Houston Symphony is just looking for a little Satisfaction. As part of its 2nd Annual Classic Rock Weekend, the symphony is bringing the musical catalogue of The Rolling Stones to life, conducted by Brent Havens and sung by powerhouse vocalist Brody Dolyniuk. Dolyniuk, a self-taught musician who frequently headlines in Vegas, previously performed similar concerts with the music of Queen, The Who, U2 and Journey.
Since he makes his living with his pipes, Dolyniuk has a number of guidelines on how to keep his voice strong. “There’s no guarantees in life that you can keep [your voice] perfect, but you gotta stay in good health,” he says. “You need to eat right, avoid the bad things like caffeine and alcohol, and stay in shape. And of course, before each show I do a little warm-up routine, just to get the blood flowing.”
Having performed with the Windbourne group (the international rock/pop-symphony hybrid that produces the Music of… series) since 2009, Dolyniuk needed a little convincing before signing on to a Rolling Stones-themed concert. “It took me awhile to appreciate the beautiful simplicity of their music,” the rocker admits, saying he was able to hear their music differently after practicing their works. “The Stones are just the masters of that timeless three-chord riff, and Keith Richards is the riff master.”
When put on the spot, the singer says his favorite Jagger/Richards tunes tend to be the ballads. “There’s also a beauty in a lot of those ballads, like Wild Horses and Rudy Tuesday.” Highlighting the unique sound of the Houston Symphony, Dolyniuk compliments his backers. “These songs especially shine with the orchestra behind them. They’re so well written and constructed and just lend themselves to strings and horns.”
On one point, Dolyniuk wants to be clear: He is not an impressionist. “My voice definitely comes through, even when I may be trying to sound like someone else,” the rocker says. “That said, I feel my voice is in the wheelhouse of a lot of these different acts and it doesn’t take much bending to get me ‘in the style of’ any of these great artist.”
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And while he claims he's not much of an impersonator, there is one moment in the show Brody will likely indulge in that fantasy. “Just for fun, [sometimes] I’ll get everybody up and teach them some Mick Jagger moves,” he says. “It’s really become more of a five-minute comedy section than an actual lesson.”
While Houston is the show’s current stop, Dolyniuk will continue touring the Stones show across the globe. “This show goes all over the U.S., into Canada,” he says. “Next stop is Malaysia, then Germany and so on.” The musician says the touring style of the show has been a great opportunity not only to play some of the globe’s top venues, but also to work with some of the world’s greatest orchestras. “These are classically trained, world-class musicians who play anything you set in front of them. This doesn’t really present a huge challenge for them; it’s still sixteenths and quarter notes.”
Since Dolyniuk is the only vocalist for the concert, it may be easy to think of his performance as a one-man show. However, he’s quick to correct this assumption. “It’s just me up there, along with about 60 other people,” he laughs. “I do try to make it a point to feature everybody when they have a moment.” In fact, Dolyniuk prefers to think of himself as more a master of ceremonies, casting himself as the ringleader of an overactive circus. “Whether it’s the guitar solo or something on drums or brass… Whenever there’s a really prominent part, I want everyone to get their share of the spotlight.”
Performances are schedules for Friday, September 2 at 8 p.m. at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, 2005 Lake Robbins, The Woodlands. For information, call 281-363-3300 or visit woodlandscenter.org. $20