Over the last two decades, Dennis Quaid’s fans could find the acclaimed actor and musician on stage with The Sharks, his rock and country-soul band. But this week, he’s coming to town on his own.
Quaid returns to City Winery in Chicago Wednesday, Nov. 10, sans The Sharks this time, as part of what he’s calling his “My Lucky Life” tour.
“I’ve got to pinch myself, the way life has led me into these situations that I never imagined I would be part of,” he said.
Quaid’s 12-city trek across the East Coast and Midwest will see him playing intimate solo shows with only a guitar, a piano and a career-load of stories to tell.
“It’s fantastic. It’s like people are coming out of their holes. We’ve been cooped up for so long, and it’s time to start to live again … within reason,” he said. “People want to come out, and I think we’re all ready. It’s like remembering your life again.”
Quaid was inspired to play music when his grandfather gave him a guitar, launching an artistic career that predated his Hollywood fame.
“I tried to learn ‘Light My Fire’ as my first song, which is not a good one to learn for a beginner,” he said. “So I gravitated toward Johnny Cash because he wrote story-songs and he had simple chords. I think he was probably my main influence, Johnny Cash, and probably still is.”
In addition to old-school country staples and fan-favorite covers, Quaid will share much of his original work, including his latest single “Heartbeat,” which he released at the end of October.
“I wanted to write a love song without using the word ‘love,'” he said. “The song came out of a dream and the atmosphere is very dreamlike. It’s about the feeling of loving somebody so much they’re in your bones, they’re just a part of you.”
And, of course, there’ll be a nod or two to “The Killer” Jerry Lee Lewis, whom Quaid portrayed in the 1989 movie “Great Balls of Fire!” According to Quaid, he didn’t know how to play piano when he got the role, and Lewis was one of his first teachers.
“He taught me that the left hand is really the thing to have. It’s an athletic move you really have to practice, practice like an athlete to be able to do it even for three minutes at a time. He was on set every day looking over my shoulder going, ‘You’re getting it wrong, son!'” Quaid said, laughing. “He was really very generous.”
Quaid will share stories like that drawn from his musical and acting careers in what concertgoers have noted makes for a riveting performance.
“I guarantee a good time,” he said, “or your money back.”
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When: 8 p.m. (doors open at 6) Wednesday, Nov. 10
Where: City Winery, 1200 W. Randolph St., Chicago; citywinery.com
Note: City Winery requires proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within the previous 72 hours; masks are required indoors.