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Rice refreshes with band in tow

Tobacco Barn (livestream), Greater Nashville, December 6, 2020

Reviewed by Michael Rampa

A Chase Rice acoustic show consisting of five guys around a sterno campfire with six strings and a couple of cold ones seems a more appropriate venue for his music than the quick pre-pandemic set he performed at Detroit's Ford Field. One might not consider Rice a stadium rocker. Surprisingly though, Rice and band delivered a set that was equal parts slow- to mid-tempo contemporary country and juiced up jam band rockers akin to Zac Brown Band

Rice, playing the second of three livestream concerts series, opened with a smooth, soulful version of "Gonna Wanna Tonight." Rice's guitar skills are impressive, though he confessed a few mistakes.

After "Three Chords and the Truth," he said to the camera, "For those out there who think that song sounded good, I think I was playing in the wrong key. But much of the time during this crazy time, I haven't known what key I'm playing in, so bear with me."

Midway through, he went back-to-back with his two favorite songs, "Carolina Can" and "Jesus and Jack Daniels." The former showcased the band's ability to deliver slow tempo numbers effectively while the latter delivered the rock edge.

Appropriately, the band ripped up "Ready, Set Roll" and "Eyes On You" with the ferocity and speed of a bluegrass outfit and the volume suited for a substantially larger venue.

The continuity of the show was refreshing. There were no guitar techs, switching out instruments between songs, lighting displays or other distractions.

After thanking the cyberspace crowd, he quipped, "We gotta get out of here because it's dark, and we're sitting in a field full of bison, and we don't know where the bison are."

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