Originally Published: January 9, 2014 6:01 a.m.
Audiences in the recent past heard Sam Morrison sing and told him he sounded like rock and roll star Bob Seger.
That's all it took for Morrison to give it a try. He and his band had stuck to country tunes on their entertainment tours, and when popularity for this genre ebbed, they switched to southern rock and performed at biker events - "Harley runs," Morrison said. The band started striking up Seger tunes and "got great response. People wanted more because they thought I sounded just like him."
The Harley runs and southern rock melodies took the Sam Morrison Band all over the United States in the early 2000s. They even played for the military and went as far as Europe to places such as Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Germany, Hungary and Korea.
But requests for Seger songs persisted, and eight years ago, "enough people thought I sounded like Bob Seger" that Morrison decided "to see what happens" and created the Seger tribute.
Morrison and his ensemble will bring "Turn the Page: The Ultimate Tribute to Bob Seger" to the Elks Opera House at 7 p.m. this Saturday. Tickets are $22 to $25 and are available by calling the opera house box office at 777-1370 or going online to elksoperahouse.com. Tickets will also be on sale one hour before show time.
Of Seger's music, "It's pure Americana, blue-collar rock and roll. It's every man's kind of music," Morrison said.
"I grew up knowing about Seger," Morrison said, noting emulating the icon hasn't involved a lot of research. "There wasn't much I had to learn. I already knew it. The music you listen when you grow up becomes the soundtrack of your life."
And that's what Morrison remembers about his youth. "Seeger was everywhere." When people hear Seger's music today, "it brings back what his music meant to them and what a great songwriter he is," Morrison said.
Saturday's audience can look forward to hearing such Seger hits as "Night Moves," "Turn the Page," and "Old Time Rock and roll."
Because of the magnitude of the Seger sound, Morrison assembled an eight-piece band that includes him on guitar and lead singer; Bart Robley on drums; Steve Cenker on guitar; Greg Kasparian on base guitar; David Kurtz on keyboard; Karl Sanger on saxophone; and backup singers Doreen Novotny and Joni Finkle.
"It takes eight people to do Seger right," Morrison said. For his part, Morrison said, "I always wanted to play guitar." As a kid, he watched the Monkeys on TV, and "that's all I wanted to do. It's cool."
TAD Management, presenter of the show, said it "is an incredible recreation of the live Bob Seger experience ... Every effort has been made to make sure that each song is performed exactly as you remember it and that it is delivered with all the passion and excitement you would expect in a Bob Seger show."