BY TOM LAVIS
Christmas will be anything but blue for those attending a holiday show in Windber.
Backed by a top-notch band, Scot Bruce is bringing his “Blue Suede Christmas” holiday show to Arcadia Theater at 8 p.m. Dec. 19.
Bruce will offer an Elvis Presley tribute concert featuring the dynamic Christmas songs recorded by “the King,” such as “Santa Bring My Baby Back” and “Blue Christmas.”
“It’s all about the music and a respectful celebration of what was unique about Elvis in his prime,” Bruce said in a telephone interview from his Los Angeles home.
“We make it our mission to shift the focus away from the stigmatized caricature that has evolved from the Elvis impersonator scene to recreating the great music.”
His four backup musicians play period-appropriate instruments – upright bass, upright piano, electric guitar and drums – to reproduce an authentic sound.
“The band cares about the quality and authenticity of the music as much as I do,” Bruce said.
Bruce is no stranger to the Arcadia stage. He has been responsible for two sellout crowds, but this will be his first Christmas show.
“When we talk about the Arcadia Theater, the band and I agree that the audiences are the nicest folks we have ever met,” Bruce said.
“We also enjoy the historic vibes of the theater itself. It is a perfect fit for the music we play.”
Bruce has all the signature Presley moves down pat, including the swiveling hips, curled lip and droopy, bedroom eyes.
He will hit the stage in full 1950s Elvis garb.
“I used to make a lot of costume changes throughout the show, then realized it was depriving the audience of hearing a few more songs,” Bruce said.
Because of his uncanny resemblance to a young Elvis and his ability to sing, strum a guitar and swivel his hips, Bruce’s live shows have taken him all over the world to perform his 1950s and ’60s era Elvis tribute show.
Originally from the Pacific Northwest, where he was a radio personality and drummer, Bruce moved to Los Angeles in 1990.
While pursuing music and acting as a career and having been a musician and a big Elvis fan all his life, he started performing a 1950s era Elvis show as a way to survive the lean times.
What was meant to be a part-time gig to supplement his income blossomed into a full-time career.
Bruce developed a love of rockabilly during a resurgence of the music by such bands as the Stray Cats.
“It’s no coincidence that all roads to that music lead back to Elvis,” Bruce said.
“I’m a drummer first, and with my love of rockabilly, I abandoned the classic mullet for a pompadour haircut.”
Bruce said he would never presume to say that he has mastered the sounds and stylings of Elvis, although others may argue that point. He is not Elvis and doesn’t pretend to be, he said.
“There was only one Elvis, and my tribute is a work in progress,” Bruce said.
“It’s a show that demonstrates the relevance of Elvis’ music even 50 years later.”
The audience will get a blend of Elvis hits throughout the show.
People will hear the classic “Blue Suede Shoes” and many others with an ample mount of holiday favorites sprinkled in.
Bruce has performed with the Jordanaires (Presley’s original backup group) and, in 2011, appeared as Elvis at 21 as part of a prestigious Elvis exhibit at the Smithsonian.
Martin Guitars has been so impressed with his performances that it presented him with an exact replica of Elvis’ original Martin guitar, he said.
“I will be playing the Martin acoustic guitar during the show,” he said.
Bruce prides himself on delivering a family-oriented show.
“Very few artists have such multigenerational appeal as Elvis,” Bruce said. “Whether they are 4 years old or 84, they all enjoy the music together.”
As Elvis, Bruce has appeared in music videos with Faith Hill and Sheryl Crow.
Bruce also has appeared in recurring roles on the hit soap operas “Days of Our Lives” and “The Bold and the Beautiful.” He also performs regularly at Disneyland.
Go, cats, go
Who: Singer Scot Bruce.
What: “Blue Suede Christmas” Elvis tribute.
Where: Arcadia Theater, 1418 Graham Ave., Windber.
When: 8 p.m. Dec. 19.
Tickets: Available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays at the box office, by calling 467-9070 or visiting www.arcadiatheater.net.
Cost: $30, $37, $39.
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