As an actor, Kiefer Sutherland is no stranger to making the rounds of the late night TV shows, but Wednesday marked his first time on the circuit as a singer.
Promoting Down in a Hole, his new album released last week, Sutherland looked completely at home on the Jimmy Kimmel Live! stage as he performed a spirited version of second single, “Can’t Stay Away.” Accompanied by a seven-piece band, including three backing vocalists who surrounded his raspy vocal on the gritty Seventies-styled country rocker, Sutherland had his rock star moves down pat, even jumping off the drum riser at the song’s end.
The 24 vet, who returns to TV next month in ABC’s Designated Survivor, has been on the road this summer, playing clubs to advance his self-penned, 11-song collection of introspective, personal songs about love, life and loss. Like many performers, he says he embraces the connection between him and his audience.
“One of the things that surprised me the most is that when we went to play our first show, I’d go to explain where a song came from and I didn’t realize how personal that was gonna be — how open you have to be to try and make that work. But I really enjoyed it,” he told Rolling Stone Country earlier this year. “We were playing bars with 250 to 300 people and there was something nice that happened at the end: the audience would understand that there’s not that much different between you and me, regardless of what their perception was when they walked in. The songs did that.”
Though he picked up the violin when he was four and guitar when he was 10, Sutherland, who made his Grand Ole Opry debut in June, told us why he held off releasing his music: “There is a reason I waited until now: Now, I just don’t give a shit. Fifteen years ago, it wouldn’t have been possible.”