By Robert Stoneback
The Danville News
WASHINGTONVILLE – Jeff Krick will freely tell you there will never be another Elvis, but fans and former bandmates of the King say Krick comes mighty close.
A Berks County resident and Elvis tribute artist, Krick has won acclaim for his vocal similarity to Elvis Presley and has performed across the nation, on cruise ships and even for the State Department.
“I’ll be the first to tell you there’s no replacing him,” said Krick. “I just try to bring back that memory and music.”
Krick will be performing at the Montour-DeLong Fair tonight from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
He will start with a set of oldies rock and country songs before going into the Elvis persona for the last hour and a half of the show. Krick’s performance as Presley will come complete with a replica of the King’s jewel-studded jumpsuit, though Krick admitted his does not use real gems.
But it doesn’t take the glitz of Elvis’ extravagant lifestyle for Krick to get a response from his audience.
“I’ve had people to the point of tears,” he said. He’s also had ladies screaming and even had panties thrown at him – “sometimes I think as a joke, other times sincerely.” “Even I get embarrassed sometimes,” he said.
Krick’s fascination with Elvis began when he was a young child. He “always sang along with his records and cassettes…It matured to what it is today,” he said, having spent the last 21 years as a tribute artist.
Krick described his show at the fair as his “return engagement,” after making his debut at the venue last year during a heavy rain storm, which kept crowds away.
The concert tonight falls just two days after the anniversary of Elvis’ death, on August 16, 1977. Krick said August is usually his busiest time of year as people look to commemorate the King’s passing.
“He was the guy that started the ball rolling when it comes to rock and roll music,” praised Krick. In a way, he created the modern rock and roll lifestyle, described Krick, complete with outlandish jewelry, his Memphis Mafia entourage and his own private jet. “He was the first artist of that time to own a mansion,” said Krick, and he was also the first rock and roller to star in a movie. John Lennon put it best, said Krick, in that “before Elvis, there was nothing.” “I believe that’s why his music continues to live on.”
Even Elvis’ own back-up vocal group, the Stamps Quartet, are impressed with Krick’s performance and have fully endorsed him.
One of the original members of the group, Ed Enoch, performed with Elvis and still plays with the Quartet. The Stamps Quartet has played with Krick about six times in the last seven years, and Krick said he has received nothing but praise from Enoch.
“You my friend are the best and closest I have ever seen to working with my friend Elvis. When I am with you it’s like I am with him again,” reads a quote from Enoch on Krick’s website. “I’m guessing it can’t get any better since he worked with him,” said Krick.
Krick has also performed for numerous charity events, including the American Cancer Society, Relay for Life and Muscular Dystrophy Association.
Krick said he still puts a lot of effort into what he does. He keeps a practice room at his house and usually spends several hours a day working on music. “I am my own individual, but I am definitely known for my Elvis tribute,” he said.
“We’re just doing this to keep his music and his memory alive.”
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