There is only one Hank Williams and only one actor who can bring him to life – Jason Petty. And, Petty will be bringing Hank to life in this nostalgic look at Hank Williams and his influence on country music, in the Brubeck Theatre on Thursday, October 24 in a 7:30 p.m. performance, presented by Wabash Valley College and the Wabash Valley Arts Council.
Petty is the only actor to portray Hank Williams in New York City’s hit off Broadway musical, “Lost Highway,” where he won an Obie and multiple nominations for his performance. Only Jason has portrayed Hank in “Lost Highway” at Nashville’s world-famous Ryman Auditorium. You want proof? With over a dozen appearances on the Grand Ole Opry, hundreds of incredible reviews from the New York Times, Billboard, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly and more, thousands of shows played, and millions of fans thrilled, Theatre owners, critics, and audiences agree that Jason Petty is the original and the best.
“I played with Hank for many years and I was his best friend. No one in my time has come closer to Hank’s look, sound, and natural charisma than Jason. He’s the best, hands down!” – Don Helms (1927-2008), member of The Drifting Cowboys (Hank’s band).
Jason Petty has spent a majority of his life learning to perfectly duplicate the vocal style and stage mannerisms of the greatest singer in country music history. He has honed his skills to virtual perfection for “Hank and My Honky Tonk Heroes,” a musical revue which he has written and stars in which showcases the magical music of Hank Williams.
Widely considered the ultimate Hank Williams impersonator, Petty performs timeless classics like “Lovesick Blues,” Jambalaya,” “Hey, Good Lookin,” and “Your Cheatin’ Heart” during the performance. He also adds songs by Ernest Tubb, George Jones, The Carter Family, and Jimmy Rogers, and explains how the tunes are connected with the Williams legacy.
The early lives of Williams and Petty followed eerily similar paths. Williams started singing in South Alabama backwood clubs, laboring long and hard before a meteoric rise turned him into a Grand Ole Opry superstar. Petty cut his musical teeth on the stages of the now defunct Opryland theme park in Nashville, which led to a starring role at the Ryman Auditorium in the 1996 production “Hank Williams: Lost Highway.”
The tribute to the late icon was extremely popular in Music City, causing a migration to the prestigious theatre district in New York City, where Petty earned rave reviews from Rolling Stone, Variety, and the New York Times. The New York Post said, “At times it seems as if Perry is not only offering an impersonation of Williams, but channels his ghost.”
A graduate of the University of Tennessee, Petty grew up in Manchester, TN, about 50 miles from Nashville. He has performed numerous times on The Grand Ole Opry and is often invited by songwriter friends to appear with them at The Bluebird Café.
This show is a MUST-SEE for all country music fans! One New York reviewer wrote that if you weren’t a Hank Williams fan when you walked into the concert by Jason Petty….you were when you walked out. Another reviewer wrote that Jason Petty does a remarkably good job of rendering Williams’ famous melodies with the silky warble and sob that recreate their touching simplicity.
Tickets are $10 and are available at [email protected] or by calling 618-263-5124. Patron Passes will be honored.