Elvis tribute artist returns to Amherst

Dave Mathieson webcomments@ngnews.ca
Published on February 21, 2012
Whether it’s singing soft ballads or belting out the classics, Thane Dunn guarantees an entertaining night with Elvis Presley. “It’s the closest thing you’ll ever get to seeing Elvis,” said Dunn.
Submitted Photo

AMHERST – Thane Dunn’s Elvis revue, one of the most popular performers to ever set foot in the Tantramar Theatre, will be back for two shows March 2 and 3.

“There’s so many people that asked for him to come back and we had some of the best feedback from any show we’ve ever had,” said Tantramar Theatre’s George Douglas. “People say it’s the best show we’ve ever staged.

“We had people come to see him from throughout the Martimes, and even had a couple from Quebec.”

All the shows were sold out.

Dunn said he tries to make the show realistic.

“I’ve had a lot of people who saw Elvis live who have been to shows I’ve done and said it was like watching the same thing all over again, which, to me, is the world’s hugest compliment,” said Dunn. “Elvis didn’t just get up and sing a bunch of songs and say goodnight, he had a lot of fun with his audience and I like to have a lot of fun with the crowd.”

Going to an Elvis concert was like going to a party with Elvis.

“I was never lucky enough to see Elvis but, no matter if you were in the front row or the back row, it was like he was talking just to you.”

Dunn won the world's largest Elvis contest in 2009, coming first out of 180 competitors at the Collingwood, Ont. event, and one of his most recent engagements was a sellout at Casino New Brunswick in Moncton.

Since his 2009 contest win, Dunn has played with several musicians who played with Elvis, including the Imperials who were Elvis’ gospel group from 1969 to 1979.

“I’ve been doing this for about 11 years on a bigger scale, and about four years ago I decided to see if I could make a living doing it full-time and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life.”

Dunn’s love of Elvis grew out of trips he took to Amherst as a young boy.

“When I was a little boy my grandparents lived in Amherst, Stanley and Ruth Pierce,” he said. “That’s the reason I learned all those Elvis songs. I lived in Moncton and we would go to see my grandparents every Sunday in Amherst, and my father was a big Elvis fan and he had an eight-track player and I sort of learned all those songs going to and from Amherst and jumping around like a fool in the back seat of the car.

“Elvis was always like a member of my family growing up” he added. “I always thought of him as an older brother or something. I was an only child, so it’s kind of weird.”

While growing up he was often told he looked like Elvis and when he sang in bands in his early 20s, was told he sounded like Elvis as well.

His eight-man backup band, the Cadillac Kings, includes Canada’s drummer of the year for 1999.

“They’re true musicians,” said Dunn. “I’ve never played with a band this good in my life.”

One of the suits Dunn wears on stage has some Elvis memorabilia on it.

“In 1972 they made a documentary of Elvis on tour, and on April 6, 1972 a stud fell off Elvis’ white pinwheel jumpsuit,” said Dunn. “I was able to get it from the worlds foremost Elvis collector and when I had the suit made I had the stud from Elvis’s suit put on mine."

For tickets call 667-7002. Tickets are also available at Inglis Jewellers and at the Tantramar Theatre.