Kiefer Sutherland delivers awe-inspiring set to Maryland crowd

The action hero and musician is touring in support of his latest studio album Bloor Street

Kiefer Sutherland serenaded the crowd at Rams Head On Stage Tuesday (Mar 15th).

Yes. That Kiefer Sutherland. The one known for taking down television terrorists and playing an unlikely president. Despite his success as an action hero, Sutherland’s first love growing up was music. In fact, Sutherland told the packed Annapolis, MD crowd about his first time busking with a guitar on Bloor Street in his childhood hometown of Toronto, Ontario. Bloor Street is the name of his latest record and his third full length album.

Sutherland told stories in between many of the songs in his 19-song setlist (I say there was a missed opportunity to have a setlist of 24 songs…sorry, bad joke.) A songwriter who will find himself struck with an idea at any moment, inspirations included his times in jail—never prison, love affair with bars. A cheery medley popped into Sutherland’s head one morning. It caused him to ask, “Who the f— is this guy?”

Sutherland offers such direct imagery in his music, one is transported to the setting of the song. “County Jail Gate” takes the audience to the moment the gate closes in the clink. While “Goodbye,” the set opener, gives the listener insight into a man at the end of his rope. He took the stage at exactly 7:30 pm in a blazer and scarf, guitar strapped to his back. Sitting throughout most of the 100-minute set, the evening felt open and intimate. Sutherland invited the audience to experience his songs as vessels through which they might understand themselves and their lives a bit differently than they might have in the past.

Accompanying Sutherland were special guests Marc Copely on guitar, and Rocco Deluca on pedal steel guitar. Copley shined on his first number with Sutherland, “Saskatchewan.” The layered guitars elevated the beautifully pensive story of a son returning home to bury his mother. Deluca’s haunting steel work on “Shirley Jean” thrust listeners into the death row cell of an inmate writing the love of his life on the eve of his execution.

Sutherland was candid about the origin of many of his numbers. “Going Home” came to him in an epiphany during which he realized he did not need to stay planted on a barstool till closing time. “Reckless and Me” is an homage to Sutherland’s time in the rodeo. He made it to the National Finals twice in the 90s. But the 80s heartthrob was quick to wryly point out that if you go from a high-profile movie career to bucking bronc for a living, “Something has gone seriously f—ing wrong.”

Now things are going seriously right for Kiefer Sutherland’s career as a musician. “Two Stepping in Time” off of Bloor Street has cracked the Top 40 as a single which he wrote. For a man who went from acting, to a career in rodeo, then back to acting, it’s clear this is not a vanity project. Anything Sutherland does, he does with his whole self. He ended the night with “Not Enough Whiskey.” But I say there’s Not Enough Kiefer.

Matt Bailey
Matt Bailey

Matt Bailey is podcast producer and writer located in the Northeast. Since 2013, Bailey has produced more than 160 episodes of his own online radio show, Talk For Two. In 2016 alone, he interviewed Kevin Bacon, Crystal Gayle, Bob Barker, and Gilbert Gottfried, among several other stars. As a Correspondent for The Music Universe, his focus is Broadway, country music and concert reviews.