Interview with Damon Kiely and Matthew Brumlow, blog #1
by Kelli Marino, dramaturg
Kelli Marino (KM): What drew you to work on HANK?
Damon Kiely (DK): I was asked to read HANK WILLIAMS: LOST HIGHWAY by Wendy Whiteside and I thought it was pretty good and an interesting read. Once I heard Matt sing at the reading, I was more than sold. Quite frankly he’s so good at capturing the heart and soul of Hank Williams that he could just sing a concert and it would be worth the price of admission.
Matt Brumlow (MB): I am a Georgia boy so I grew up listening to Hank. Like Hank, I had strong women in my life: my mom was and is a powerful presence in my life, and my grandmother, who I affectionately refer to as “Nanny”, equally raised me. If you walked into Nanny’s small house, you were going to hear Elvis, Johnny Cash or Hank on her record player…and always a Hank hymn on Sundays. As I got older, I can’t say I listened to Hank as much, but it was always residing in the fabric of my subconscious. When I first had the opportunity to work on Hank’s songs, they came back so quickly and triggered deep waves of emotion. I owe a great debt of gratitude to Sandy Ernst at Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, who gave me the opportunity to play Hank in the world premiere of a great solo show called NOBODY LONESOME FOR ME.