5 Questions is a series by Steve Duffy –
Ted is a singer, songwriter and a tribute artist. He has been performing from the age of ten throughout school in concert, symphonic and jazz bands developing his talents as a drummer and singer.
Ted now performs Internationally for all kinds of venues and events. He has wowed the crowd selling out theaters all over the US. The most heard comments after a show are “I can’t believe how much he looks and sounds like John Denver! It really took us back!”
SD: Why John Denver?
TV: Well, it started with a singing contest back in 2006 in Laughlin, NV, I went there to perform rock n roll in the Talent Quest competition. Once I was there everybody was telling me that I looked like John Denver, so they convinced me to sing a John Denver song. For another $100, I joined the country music category. I ended up winning by singing a john Denver song that I had never planned on doing. While I was there, I met a couple of people who knew John personally. They both told me that I should do a John Denver tribute show. I didn’t take it seriously and I had a friend who was doing an Elvis tribute show and opened for him and did 4 songs and it just took off from there.
SD: Favorite John Denver song to perform?
TV: “Take Me Home Country Road,” because people love to sing along. There have been times where the entire audience will sing along. It is really a cool thing to see.
SD: As a songwriter, do you add your own songs to the show?
TV: I do perform one of my own songs, it’s called “Sing My Songs When I’m gone.” It’s a tribute to John. It’s also a song about being a singer and being out on the road. It’s about me and my life but also about all artist, singers, and songwriters. I wrote it because I wanted a song that paid tribute to John and his legacy. When people buy a ticket to see the show, they want to hear “Annie’s Song, ““Sunshine On My Shoulders,” and “Rocky Mountain High,” so I make sure I perform all of his hits.
SD: Do you feel any kind of pressure in embodying such a folk / pop icon?
TV: When I hit the stage, I feel a responsibility to deliver a show that makes people feel like they are going back in time. I want them to experience the memories of how they first felt when they heard his music. I try to sing them and play them in a way that people will remember how the song originally went. I take this job very seriously. I always remind the audience that I am a tribute artist and not an impersonator. The reason I say that is because there will never be another John Denver. I want the audience to experience something that is real and true. I really believe in the message of his songs and what they stand for.
SD: What has been one of the biggest highlights of your career?
TV: Performing for John’s mother, Erma, and his brother. I will never forget the smile on her face.