As we head through the summer, the Country Superstars are preparing to perform a tribute show to remember at Liverpool’s Auditorium At M&S Bank Arena on Saturday August 24. Leading the way is Sarah Jayne Crust, who is known as the world’s leading Dolly Parton tribute artist, the recipient of high acclaim from across the globe. She is promising that fans of country music will be wowed by what they will witness when they attend Country Superstars live. To find out more about what we can expect and her career so far, we recently spoke to Sarah Jayne.
First of all, can you tell us about your starring role as Dolly Parton in Country Superstars, and about the show as a whole.
I am proud to be co-producer and founder of the Country Superstars, which is hosted by myself as Dolly Parton. I have been performing as Dolly for over 25 years and have had a fabulous career in the industry so far. It is even better now to be a part of such a strong iconic show. With 11 Country Superstars, we are Europe’s largest country tribute show. We pay respectful tributes to Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Garth Brooks, Shania Twain, John Denver, Billie Jo Spears, Willie Nelson, Tammy Wynette, Glen Campbell and Kenny Rogers, and we will be impersonating each artist in their prime with their most popular hits. We will take the audience on a trip down memory lane with my on-stage and off-stage partner (husband) Andy Crust and the Tennessee Allstars band.
As noted, you have had a 25 year career so far. How did you first enter the music industry?
My career started in local bands in Kent, and to be honest, at the bottom of the ladder travelling in my Ford Fiesta from gig to gig in clubs and pubs across the UK.
Jersey was my first taste of being part of a production show, which was The Great Legends at the Mayfair Hotel, where I performed five nights a week as Dolly Parton.
Who were your musical heroes growing up?
Dolly Parton, of course! Also Michael Bolton, The Carpenters, and I had a secret crush on Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan too!
What would you consider to have been the big break in your career?
It was probably when I was working as a lookalike (meeting and greeting guests) at the 02 Arena in London on Dolly Parton’s tour in 2011, which has led to me producing this show and taking it on tour.
You have since become well-established as the leading Dolly Parton tribute act. How does it feel to have become the next best thing to the American music icon?
I am so honoured that this is the status I have earned. It has come through years of practice at my craft, and growing as a performer and as the character Dolly with the unconditional support of my husband and business partner Andy Crust, who has revitalised my persona on social media. He is the backbone behind the artistic direction of all of my shows.
What are your future plans within the music industry?
We are currently working on the tour dates for 2020, and we hope to visit Europe again in the coming year. Also on a personal note, writing songs is a real passion of mine, and I am planning on producing an album of my own.
Finally, can you provide the main reason for the Liverpool audience to come along and see Country Superstars this August?
Whenever I am in Liverpool, we have never failed to fill a venue with Dolly and country music enthusiasts. The people of Liverpool generally have a passion and a love for country music, and this excites me personally as I know that the audience will really appreciate the journey we will take them on. This is a concert that could only be recreated in the most authentic way possible. Many of the songs we perform are not heard on popular radio today, and some are forgotten but remembered fondly when we reproduce the music live. With Patsy Cline also being very popular in Liverpool, we want the audience to walk away with great memories, and we want them to come back and see our show again in the future.
Country Superstars performs at the Auditorium At M&S Bank Arena on Saturday August 24. To buy tickets, click here or call 0344 8000 400.
Read more about the show by clicking here.