Actor and musician Dennis Quaid is back in his hometown Houston this week for a show at The Woodlands’ Dosey Doe Big Barn, where he and his band The Sharks are performing Friday night.
Quaid, who has appeared in a range of movies over the past several decades, has been playing with The Sharks since they formed in 2000 at the suggestion of fellow actor and musician Harry Dean Stanton. Quaid’s bandmates include The Kingbees founder Jamie James, Tom Mancillas, Ken Stange and Tom Walsh. Quaid is the band’s featured singer and guitarist.
“Our style is rock ‘n’ roll blues country, and a little lounge music thrown in there as well. I call it a junkyard of American music, and now it’s called Americana,” Quaid said in a telephone interview. “We’re a little bit of everything, and it comes out as the Sharks … One thing we kind of insist on is being authentic to ourselves and to the genre while we’re playing it.”
The band has toured the country for years playing setlists made up of both original work and classic cover versions. Quaid said their body of work moved from about 75 percent cover songs in their early days to 75 percent of their own compositions today, a shift the band demonstrated on its first studio album “Out of the Box,” released in 2018.
The record is comprised of more than a dozen songs including new versions of hits by The Doors, Larry Williams and Van Morrison. In addition to those artists, Quaid also cited Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and Jerry Lee Lewis-whom Quaid portrayed in the 1989 film “Great Balls Of Fire!”-as the biggest influences for his own onstage identity.
“Elvis kind of influenced the first stage; playing Jerry Lee did that too, [but]that’s really just kind of me out there … I kind of put on a persona to go out there and I’m the guy that wants to whip up everybody to have a good time,” Quaid said. “People paid their hard-earned money to come there and they don’t want to see some kind of actor up there, movie star, who’s doing some kind of ego trip. They want to have a good time, and that’s what we give them.”
Quaid, who was born in Bellaire, said he enjoys returning to the Bayou City and the Austin area where some of his family members now live. He also said he remains connected to the state’s independent nature, friendly people and an eclectic music scene that still inspire him today.
“To understand this part of the country, it helps to be from here as far as playing roles, but also for writing music,” he said. “I like to tell stories with songs. Songs are kind of like when I create a character too, in a film, there’s a story that goes behind that person.”
Despite his Southwest Houston origins, Quaid still has a familiarity with The Woodlands area after going there on deer hunting trips as a child and is looking forward to returning for a performance at the Dosey Doe.
“I always wanted to live there when I was growing up,” he said of The Woodlands.
Quaid and The Sharks’ “Out of the Box” is available now from Omnivore Recordings and popular streaming services, and a vinyl LP of the record will go on sale April 13. Quaid is also featured in the films “A Dog’s Journey” and “The Intruder,” both premiering in May.
The Dosey Doe Big Barn
25911 I-45 N., The Woodlands
Concert: 8:30 p.m.
Tickets (dinner and show): $108-$168