisoners “so much dignity” he remarked. Kiefer stated “I’ve never been to prison but I’ve been to jail before, and the first thing they ask you to check is your dignity” speaking openly about his past DUI arrests. He talked about writing the song “Shirley Jean” with Jude which is about a prisoner who is soon to be executed but writes a love letter to the first girl he ever loved because he was so young when he went in.
Kiefer talked about meeting Merle Haggard before he passed away in Bakersfield, Ca and making plans to tour together before the legend passed away. He wrote a song dedicated to him.
Kiefer Sutherland is the real deal and if you love country music in the vein of Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, and Merle Haggard Kiefer is carrying on that tradition in a contemporary way. He has an awesome band, plays the Fender well and his voice is pretty good. Where Kiefer shines the most is in his songwriting ability. He writes songs that are universally relatable and deal with the concepts of loss, why we drink when we know it’s not good for us, and of course love. He still has some US tour dates left before heading overseas and I would highly recommend seeing his show live. Check out more of Kiefer Sutherland on his website: http://kiefersutherlandmusic.com