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Jeff Daniels Making Music at Kent Stage

By admin Published: September 2, 2010

And, before you think otherwise, this is indeed Jeff Daniels, not that other music-making-actor, Jeff Bridges. The basic info:

Wednesday, October 13 @ The Kent Stage
175 E Main, Kent, OH 44240
Show Time: 8 p.m.
Tickets: $25 / All Ages

The bio/background:

Most widely known for his roles on screen, Jeff Daniels has garnered critical acclaim in many films including "The Purple Rose of Cairo" and "The Squid And The Whale". On stage, he was most recently nominated for a Tony Award in the Broadway play "God of Carnage". Now, Jeff Daniels is gaining notoriety as a musician for his unique and spontaneous one-man show which returns to the road on August 20th.

Continues after the jump.

With four albums to his credit, Live & Unplugged, Grandfather's Hat (2006), Together Again (2007) a collaboration with Jonathan Hogan, and Live At The Purple Rose (2009), Daniels is not just another actor turns singer/songwriter. "While I'm very aware many come to see the actor from DUMB & DUMBER or GETTYSBURG or whatever, but they leave saying, "I had no idea he could play or sing. I bought a guitar when I moved to New York City in 1976. Lonely and out of work, I dove head first into Stefan Grossman's Guitar Tablature Books and just started writing and playing away my solitary misery. This little diversion lasted for decades. So, for those considering doing this kind of thing, I highly recommend rehearsing for thirty years to get yourself ready."

Of a 2009 concert at the City Winery in New York City, New York Post critic Dan Aquilante notes, "His voice is flexible enough to ape Lyle Lovett in one tune and conjure Springsteen in the next. And his songwriting is clever, funny and has an eccentric attitude. The best moments were when he reprised his song "The Dirty Harry Blues," which he wrote about his work playing the villain in Clint Eastwood's film "Blood Work." In his patter before the tune, Daniels gushed: "You don't know what an honor it is for an actor to get killed by Clint." Daniels learned something from the master: At this show he killed, too."

Born and raised in Michigan, Daniels returned home in 1986 after starring in Woody Allen's film, "The Purple Rose of Cairo". There, he realized his dream of creating a professional theater company featuring Midwestern actors, directors, designers and playwrights situated in the middle of America producing plays about middle America: The Purple Rose Theater.

To raise money for the Purple Rose, Daniels performs his show for two weeks every Christmas and New Year's. Nine years and over $500,000 later, he decided his show could travel.

"What started out as a way to raise money has now become something I really enjoy doing. If I'm having fun out there, so does the Audience. That's the thing about my show; I never know what's going to happen next. Every night, I have a set list with far too many songs on it. If the audience wants to listen, great. If they want to laugh, fine. If the guitar players want to see 'actor boy' get up and down the neck, I can do that, too. Unlike Broadway where the play is pretty much the same every night, the exciting thing about doing this show is embracing the unpredictability of it. It makes playing live alive. Audiences feed off the excitement in that."

When asked why he doesn't tour with a band, Daniels said, "Scheduling rehearsals is far easier when there's only one of you. Besides, I'm hardly alone out there. The Actor with comic timing and stage presence is with me; the Playwright who's written 14 plays guides the storytelling, the Musician who's taken an acoustic guitar and turned it into an obsession, as well as the Director who's helmed film and stage productions; all those guys are with me. Creatively, when I grab my guitar and walk out in front of an Audience, I feel as if I'm finally using all of myself."

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