“Audiences are in for a great production, I think,” said Aaron Solomon, who will be starring in the debut of a sensational new show, Wichita Lineman, which opens at Upper Canada Playhouse on April 23.
“What I really like about Glen Campbell’s career, and about his music, is the incredible amount of variety it involves. When Leisa approached me and asked if I would like to handle the ‘Glen duties’ in her new show, I immediately said yes.”
Wichita Lineman, written by Leisa Way, the author of the hugely popular Country Jukebox, Rhinestone Cowgirl and Sweet Dreams: a Tribute to Patsy Cline, has created her exciting 2013 production around Glen Campbell.
“I was fascinated by the music of Glen Campbell,” said Way, who will perform some numbers with Solomon in the show. “The man had just about everybody in the musical world on his Glen Campbell Good Time Hour on television. He sang with guests ranging from Tom Jones, Cher and Dean Martin to Kenny Rogers, the Monkees and Tina Turner. ”
Campbell’s extraordinary career and his wide-ranging musical versatility gave Way a buffet of songs and styles to incorporate into this new production.
When it came to choosing a powerhouse singer and performer to star in Wichita Lineman, Aaron Solomon was Way’s immediate pick.
“When I first heard Aaron sing, I thought he would do an amazing job of performing a Glen Campbell concert. Frankly, I could listen to Aaron sing these songs all day. And (like Campbell), he’s a pretty amazing guitarist himself. We’ll also have him bring out his fiddle in the show too, as I know audiences love to hear him play.”
Aaron Soloman has a musical pedigree that most artists just dream of. “My heart and soul lie in performance,” the artist said.Classically trained, a violinist, guitarist, actor and singer, the master of styles as diverse as jazz, swing, country, celtic, rock, blues and blue grass, Solomon has been thrilling audiences since childhood.
Visitors to Upper Canada Playhouse gained a powerful sense of his talents when they heard and saw him on stage in Johnny and June and Country Jukebox.
Solomon says that it was an easy decision to agree to take on the challenges of performing in a Glen Campbell tribute. “I like the variety of things Campbell’s done in music, from pop to country. He was a great guitar player, and as a guitarist myself, I admire that talent. He was also a great singer: the man knew how to deliver a song.”
Solomon especially likes the versatility of this production.
“Campbell was originally a member of a group known in Los Angeles as the ‘Wrecking Crew,’” he explained.
“They were studio musicians who played back up for essentially every major artist. Campbell made such a strong musical impression in the studio that when Brian Wilson had to bow out, Campbell was invited to replace him and toured nation wide with the Beach Boys. He laughed later that that was one of the hardest things he ever did.
Campbell often sang duets with performers like Tanya Tucker and Bobbie Gentry. In the 70’s he had a lot of pop rock hits. You know, I think practically everyone can sing at least one Glen Campbell song. He had incredible vocal and musical virtuosity.”
Preparing for his role in this new production has been intensive for the Toronto based artist.
“I’m not ‘playing’ Campbell exactly,” he said. “This production is a tribute to him. We will be saluting his music. I have had to work to achieve Campbell’s high vocal range…a little like I had to work to meet the low notes of Johnny Cash’s voice,” Solomon added, laughing. “And because Campbell emphasized the guitar in so many of his songs, it’s been demanding for me to learn to play like this outstanding guitarist.”
Aaron Solomon is enthusiastic about returning to Upper Canada Playhouse for the debut of Wichita Lineman.
“Donnie Bowes delivers a winning theatre season,” he said. “He is willing to trust Leisa and me to premiere a good new show. As artists, we love to come to the Playhouse, and to perform for the audiences here.”
Wichita Lineman premieres at Upper Canada Playhouse on April 23, running until May 5, with both evening and matinee performances.
For tickets and additional information, contact the box office at 613-543-3713, 1-800-550-3650 or visit www.uppercanadaplayhouse.com