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Shelburne’s “Elvis” singing for the memories

August 8, 2017   ·   0 Comments

By Marni Walsh


Shelburne’s own “Elvis” Tribute Artist Dustin Bricker says the fans are the reason he loves to compete.

“When I get out on stage, my goal is not to win, not to get money, but to try and bring back somebody’s special memories from back when,” says Dustin.

Heritage Music Festival (HMF) Co-Chair Bobbi Ferguson says, “Although, the Fiddle Contest is the heart of the festival, the time had come to offer entertainment of many different genres to ensure Festival longevity.”

“In our efforts to engage locals in the Festival, it is extremely important to feature home-grown artists,” she says. “Dustin, having recently won first place in the non-professional class at the Collingwood Elvis Festival adds an even more exciting element to our Saturday afternoon show.”

The Co-Chair added, “The HMF committee wanted to offer a line-up of entertainment that would please everyone. Elvis is a crowd pleaser – simple, but thoughtful music that transports us to a happy place and always brings a smile. Dustin is ‘Elvis’ reincarnate and he’s all ours!”

Dustin Bricker, a recent Centre Dufferin District High School graduate, began singing and competing in Elvis Competitions as a teenager.

He had never had a music lesson, but once he began working as an Elvis Tribute Artist (ETA) he decided to try some vocal lessons.

The study has paid off and this month Dustin will be part of the entertainment line-up at the Shelburne Heritage Music Festival – sharing the bill with well-known Canadian artists like Juno Award country star Corb Lund, Johnson Crook, and The Fitzgeralds.

“After doing my first song as Elvis, I got tons and tons of love,” says Dustin. “Lots of people suggested I should go to Collingwood Elvis Festival and compete; after my first year I knew I wanted to try and become a full time Elvis Tribute Artist.”

The first time he competed at Collingwood, Dustin says he “walked out on this big old stage with smoke and lights and looked out at the audience – over 1,000 people were just sitting looking at me. I thought I would be scared, but I was just excited; it really is amazing, I felt like a rock star.”

Dustin, still a teenager, has always been a fan of Elvis.

“When I was about 17 years old, I found out that my father used to sing me to sleep with Elvis music when I was little – with songs like Teddy Bear. When I finally found out it wasn’t my Dad’s music, I discovered Elvis and just completely fell in love with his music, his style, and who he was. I loved his humble beginnings – just a young boy from Tupelo who became the king of rock and roll.”

Dustin says he misses the older styles of music like Frank Sinatra, Fats Domino, Little Richard… and of course Elvis.

“I wish there was singers releasing music like that nowadays; I just want to show people this music is still loved.”

As for his growing following, Dustin says, “It still blows my mind that I have fans. It always shocks me when people stop me when I’m not even in costume and ask for a photo or just talk to me.”

This summer he will compete at many competitions including the Tweed Elvis Festival August 25 – 27, and the Flaming Star Festival October 13 – 15 in Toronto.

Dustin Bricker, a.k.a. “Elvis”, will be “in the building” at The Shelburne Heritage Music Festival on August 12, starting at 3 pm after the Fiddle Parade at the Centre Dufferin Recreation Complex.

“Supporting youth will hopefully encourage a younger audience to the Heritage Music Festival as we endeavour to please those of all ages,” says Bobbi Ferguson.

For a complete list of events and fiddle competitions visit www.heritagemusicfestival.com.





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