With a successful career on television and the big screen, Kiefer breaks out of his shell to show a more personal side of himself in music.
After starring for 15 years in the Fox TV series 24, in many major films, and winning numerous awards including Emmy Awards, Golded Globe Awards, and Screen Actor Guilds Awards, there is no need to worry about changing careers. For Kiefer Sutherland, music is not a career change as it is just an extension of his person not known to the public… until now.
Knowing many professional musicians, he has always been insecure to play in front of his friends, so he has kept his fondness for music to himself. Due to past experiences in life that he has encountered, he has much to say. The best way to express feelings and such is through songwriting, which Kiefer has been doing.
Along with his best friend and music producer, Jude Cole, Kiefer co-owns an independent record label, Ironworks. Sharing some of his songs with Jude for other artists to record, he was convinced to keep the songs for himself and record an album.
Now two years later, Kiefer is ready to release his debut album, Down In A Hole. The 11-song album will be released later this summer. The debut single, “Not Enough Whiskey,” is out and receiving radio airplay.
In front of the album release, Kiefer has set out to promote it with a 26-city two-month North American tour spanning April and May. The sold-out show at The Ark in Ann Arbor, Michigan is the fourth night of the Not Enough Whiskey Tour.
Joining Kiefer on the road for this tour is singer-songwriter, Austin Plaine, from Minneapolis. Opening the show, Austin came to the stage with his acoustic guitar. He proved himself in front of the 400+ crowd, playing songs from his self-titled album. At the end of his set, he left the crowd begging for him to return.
After a short intermission, Kiefer and his band were welcomed to the stage with everyone in the crowd cheering them in the intimate venue. He played material from his upcoming album and captivated the audience with his mix of country-rock and folk.
With a bit of a deep raspy voice, his storytelling mesmerizes you into feeling every word, making them more believable.
Getting warmed up for the tour, Kiefer and the band played a few shows in California to practice playing in front of crowds before hitting the road. Kiefer told the crowd that he and the band had mostly played in bars, so having a seated crowd was different for them. However, with the history of The Ark, he felt honored to be able to play for the crowd in Ann Arbor. He mentioned that “if you have a drink, lift it up, it would be and honor to say I had a drink with you.”
Having a day off the day before the show, Kiefer had a chance to get out and explore Ann Arbor saying it is an awesome town with all the little shops. He even pumped up the crowd by telling that he bought a Michigan Wolverine t-shirt to take home with him.
Kiefer commented on how most of his songs talk about drinking before moving right into his debut single, “Not Enough Whiskey,” with help from the crowd who sang along.
Another song, “Going Home,” was written from a night of him sitting in a bar at 1:00 am thinking “what in the f… am I doing here.”
Being a huge fan of Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, and Kris Kristofferson, he added an ode to being incarcerated with “Shirley Jane.” It is a song about a man’s last night in jail before his execution.
A touching highlight of the show came when Kiefer introduced his next song. He talked about writing the song about nine years ago after watching bouncers rough up a young man outside a bar one evening. He talked how his eyes were big with fear.
As he intervened, he had asked the man what the problem was, who responded explaining that he was a war veteran and thought that the VA hospital had given him the wrong medication. Kiefer helped the young man get to the hospital where he could find the help needed.
Kiefer wrote this song because of veterans like this individual who have given everything serving his country, but then not treated with the right care and respect that he deserves when returning home. The name of this touching song is “Gonna Die.”
Kiefer told the crowd that when you grow up in Toronto, you have to listen to Rush and Gordon Lightfoot. For tonight’s show, they added Gordon’s hit song, “Sundown.”
Kiefer shared the story of being driven to school as a young child by his father, veteran actor Donald Sutherland. Every day on the way, his dad would play this old 8-track tape of Bob Dylan.
Kiefer ended his evening at The Ark, by playing “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” as a tribute to Bob and his father. As the song ended, the crowd showed their appreciation to Kiefer and the band with a standing ovation.
Coming into the evening’s show, no one in the crowd knew what to expect as no one has heard any music from Kiefer in the past other than his current single on the radio. Many thought this would be another fluke by an actor turned musician as has happened in the past. For the those attending tonight’s performance, they were quickly surprised and amazed by the Kiefer’s level of talent and were greatly entertained.
For Kiefer Sutherland, he has made a statement to this being a passion of his and doing it only for his enjoyment. Well, the attitude and approval of the crowd have shown indications that he could make a career change and be accepted as a musical artist.
Kiefer Sutherland setlist:
- Can’t Stay Away
- I’ll Do Anything
- Callin’ Out Your Name
- Truth In Your Eyes
- Not Enough Whiskey
- Going Home
- My Best Friend
- Ways To Be Wicked
- Good Bye
- Honey Bee – Tom Petty cover
- Shirley Jean
- All She Wrote
- Down In A Hole
- Encore – Gonna Die
- Encore – Sundown – Gordon Lightfoot cover
- Encore – Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door – Bob Dylan