Dennis Murphy leads a double life.
For more than 20 years, he's been the drummer for the southern gospel group the Kingdom Heirs, occasionally venturing to the front of the stage to warm up the crowd with a little comedy but content to stay in the background behind his drum kit and keep the beat.
But when he takes the stage without the Heirs, he works the crowd like a master showman, mimicking the moves of multiple ''Entertainer of the Year'' winner Kenny Chesney.
Murphy brings his Kenny Chesney tribute to the Warren Community Amphitheatre Friday as part of the Country at the Amp concert series.
Murphy found out he looked like the country star even before he really knew who Chesney was. If he was wearing a hat like Chesney usually does and walking through a mall or another public place, he occasionally would get stopped by someone asking for an autograph or a photo.
''I'd always tell 'em I'm not Kenny, but they'd say, 'I don't care. I still want a picture,''' Murphy said.
If you go
WHAT: Country at the Amp - A tribute to Kenny Chesney with Tom Frietchen Band and Red Dust Mountain Boys
WHEN: 6 p.m. Friday
WHERE: Warren Community Amphitheatre, 303 Mahoning Ave. N.W., Warren
HOW MUCH: $7 for adults with children ages 11 and younger admitted free
He finally looked for some Chesney CDs at the store, and even he could see the resemblance. He started doing the occasional performance as Chesney about seven or eight years ago, but once he committed to it he took it seriously.
''It's like anything else, you practice it, work on it,'' Murphy said. ''I don't do anything halfway ... I've watched him more than any one man should watch another man.''
One early break for Murphy was his appearance on the 2007 reality series ''The Next Big Thing,'' which helped him connect with agents that could help him on the tribute act circuit.
Now, in addition to being part of a tribute show in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., Murphy tours the country with his Chesney act. And since the singer is known for his party anthems and Jimmy Buffett-style odes to summer living, Murphy said this is his busiest time of the year.
Having the right look is important, but it's not the only factor, he said.
''When you walk on stage, you better look like the guy because that's the first thing they see,'' Murphy said. ''You don't start singing back stage. If you can get them with the look, the next thing is, 'OK, let's hear how he sings.' When I used to go see shows, I wanted them to look like the person, but when you start singing, you better sound like them, too.''
For Murphy to deliver that combination, it's meant voice lessons, watching videos and staying in shape physically, both to maintain the look and to fulfill the demands of the energetic live show.
''I still consider myself a work in progress.''