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celebrity tribute
long white dress
tribute artist
dolly parton
Tom Petty Or Not?
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This summer I went to see a tribute band that was absolutely exceptional. It seems that celebrity tribute bands are a dime a dozen anymore. Some are great, some are good and some are not so…….. Anyway, my expectations were nil since I’ve covered this area many times before. As a talent agent, it’s my job and I love it. I’ve seen the Dolly Parton who looks like my brother only with bleached hair and a bra that is stuffed beyond imagination. I’ve also seen the very best out of Las Vegas and have been fortunate enough to book many of them. This specific entertainer was a celebrity tribute artist that was from my era and from my area. His band was from right here in Portland/Vancouver. They couldn’t be that great could they? Heck, they’re local. Boy was I wrong.

The venue was an outdoor setting in the middle of summer. It was out on the grass grounds near a school in NE Portland. The air was hot which normally reeks havoc on musical equipment and attitudes. Sound quality is difficult enough to control, but outdoors? I knew the opening act was to be “Stevie Nicks” portrayed by Kimberly Hall. I’ve seen Kimberly perform as Reba McEntire and she is awesome – but Stevie Nicks? I’ve got to be honest – I wasn’t that impressed. Kimberly has one of the best female voices in Portland but there was something about her “show” that wasn’t quite right. The long white dress looked great, but she at least needed a long blonde wig if she wanted to “look” like Steve Nicks. The BEST must look and sound like the person they’re impersonating. I know it was hot and that’s probably why she didn’t have a wig on, but my feeling is this. If you’re doing a show, it doesn’t matter where you are or how many people are in the audience – give it your best. It’s that simple. Kimberly sounded similar to Nicks but not right on. I’m sure she’ll improve and still beats anyone at Reba – hands down.

Next came the show I’d been waiting for, Frank Murray as Tom Petty. Right from the opening song until the moment I left, he had this impersonation nailed head on. It was not only him, but his band. You can be great, but if your band sucks, forget it. This wasn’t the case here. Frank had the look, he had the sound and he had the show. He acted like Tom Petty, he sang like Tom Petty – he WAS Tom Petty. Well, at least for that day. I was in total awe. He should be a national act. A first class celebrity tribute artist right here in Portland. I was in shock. Frank had been trying to get me to his show for some time but I just hadn’t gotten around to see it. My loss – until now.

If you haven’t seen Frank Murray as Tom Petty AND you LOVE Tom Petty, it’s your best chance to get close and personal without spending those big dollar prices. In this economy, every “Petty” counts.


Street Talk

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