American crooner Ernie Haase is bringing his Signature Sound band back to Shetland for a third time next week and it seems he just cannot get enough of the islands.
Mr Haase this week told The Shetland Times: “My wife and I have been watching a show produced by the BBC called Shetland. I have seen many sights they feature and it was so nice to point them out to my wife and say, ‘I’ve been there!’”
The internationally-acclaimed performers will be bringing their annual Christmas tour to Shetland with a performance at the Clickimin on Tuesday. The band have received recognition in their native United States with a Grammy nomination as well as a Gospel Music Association Dove Award for their 2008 album Get Away Jordan.
Having already played to a sold out Clickimin in 2011 Mr Haase says he is delighted to be coming back.
He said: “The whole purpose for Ernie Haase and Signature Sound coming back to Shetland is the people. We absolutely love the people and the lovely island.
“Our Christmas concert is the best show we do and I wanted to bring it to Shetland.”
People who have attended previous Ernie Haase and Signature Sound performances can expect to see more of the music they enjoyed, but also some songs which the band save for their yearly Christmas tours.
Mr Haase said: “This show is different in that the music is not just Ernie Haase and Signature Sound gospel music, although we do some of those songs, too.
“The universal songs of Christmas like What Child Is This, Silent Night and Marshmallow World are what take our show to another level.
“We encourage everyone to bring their family and friends who may not even care for gospel music to this show. We promise they will love it and, in return, perhaps become a gospel music fan, too.”
The Christmas tour is a chance to showcase some of the bandleader’s other influences with Mr Haase saying that outside of gospel music he has “been inspired by artists such as Andrea Bocelli.”
Concert promoter Matthew Laurenson said getting a Shetland date on a tour which packed out auditoriums all across North America was really exciting news.
He said: “This concert will be a great start to the festive season. Ernie Haase and Signature Sound are one of the most talented acts in Nashville at the moment.
“We had always wanted to get a Christmas concert with one of the big US country gospel groups, but until now that seemed unlikely.
“They are a group who are sure to make the Shetland crowd laugh, as well as listen in awe at the vocal extravaganza on display.
“They do not need to be oversold – their award winning combination of vocal perfection, energy, humour and warmth have led them to global success.
“What better way to start off the festive season than to come along to a heart-warming Christmas concert with such talented Grammy Award-nominated performers?”
In a repeat of their previous performances in Shetland local band North Ness Boys will again be providing support.
Mr Haase expressed his excitement to see the local act again saying: “When the local promoter inquired about a return to Shetland, I asked if they would be opening again. I was delighted to hear that they would be. I love local culture and I love taking it all in.”