Canadian Doug Varty is a professional guitarist, pianist, harmonica player, singer and songwriter whose bringing a Rod Stewart tribute show to the Ponoka Golf Club.
Set for May 16, the Forever Young show comes after a big tour that took him from Halifax to Vancouver, Las Vegas and New York, as well as Bermuda, Germany and the Cayman Islands.
Calling the venture a success is putting it mildly.
At the age of 17, Varty joined the Canadian rock band Seadog and toured North America, opening for supergroups Rush, BTO and Canned Heat. Later, he led the house band at the Old Chicago blues club in London, Ont., backing stars such as Paul James, Edgar Winter, John Lee Hooker and The Fabulous Thunderbirds. An avid R’n’B fan, his raspy voice has always displayed a remarkable similarity to Rod Stewart’s.
In 1998, Doug was approached by veteran Canadian blues singers Chris and Geoff Dahl, aka The Soul Brothers, who were looking for a “Rod Stewart” impression act for a national “Soul Men” tour. The trio knew of each other’s work and it seemed like a natural fit. With his raspy voice and a spikey blonde wig, Varty became an important part of the team, helping to boost sales of their concert tickets from coast to coast.
The Soul Men tour was a real eye opener for Doug. It taught him that he didn’t need to drag tons of musical equipment around, or sweat over a guitar or keyboard for hours, in order to entertain an audience. As Rod Stewart, people would begin to cheer as soon as he walked up to a microphone. When the tour ended, his phone began to ring with offers from all over the the country to book “Rod Stewart” by himself. This was an opportunity he just couldn’t pass up.
On Wednesday, May 16th, Varty brings his Rod Stewart tribute to Ponoka for a dinner show at the Ponoka Golf Club. More information is available from the club’s Rob MacPherson at (403) 783-4626.