Fitzpatrick slips off blue suede shoes to go country

Adam Fitzpatrick, one of the top Elvis Tribute Artists in the world, has recorded a country album.

Adam Fitzpatrick has taken on the challenge of recording a country album

Adam Fitzpatrick has taken on the challenge of recording a country album

Crowned one of the top Elvis Tribute Artists in the world last year, Adam Fitzpatrick is now slipping off his blue suede shoes for a pair of cowboy boots.

At least part-time.

“My number one thing will always be Elvis but I wanted to give a country album a try,” said Fitzpatrick. “I love country music and I am excited about this.”

Fitzpatrick only picked up a microphone at the age of 23, and on a dare to enter the Pacific Northwest Elvis Festival in Penticton. But since that moment he has been entertaining crowds around the country, and soon around the world.

It was after a gentle push from his manager Mike Schell that he entertained the idea of putting together a country album, which they hope will be released in June. It will feature covers of Randy Travis’ Forever and Ever, Amen, John Denver’s Country Roads, George Jones’ Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes and an original song written by Fitzpatrick.

“These are all classic songs that I love and then I wrote one original called Thank You. I just started writing it on the way back from Alberta and had a tune in my head. It is a song dedicated to my fans, friends and family so if anything, at least I have a song to give to the people who supported me over the years,” he said.

While Schell played a big role in driving the album to be made, producer Jimmy Leguilloux helped lay it all down. In the process Fitzpatrick said he found a new side to himself.

“My voice is really trained for Elvis and I have never taken lessons. Those two guys really helped me find my own voice inside of me, which was really challenging after doing Elvis only,” said Fitzpatrick.

The fans that know him as Elvis Evolution, the Elvis Tribute Artist, have nothing to fear, he is planning a B.C. tour with Joe Kelso as Roy Orbison and Michael Fic as Tom Jones/Neil Diamond with a stop in Penticton at the Cleland Theatre on June 16, he has three gigs in South America and is still competing to get another shot at being named the best in the world.

Fitzpatrick won his way to the Ultimate Elvis Competition in Memphis after placing first in the pro category at the Pacific Northwest Elvis Festival in Penticton last summer. Singing The Wonder of You he rocketed to second place at the Ultimate Elvis Competition. He needs to win first place in a qualifier again to send him back to Memphis.

Recently Fitzpatrick finished second at the Charlotte, North Carolina, contest and he has plans to compete in a qualifier at Blackpool, England in July.

“Other than that there is not many left that I am available for. If I don’t make it, well, that is not too big of a deal. I still will be there because I have a show booked with a live band during Elvis week and I am also going to the Las Vegas Elvis Festival for a competition, but it is not a preliminary. It is held at the old Hilton where Elvis did all his performances on the very same stage which is pretty cool,” he said.

The Penticton Pacific Northwest Elvis Festival runs June 27 to 29, but Fitzpatrick said he will only be performing at the gospel show on June 29 in the park.

“I don’t think I will compete in Penticton anymore, as a personal rule of not competing somewhere where I have won. I want to be part of the festival though in some way, shape or form. It is my hometown and just because I can’t compete doesn’t mean I don’t want to be part of it,” said Fitzpatrick.

While Fitzpatrick is excited about his new country venture, you can never take the Elvis swivel out of his hips.

“I want to make another Elvis CD as well, but for now I’m trying this out and will see how it sells and go from there. My number one thing is Elvis and this is just an exciting change and something different.”