Elvis and Loretta unite for concert that could have been

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by Stephen Dafoe

Alcomdale – Billed as the concert that could have been, Elvis tribute artist Rick Johnsen and Loretta Lynn tribute artist Debbie Burril are combining forces for an evening show at the Alcomdale Hall Nov. 15.

Burrill, who has been singing since the age of 3 and performing as Loretta over the past couple of years, said the upcoming concert is the duos first full show together. “We’ve been singing off and on together for about a year,” Burrill said, adding she met Johnsen through her husband at the Blue Suede Shoes Festival in Busby. “People have been bugging us to do duets, so we thought we’d try it and start singing together.

Burrill’s passion for the music of Loretta Lynn comes from the love of country that was engrained in her as a child by her mother, a woman who was also a country singer. “I just really enjoy Loretta Lynn. She had a lot of kids. I’ve got five. She was married young. I was married by 17. We share a lot of common things.

For Johnsen, the love of the King of Rock and Roll began in the backseat of his father’s car on a road trip in Germany. “A song came on and I was sitting in the backseat. My legs just started shaking with it,” Johnsen recalled, adding his father shared some of Elvis’ music with him, an introduction that grew into a lifelong pursuit.

Although Johnsen stepped away from performing as Elvis for a time, he returned to performing, initially buying off the rack jump suits but eventually having custom outfits made. Today Johnsen works hard to bring the look and sound to his live performances.

“I dedicate myself and my talent to recreating all the excitement of the most significant entertainer of all time – the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley,” Johnsen said, adding people can expect a fun-filled evening of musical entertainment.

Burrill agrees and said she is hoping people will come out to enjoy and support the evening.

Tickets are $25 and available in advance only at Smith Music and the Morinville Shell. They may also be obtained by calling 780-939-7295 (Debbie) or 780-939-1068. Admission includes the show and chili and a bun dinner.

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