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Concert Reviews


Note: Due to COVID-19 we have been unable to attend any live performances, so the reviews on this page are a bit old.
March 11, 2020 - Kinky Friedman was his usual, engaging self while playing to a small - but attentive - crowd in one of Orange County's wealthiest cities. Campus Jax is so close to John Wayne Airport, even Friedman became momentarily distracted by the sound of a jet plane either taking off or landing overhead. ...
March 11, 2020 - On a night when the world seems to be falling further apart thanks to coronavirus (this would be the night the NBA postponed the season), there stood The Lil Smokies to at least in some small measure save the day. The quintet is part of a generation of musicians with bluegrass as the basis, but not ...
March 11, 2020 - John Paul White opined with a glint in his eyes that his songs were not of the uplifting variety. In fact, they were downright dark. How else to explain "The Long Way" with the line "long way home back to you." Or "James," a song inspired by his grandfather who suffered from dementia. ...
March 10, 2020 - The darkly lit stage should have been no surprise given what was to come from Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats. There were perhaps about 20 lanterns dotting the stage with Rateliff up front and his backing octet physically well behind him and somewhat in the shadows. So, it was left to Rateliff ...
March 6, 2020 - The 6,000 fans leaving Sturgill Simpson's largest show ever in Pittsburgh seemed both satisfied and perplexed at the same time. Simpson had been playing the new record "Sound and Fury" front to back most of the time, but after he rolled out clad in black with the band in red suits ...
March 4, 2020 - Kane Brown couldn't have been used to playing small crowds like this anymore. Nor his fellow artists - Michael Ray, Russell Dickerson, Chris Lane and Gabby Barrett. In fact, Dickerson and Lane are opening up shows for Brown on his current arena tour. So, this was a different night - a good, ...
March 1, 2020 - The Del McCoury Band may be a bluegrass mainstay, but when Del isn't touring with his band, a subset is. The Travelin' McCourys are the legitimate offspring of DMB, and they certainly have learned their lessons well. The Travelin' McCourys is comprised of two of Del's sons, Ronnie ...
February 27, 2020 - Life's been pretty darn good for Hayes Carll. He released a new disc, the sturdy, "What It Is," and he remarried - to fellow singer Allison Moorer. Carll has enjoyed a two-decade long career as a plainspoken singer, some of it distinctly country, some of it more following in the ...
February 26, 2020 - This was not your typical Shakey Graves night of music. Not when you're playing both solo and with your band and trying out new material to gauge audience reaction and develop the songs. No matter because the Texan's sheer force of charisma - not to mention his songs - made the atypical about ...
February 24, 2020 - What's a country song without drinking? Morgan Evans seems to have gotten the missive loud and clear as a good chunk of his songs incorporate libations into the mix. And when the Australian-bred singer isn't confronting drinking, he's dealing with matters of the heart, but in keeping ...
February 20, 2020 - Miranda Lambert didn't perform "Tin Man," one of her best, but also one of her saddest songs during this Wildcard tour stop. It's a song sung from the perspective of one who is sad that she has a heart that can be broken. That's not the current condition of Lambert's heart, though. ...
February 5, 2020 - To say that this was a change of pace for Garth Brooks - not to mention his fans - would be an understatement of the highest degree. Brooks all but begged during the show to be playing next door at Gillette Stadium where the New England Patriots play. But, alas, Brooks exuded joy and excitement at the ...
February 1, 2020 - If you have seen Little Big Town in the last decade, it could have been anywhere from a B stage at a Rib Fest to a 20,000-seat amphitheater as the opener for some of country's top acts. Their current "Nightfall" tour rightfully proves they are more than capable and well deserved being ...
January 30, 2020 - Somehow after nine years in the public eye, Lauren Alaina was finally on her first headlining tour. That despite being runner up on American Idol, the show that launched her career, in 2011, and two albums. On her own, Alaina has only had one certifiable hit, but in recent years, she's gained ...
January 25, 2020 - The joy is palpable when the music is of the Irish variety. And when you combine that with a typically uptempo bluegrass sound - We Banjo 3 labels its style of music Celtgrass - let's say it makes for one fun night. The group, which has been around since 2011, is a quartet from Galway Ireland ...
January 24, 2020 - Although this pairing of country star Crystal Gayle and Tony Orlando may have - on the surface - appeared to be an odd one, tonight's audience demonstratively loved each performer equally. It was an evening of memorable songs, fun and funny stories and just good old-fashioned entertainment. ...


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