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Age : 59
Location : Ajax, Ontario CANADA
Registration date : 2008-05-23

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PostSubject: In search of Elvis, and beyond   In search of Elvis, and beyond Icon_minitimeSat Jul 19, 2008 10:09 am

In search of Elvis, and beyond Michae10

Bartell brings Orbison, Cash and others to Copia
By RICH FREEDMAN/Times-Herald staff writer

July 18, 2008

Michael Bartell has been Elvis Presley for 30 years. Heck, the real Elvis was Elvis Presley for only 42 years.
The King apparently isn't only in the building, he's still in demand. And, though Elvis may be Bartell's bread and butter, it's not his only entree.

Take the 23-year Novato resident's Sept. 4 performance at Copia, part of the Napa venue's Outdoor Concert Series.

Bartell features his versions of Roy Orbison and Johnny Cash, augmenting a stable of characters that includes Wayne Newton, Louis Armstrong, Neil Diamond and Tom Jones.

"Elvis is still the supreme. He's the most popular," Bartell said. "But we thought it might be nice to create a variety show we can do."

Doing other celebrities "gives our regular customers an option," said Bartell, who did his Elvis presentation at Copia's Outdoor Concert Series last summer.

"It's nice they liked to have us, but didn't necessarily want the same show from the year before," Bartell said.

The effort investment into a character varies, Bartell said.

"It depends," he said, believing it's easier to impersonate "if I'm really into the character and like their music. If I like it, it's only a mater of learning a few more lyrics."

Bartell uses his home "vocal booth" to test his talents.

"Practice, practice, practice," he said. "And, hopefully, I can nail it. It takes effort. It's not something that comes easy. For some guys, it's easy. For me, it takes studying and listening how the voice goes."

Bartell said the only voice he could do "right off the bat" was Wayne Newton while there's only one voice - the late Jim Croce - that Bartell couldn't swing.

If you go ...

What: Copia's Outdoor Concert Series

When: Through Sept. 4

Where: Copia, 500 First St., Napa

Admission: $25 each concert


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