I have been entertaining folks since 1992 with my tribute to Elvis show. I fully admire Elvis' contributions to the music and entertainment industry and would like it to be known that I prefer to be recognized as an Elvis Tribute Artist as opposed to an Impersonator. Although I AM imitating Elvis' vocals, moves, and stage wear, and although the variation between the two may seem insignificant, I want it to be known that I pay a very respectful tribute to Elvis Presley with every show I perform. Elvis Presley can NEVER be duplicated! The mold was broken after him!
I was raised in the steel milling town of Granite City, IL, 9 miles East of St. Louis, MO. My mother introduced me to Elvis' music as a child. Even at a young age I was more fascinated by the mature, sophisticated Elvis, where he made the audience feel his passion and sent his fans into a state of frenzy or brought them to tears. I don't remember a time that I wasn't singing. I sang and acted my entire school career. While it was my mother who introduced me to Elvis, it was my grandfather who inspired me to take a chance on my talent. Shortly after high school graduation, I got bit by the karaoke bug. It was during one of my grandpa nudged performances that I discovered my future! I attribute all of my successes to God and I am so grateful for the support from my family and friends who continually encourage me to share the talent that God chose for me to manage.
I have been fortunate that I have continually been a working Elvis, performing in the St. Louis area, Illinois and in several surrounding states. I have only done a handful of contests throughout my career. However, I have won several local contests in St. Louis and finalized 3 consecutive years at the Midwest Tribute to the King Contest in Springfield, IL, placing 3rd in 2009. I competed in the Images of the King Championship in Memphis in 2011 and made it to the finals, competing against some well known names in the ETA contest circuit. In October, 2013, I finally competed in my first ever preliminary for the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest. I made it to the Top 10! Not bad for a first timer and an "old" timer!
I am well studied in the authenticity of Elvis' moves, spoken words, stage performances and his vocal ability; however, I add a lot of my own personality into my performances! I believe that bringing your own character to the stage keeps you grounded and it reminds you that you are you, imitating Elvis. Portraying Elvis is creating an illusion, bringing back memories for those who saw Elvis or introducing Elvis to new fans. I perform what many fans refer to as "The Jumpsuit Elvis" because you can sing it ALL! You're not limited. But for me personally, I prefer that era because I truly appreciate Elvis' vocal dynamics, admire the passion Elvis delivered when he immersed himself into a song and thoroughly enjoy the energy and theatrics of the 70's full stage presentations.
There was only one Elvis Presley and I am honored to pay my tribute to the man "who would be King". I do not speak in first person, thus you may catch me quoting my signature line: "I'm not Elvis. I could never walk a mile in his shoes, but maybe a block in his socks".
Please feel free to drop me an email if only to share your favorite Elvis song, story or memory! Elvis' fans are the reason that "I keep singing the song".
Thank you for visiting my website.
A Tribute To ELVIS
featuring Steve Brandes