Despite writing songs for succour down the decades, Kiefer Sutherland had no intention of making an album because, as he succinctly puts it, “actors shouldn’t do that”. And yet now the brooding TV action hero has parlayed his love of outlaw country into a credible side career as a rootsy troubadour with a whisky-stained voice. And thus, this intimate evening of song and storytelling was enthusiastically subscribed by awestruck fans.
Cottiers, Glasgow ***
Unsurprisingly, Sutherland is convincing in the role of country singer – amiable, charismatic and an unapologetic lover of liquor with the battle scars to match. “I’ve never been to prison but I’ve been to jail a few times,” he quipped before delivering the bluegrass-flavoured Shirley Jean, his tribute to Johnny Cash’s prison songs. His first ever love song, Can’t Stay Away, is a yearning for his favourite bar, while Not Enough Whiskey is classic tear-in-his-rye country.
But there were also sentimental paeans to his daughter, his mother and his old rodeo horse before his honky tonking band kicked it up a gear with western swing guitar, plangent double bass and a skiffly beat behind his cover of Patty Loveless’s Blame It On Your Heart.
Sutherland won’t be winning any prizes for originality; rather he is affectionately celebrating a tradition. Even a Q&A portion of proceedings was seamless and relatively insightful before the band returned for a standard run through Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door, accompanied by another engaging tale, this time of wild, fun days with his freewheeling father.