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Secrets to being Elvis

Tribute Artist Travis Powell shares secrets to being Elvis.

The North Carolina begins his tribute with the svelte, playful, black leather-clad Elvis of the ’68 comeback TV special. He later portrays the iconic Las Vegas-era Elvis famous of his white jumpsuit
The show is set for 7 p.m. July 8th at Gilmer Civic Center. Travis will perform with his eight-piece band, ‘Edge of Reality’.


Q. Is your act sequenced exactly like the NBC special?

A. We don’t do exactly the same sequence for this show. I am going back on tour in March and we’re actually re-creating the same show. (In Tyler), we’re going to pick and pull from those songs, not directly in order. But we’ll do that, and then come out and do the ’70s show.

Q. Do you ever sit down like Elvis did in the ’68 special?

A. Yes, sometimes we do, basically, a little jam session. That’s what ’68 was all about. That was raw. That was Elvis.

Q. Are there different reactions for black-leather Elvis vs. jumpsuit Elvis?

A. The black leather gets more of a scream from the ladies. When Elvis was in black leather, good lord, he was a pretty man. That’s the shock you get when you come out in black leather. But when I put on the white jumpsuit, people pay attention and come together. That’s when they go, “Wow!”

Q. You’re a young guy. What is it that endures about Elvis?

 A. I believe Elvis’ music is timeless. More and more, the younger generation is starting to get in touch with that. Elvis touched a lot of people and all age groups. Honestly, what attracts people is not only the music but the person he was. There’s a lot of it that goes untold. Sometimes you hear a lot of bad stuff about Elvis. But he was a great person. He took care of a lot of people, and I think that resonates. He was easy to look at, and he was an entertainer. I believe that’s lacking today.

Q. Are you a fan of today’s music?

A. I’m not a big fan. I think people are looking for better music.

Q. Did you grow up with Gen-X music?

A. I was always the not cool older brother. I’m going to be honest with you. Where most people were getting into the big speakers in the cars and the rap. I had the big speakers, but I blasted Elvis at Madison Square Garden. I played Elvis through the loud speakers, and my brother and sister couldn’t stand it. I never got into rap and other music in the ’90s. Do I like some of it? Yes. Do I listen to it? Yeah, if I’m working out.

Q. I hear that natural Southern drawl in your voice. Does that help with doing Elvis?

A. Well, it’s a challenge. The natural inflections, luckily, I’m very blessed. We’re Southern guys. Most of that stuff just came natural. People will say, “How long did it take you to sound like him talkin’?” I’ll say, “It didn’t. I don’t sit at home and try to say (things) like he does.” We both kind of grew up the same.

Q. Elvis impersonators are everywhere. How are you different?

A. What I try to do is to be as close to Elvis as I possibly can. Why? Because Elvis deserves that. Elvis was the greatest entertainer to ever walk the earth. Michael Jackson was good. Yes, absolutely. Garth Brooks? Amazing. But Elvis was Elvis. He was the first. He was the originator of all of it. He deserves the utmost respectful tribute. When I step out on that stage, my job is to make people think they’re looking at Elvis.

Q. Who comes to your shows?

A. The ages are getting younger. I mean no disrespect, but the older generation that got to see him is dying out. What they’ve done is pass along the torch to their grandkids and stuff like that. We still have the older crowds, but we’re starting to see the young generation and some kids. That’s a good thing.

Opening this Vegas style concert will be the all female doo wop group ‘Shake Rattle & Roll’.

Special guest Colin Dexter will perform his incredible tribute to Roy Orbison.

For reservations call Steve Fountain 832-312-0074  or email

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